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Pharmacy Services Assistant Apprenticeship

The Pharmacy Services Assistant Standard provides learners with skills and knowledge regarding a variety of pharmacy and medicines services to patients, the public and other professional healthcare teams. The PSA supports the delivery of pharmacy services in a variety of pharmacy environments, covering the following areas:

  • Dispensing and supply of medicines and medicinal products
  • Team work
  • Communication, pharmacy law and ethics
  • Person-centred care
  • Health and Safety in the workplace
Course Details
Online Course Cost
See Apprenticeship funding section
Minimum 15 month duration (including EPA), extended pro rata for learners working less than 30 hours a week

Ofsted Good Provider


European Social Fund


NHS SBS Approved Framwork Supplier

Entry Requirements



  • Must have a right to work and abode in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least the previous three years. Additional eligibility rules apply to EEA nationals and non-UK nationals


  • Must be aged 16 years old or above


  • Must hold a contract of employment for minimum of 21 hours a week


  • Must work under the supervision of a registered healthcare professional, pharmacist or pharmacy technician for the duration of the apprenticeship


  • Cannot be in full time education or enrolled onto another government funded programme


  • Cannot hold an equivalent qualification at the same level


  • Cannot hold a level 4 qualification or above, unless the qualification is "materially different" from the apprenticeship. Queries in relation to prior qualifications will be individually assessed by our specialist tutors


For candidates who are not eligible for apprenticeship funding, Buttercups Training offers privately funded alternatives:






  • The workplace is in England


  • Must provide a registered healthcare professional, pharmacist or pharmacy technician to oversee and support the apprentice’s training


  • Must provide off-the-job (OTJ) training during the apprentice's normal paid working hours.
    • This will be approximately 325 hours over the apprenticeship which is the equivalent to 6 - 7 hours a week
    • Additional time must be given if the learner needs to undertake additional maths or English training, such as Functional Skills


  • Must provide workplace environment and/or arrange a placement that allows the learner to:

    • Have regular opportunities to dispense a wide range of medicines for named patients
    • Be able to order, receive, maintain and issues pharmaceutical stock
    • Have opportunities to communicate and provide advice to patients/carers and other healthcare professionals


Enrolment Process


As a training provider, we need to ensure that the apprenticeship funding rules as set out by the Education and Skills Funding Agency are met when enrolling a prospective learner on to an apprenticeship. This involves an in-depth process that takes on average six weeks to complete. However, this is dependent timeliness with which employers and their learners provide the necessary data to complete all the steps in the processes.




To start the enrolment process, click here



Programme Overview



The programme focuses on supporting the learner to develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours as set out by the apprenticeship standard covering the following areas:


  • Dispensing and supply of medicines and medicinal products


  • Team work


  • Communication, pharmacy law and ethics


  • Person-centred care


  • Health and safety in the workplace




All learners are required to undertake the following:



  • An initial assessment in maths and English during the enrolment process


  • Functional Skills in maths and English at level 1 or 2 as a mandatory part of this programme, unless acceptable exemption evidence is provided during the enrolment process


  • Additional foundation learning in maths/English depending on outcome of the initial assessment




There are minimum duration requirements set out by the government for this programme for the practical training of this programme:


  • Learners contracted 30+ hours a week - 12 months for full time learners (contracted 30+ hours a week)


  • Learners contracted 21 - 29 hours a week - extended pro rata for part time learners up to 18 months


The learners MUST be employed by their employer for at least a further 3 months after this minimum duration period to allow for end-point assessment. This takes the overall minimum employment period to 15 months for full time learners.




Learners will be required to undertake an end-point assessment (EPA) to achieve this apprenticeship standard. The EPA is an external assessment and takes place at the end of the apprenticeship and consists of three elements:


  • Multiple choice Knowledge Test


  • Simulated Observation with question and answer session


  • Professional discussion around the learner’s portfolio of evidence




On completion of this programme learners will receive with an overall Pharmacy Services Assistant Apprenticeship certificate issued by the government. They will also be issued with a Buttercups Training dispensing assistant certificate which meets the GPhC minimum training requirements for dispensing assistants / pharmacy assistants.




Apprenticeship Funding


The PSA is an apprenticeship programme that must be funded through an employer’s apprenticeship service account. The maximum cost for the PSA apprenticeship programme, set out by the funding band, is £5000.


Levy employers pay for the apprenticeship through their levy fund.


Non-levy employers pay 5% towards the overall cost of the programme directly with the remaining 95% funded by the government. For this PSA programme, this will be a maximum cost of £250+VAT.


For further information about apprenticeship funding, including how to find out whether you are a levy or non-levy paying employer, please visit our apprenticeship information page.


You may be entitled to an incentive payment from the government by hiring a 16 to 18 year old. Please visit the government website for more information.

Course Features
Workplace training supervisors complete with a short training course prior to enrolment to help them understand their role
Interactive e-learning teaching platform containing case studies, embedded professional standards and hotspots
Flexible learning activities including e-learning activities, virtual classrooms and expert patient videos
Functional Skills included in the programme - developing important maths and English skills Tailored training plan
Regular contact with Buttercups tutor throughout the programme
Progress reviews at the end of each period of training