Accuracy Checking for Dispensing Assistants
The scope of the Accuracy Checking for Dispensing Assistants (ACDA) course is to train dispensing assistants to carry out the final check of listed dispensed items clinically approved by a pharmacist. It does not encompass aseptic dispensing, self-checking of own dispensing or pre-packing. The ACDA course is dependent upon Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) being in place for accuracy checking, which define the scope of what both a learner and fully qualified ACDA can and cannot check against a clinically screened prescription. The clinical and legal checks on the prescriptions must be completed by a pharmacist. On completion of the course, learners will be issued with a certificate which states that they are able to complete a final accuracy check under the supervision of a Responsible Pharmacist within a specified setting. Revalidation of the certificate is required every two years.
For settings that do not operate under the supervision of a Responsible Pharmacist we offer a non-GPhC accredited version of the ACDA course.
This course is suitable for qualified dispensing assistants who have been working in their current workplace for at least six months and have been declared to have the suitable experience and competence by their management to enrol on to this ACDA course. The employer should have suitable professional indemnity arrangements in place before the learner begins their ACDA training and allocate a facilitator who is a colleague that is suitably trained to carry out final accuracy checks of dispensed medicines in the learner’s workplace, in the same area of work, who may be a pharmacist or an Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician (ACPT).
Facilitators will have access to a facilitator course on the Buttercups b-Hive platform, which provides an overview of the role and responsibilities as a facilitator, an overview of the learner’s course, resources to support their role as a facilitator and assessment resources and training on the tools, techniques and skills to provide a fair, consistent and standardised assessment of the learner.
Please note: if a learner leaves the workplace during the course, we may have to withdraw the learner if they are unable to satisfy the requirements of the course.
This course meets the GPhC minimum requirements for the education and training of pharmacy support staff (2020) and the National Occupational Standard PHARM28: Undertake the final accuracy check of dispensed medicines and products, with the exception of knowledge criteria K24, K26 and K29, which are beyond the scope of Level 2 pharmacy support staff.
Learners will consolidate their knowledge on accuracy checking in their workplace, in accordance to their specific accuracy checking SOPs. They will be able to interpret information required for accuracy checking, including the legal requirements and patient information in accordance with the relevant regulations and information governance procedures.
Learners will further develop their practical skills required for accuracy checking through compiling their accuracy checking portfolio. They will also demonstrate their competence through workplace observations completed by their facilitators in the Facilitator Testimony. Learners will develop the knowledge and skills for providing feedback to others, which is a key part of performing accuracy checks and contributing to a patient safety culture in their workplace.
The accuracy checking portfolio aligns with industry standards for final accuracy checking such as the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) National Education Framework: Final Accuracy Checking of Dispensed Medicines and Products (2019). The learner needs to complete a log of 1000 items which have been checked by the learner and then second checked by a pharmacist or accredited ACPT. The Accuracy Checking Portfolio must be returned to Buttercups Training for review.
Revalidation of the ACDA course
On successful completion of the Accuracy Checking Dispensing Assistant (ACDA) course, ACDAs are issued with a certificate which will state they are required to renew their certificate every two years and are able to carry out final accuracy check of dispensed medicines under supervision of a Responsible Pharmacist within a specific setting.
They must revalidate every two years to demonstrate that they can continue to carry out final accuracy checks safely and accurately. If the ACDA moves from one workplace to another in the same setting specified on their certificate, whilst the certificate will still be valid, they will be expected to complete a 200-item checking log in line with revalidation requirements to ensure they are safe to work in their new workplace with a different set of SOPs.
The revalidation paperwork must be signed by a practice supervisor who may be a pharmacist or an accuracy checking pharmacy technician (ACPT), who works alongside the ACDA in their checking role and are qualified to complete final accuracy checks in the same area. The practice supervisor must record their GPhC registration number on the paperwork.
Buttercups Training offers an ACDA revalidation service for £36 (Exc VAT). This supports ACDAs by offering guidance through a structured process, with templates to record the relevant information. ACDAs are not GPhC registrants, they will be guided through a revalidation process that reflects the GPhC revalidation requirements for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in terms of continuing professional development (CPD) and peer discussions in relation to their accuracy checking role.
From the 1st February 2023 you should use the workbook available below.
Full re-accreditation requirements for ACDAs reinstated from 1st October 2022
In 2020 re-accreditation requirements were eased to allow ACDAs to submit just one reflective account for their re-accreditation applications. This was implemented to reduce the pressures on pharmacy staff during the pandemic as they worked hard to protect patients and the public.
In line with the GPhC's revalidation requirements for pharmacy technicians, notification that as of 01.10.22 full re-accreditation requirements has be reinstated for ACDAs when submitting their re-accreditation application.
Our ACDA Revalidation Workbook contains monthly revalidation logs for 23 months, with one log to be completed by the ACDA each month for submission in month 24, before their current ACDA certificate expires.
The revalidation paperwork must be signed by the candidate’s practice supervisor who may be a pharmacist or an accuracy checking pharmacy technician (ACPT), who works alongside the candidate in their checking role and are qualified to complete final accuracy checks in the same area. The practice supervisor must record their GPhC registration number on the paperwork.
To apply for revalidation of their ACDA certificate, candidates need to submit the following documents for the 24-month revalidation period:
- Monthly revalidation logs for each of 23 months which are signed and verified by the practice supervisor. Each monthly log covers details for each month:
- the number of hours of checking they have completed. Candidates will need to complete additional checking logs if they have checked for less than eight hours per month
- the number of checking errors made, including a supplementary form to detail the checking error made and a corresponding unplanned CPD entries to reflect on each checking error made
- the titles of any CPD entries completed in that month
- whether they have changed their work environment, or changed to work under a different SOP or setting. Candidates will need to complete a 200-item checking log if they have changed their work environment and SOP/setting
- Declaration that a minimum of eight CPD entries have been completed. Two of these should be planned learning and two should be unplanned learning
- A peer discussion relating to their checking role
- Corresponding records of any checking errors they have made and the unplanned CPD entries to reflect on these checking errors
- Additional checking portfolios that need to be completed due to a break in their checking role or a change in work environment
- A copy of their original ACDA certificate, including any previous revalidation/re-accreditation certificates issued since their original. If their ACDA certificate has already expired, they will have to complete additional checking logs depending on how long their certificate has expired for. All certificates need to be certified as genuine by the practice supervisor signing the application pack.
If a candidate was certified for an ACDA course that did not meet the GPhC IET (2020) requirements, a top up Revalidation Witness Testimony must be completed by their practice supervisor to show that the candidate demonstrates the GPhC learning outcomes in the IET at Does level for 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16 and 17.
If a learner was certified on an ACDA course that meets the GPhC IET (2020) requirements, such as our Level 2 Support Staff Course for Dispensing Assistant (DA) or Healthcare Assistant Course (HCA), the Revalidation Witness Testimony is not required.
After Buttercups has received the relevant paperwork, we will validate the evidence and issue an ACDA revalidation certificate valid for two years.
An overview of the ACDA course structure, including the assessment process and the role of your facilitator. You will also have an overview of how to use our b-Hive platform to make the most of your learning experience.
- Core Module 1: Working in a Pharmacy Environment
- Core Module 2: Teamwork and Person-Centred Care
In the Core Modules, you will learn about your key responsibilities as a member of the healthcare team with regards to health and safety, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safeguarding the public. You will learn about the roles of your team and the need for effective communication skills to support person-centred care. You should already be familiar with these concepts from practising as a dispensing assistant. The Core Modules will consolidate your knowledge, skills and behaviours in these areas.
Each Technical Module focuses on different aspects of an ACDA’s role, with a range of interactive activities built into the b-Hive platform to check your learning as you progress through the course. The underpinning knowledge in Technical Modules 1 to 3 will help to prepare you for building your accuracy checking portfolio and your future role as an ACDA.
This module explores the role of an ACDA, recognising the responsibility and professionalism of ACDAs. Candidates will familiarise with the specific SOPs for accuracy checking, including the use of patient information to carry out final accuracy checks. They will also explore the use of technologies to remove opportunities for errors in the dispensing process, and the hub and spoke model for dispensing. Candidates will design their own checking protocol in preparation for the accuracy checking portfolio in Technical Module 4.
This module builds on the knowledge and skills required for error management. Candidates will learn about the communication skills required to give feedback about errors and support others to learn and develop, which contribute to creating a patient safety culture.
This module builds on the knowledge of performing calculations to final accuracy check prescriptions in terms of dose requirements and supply quantities, as well as basic calculations learners should already be familiar with as dispensing assistants. Candidates must complete the Technical Module 3 Calculations Test.
This module is unlocked after completion of the Core Modules and Technical Modules 1 to 3, including submission of the assessments and Facilitator Testimony. This module outlines the requirements for compiling the accuracy checking portfolio, including appraisals with the facilitator, probationary period and certification.