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Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills

The Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills Course provides Dispensing Assistants with skills and knowledge regarding legal aspects and procedures within a dispensary.

This course develops confidence in the dispensary and provides in-depth knowledge and assessment of competence in meeting individuals’ needs, teamwork, health and safety, preparation and issuing of prescribed medicines and the ordering, receipt and storage of pharmaceutical stock.

Course Details
Programme Course Cost
£650 (Exc VAT)
Unit Route Course Cost
£200 + £75 per unit (Exc VAT)
12 Months

The previous generation of regulated pharmacy qualifications are now being “switched off” by the GPhC in favour of the new Initial Education and Training (IET) Standards that have been launched. As such, we are not able to enrol learners on this programme after 30th September 2020:


Options Available for Training to Meet the GPhC Standards:


Buttercups has spent the last few years facilitating the Trailblazer group of employers, to prepare an apprenticeship standard to meet the needs of a modern pharmacy service. The Pharmacy Services Assistant apprenticeship standard has been developed by employers to ensure it meets the needs of the industry. Please click here to access the Pharmacy Services Assistant programme page.


Alternative Buttercups GPhC Accredited Courses


Medicines Counter Assistant Course

The Medicines Counter Assistant (MCA) Course covers communication skills, the classification of medicines, the use of 2WHAM questions, handling prescriptions, abuse and misuse of medicines, referral to the pharmacist and product knowledge covering a wide range of symptoms and complaints encountered in pharmacies. This course is accredited by the GPhC to meet the minimum training requirements for medicines counter assistants.


Healthcare Assistant Course

The Healthcare Assistant Course takes learners through the practical and legal aspects of working in a dispensary and on the medicines counter. It covers knowledge and skills from both the Dispensing Assistant Course and the Medicines Counter Assistant Course, and meets the GPhC minimum training requirements for both dispensing assistants and medicines counter assistants.


Dispensing Assistant Course

This is designed for those working in a patient facing role and handling prescriptions. There is also an option to add aseptic modules to this course for those also working in a manufacturing role.


Dispensary Stock Management Course

The Dispensary Stock Management Course covers customer service, teamwork, health & safety and management of pharmaceutical stock.


Pharmacy Manufacturing Course

The Manufacturing Course covers the practical and legal aspects of working in pharmacy manufacturing – including aseptics – in licensed and unlicensed units, as well as the basic principles needed for working in a dispensing environment.


Assembly Hub Course

The Assembly Hub Course covers the practical and legal aspects of working in an assembly hub, for those involved in the assembly and supply of medicines and management of stock. The course is accredited by the GPhC, providing the underpinning knowledge required to perform the role of a dispensing assistant within the assembly hub.

Entry Criteria

Staff working either part or full time in a pharmacy or pharmacy department. (If there is no pharmacist or pharmacy technician supervision then please refer to the Level 2 NVQ Certificate In Pharmacy Service Skills (No GPhC Registrant Supervision)

How is the Programme Delivered?

All our courses are delivered by blended learning. This course benefits from a dedicated website where learners with internet access can download course materials. The full course consists of up to 13 knowledge modules, and 7 NVQ units.

The assessment involves multiple choice questions for the underpinning knowledge modules, and written accounts of activities for the NVQ competency units, which must be authenticated by a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

We cannot accept applications from self-funded learners; the employer is required to support and fund this programme.

If a candidate is unable to complete the full qualification due to the nature of their role then we are able to provide a “unit route” for this qualification whereby candidates only complete those units which are relevant to their job role. Details of this can be found on the enrolment form.


As well as online access to results and our FAQ section, learners can talk to dedicated tutors year-round, including at evenings and weekends, via our out of hours helpline. In addition, learners are supported throughout their course by a workplace training supervisor who is nominated on enrolment to review and invigilate work based activities and assessments, ensuring the learner is competent in the workplace. To aid them in this role the training supervisor will have access to the b-Hive Learner Analytics dashboard through which they can easily filter and view the progress and expected progress of their learner(s). This dashboard will display real-time data to provide a snapshot of whether a learner is on target or requires further support on a particular area of the course.

Programme Content