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Advanced Apprenticeship in Pharmacy

Allows learners, with relevant experience, to register as a pharmacy technician with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Pharmacy Programme allows learners, with relevant experience, to register as a pharmacy technician with the General Pharmaceutical Council. Apprentices and employers benefit together, with additional course components and incentives. 

Course Details
Programme Course Cost
Contact us for current employer contributions
Course Category
Study Time
24-34 months
European Social Fund


Levy-Paying Employers

Buttercups Training continues to have capacity for apprenticeship starts for all age groups (16+). Please contact us to discuss how you can make the best use of your levy pot.

Non-Levy-Paying (SME) Employers

Unfortunately, we have not had our allocation of funding for apprentices based at small to medium sized employers extended. As such, we will not be able to deliver further apprenticeships for non-levy paying employers for the time being. Please be assured however that we do have funding available to continue delivery to existing apprentices. We will update our Latest News section as and when this changes. If you wish to be put on a mailing list for an email update, please click here

This lack of funding is not limited to just Buttercups Training, or even the healthcare sector - funding for apprenticeships for small and medium employers is limited across all sectors:

This will also mean that we will be unable to help non-levy paying employers to advertise on the National Apprenticeship Service account for any apprenticeship vacancies.

In the meantime we are, as always, able to offer non-funded programmes for the training needs of any learners. The following non-funded options are available for non-levy paying employers:

Apprenticeship programme Non-funded alternative 1 Non-funded alternative 2
Level 2 Pharmacy Services Assistant Standard Dispensing Assistant Course (GPhC accredited and equivalent to level two) Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills OR Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (No GPhC Registrant Supervision)
Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Pharmacy (pharmacy technician training) Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician Programme Senior Dispenser Programme (appropriate for dispensing doctors practices, or dispensaries with no pharmacist or pharmacy technician on site)

Further information on these alternatives including costs and durations, can be accessed via the above links.

Please rest assured that we are dedicated in our work to promote and encourage apprenticeships as an option for training and we will be applying again for growth from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as soon as we are able to - however we understand that there are currently no windows planned for this.

Please note, this only affects our non-levy paying employers, we are still able and eager to deliver apprenticeship training to existing and new levy paying customers.

The Advanced Apprenticeship programme consists of the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science, Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills (NVQ) (formerly NVQ 3 Pharmacy Services Evidence Collection), Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and English, and Employee Rights and Responsibilities Workbook. Buttercups Training has direct contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to access funding for the Apprenticeship in Pharmacy programmes. 

Learners enrolled onto the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship programme who work 30 hours per week or more must be on programme for a minimum of 18 months before their completion of the programme. For part time learners, the minimum duration must be extended as per the calculations in the Education and Skills Funding Agency Funding Rules. Upon enrolment, personalised Delivery Plans are issued which accommodate the minimum duration requirements for the programme.

To be eligible for Apprenticeship funding, the following criteria must be met:

  • Learners must live and work in England and have been a resident in the EU for a minimum of 3 years
  • Learners cannot be in full time education and must be aged 16 years old or above
  • Learners must hold a National Insurance Number
  • Learners must hold a contract of employment and be working a minimum of 21 contracted hours per week
  • Learners cannot be enrolled onto another government funded programme
  • Learners cannot hold a Level 4 qualification or above, unless the qualification is "materially different" from the Apprenticeship in Pharmacy framework. Any queries in relation to prior qualifications and their content in relation to the Apprenticeship programme will be passed to our Chief Pharmacist
  • At least 20% off the job training must be delivered, in relation to the apprentice's contracted working hours. Off the job training includes online learning, practical training through shadowing and mentoring, alongside learning support and time spent writing assessments and assignments. Buttercups Training will work with the employer to agree a training plan prior to enrolment. Please note, time within work for any Functional Skills courses must be allowed in addition to this 20% off the job training for the BTEC and NVQ courses.
  • Learners must be on programme for a minimum of 18 months from their start date with Buttercups Training if they are contracted to work 30 hours or above. For learners who are contracted to work 21-29 hours per week, the minimum duration of the programme will be extended, pro rata.

Enrolment packs for funded programmes must be posted to:

Buttercups Training Limited,
Buttercups House,
Castlebridge Office Village,
Castle Marina Road,
Nottingham NG7 1TN

If you are based within a Dispensing Doctors' Practice, please visit the Advanced Apprenticeship (no pharmacist) Programme (AA-DD) page

Course Features
Successful completion, with relevant experience, will allow for registration as a pharmacy technician
Full BTEC certificate for the underpinning knowledge, with option for merit or distinction
Functional Skills - developing important Maths and English skills
Regular contact at least every 9-12 weeks for a formal review with adjusted target setting
Programme Content