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Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) Apprenticeship

This is the ONLY apprenticeship programme currently on the market which meets the new standards for pharmacy technicians.

Course Details
Online Course Cost
Available for funding through the levy account. 5% co-investment required for non-levy employers
Course Category
24 month minimum duration for learners working 30 hours per week or more
Accredited by
The content of this course is accredited by the GPhC
European Social Fund


This programme of learning is based on the new apprenticeship standard for pharmacy technicians, issued in July 2019. The standard covers ten main areas for development as a pharmacy technician:


  • Duty 1 - achieve the best possible outcome through a person’s medicines by managing, ordering, receiving, maintaining and supplying medicines and other pharmaceutical products safely, legally and effectively, whilst meeting the regulatory standards
  • Duty 2 - provide person-centred health advice to all patients
  • Duty 3 - support the management of the day to day operation of the pharmacy, eg clinical governance, business operation and processes, including where appropriate the supervision of members of staff
  • Duty 4 - provide training to pharmacy and the wider healthcare teams. e.g. for a new member of staff
  • Duty 5 - maintain a quality service through auditing and evaluating the service and processes, and respond to feedback
  • Duty 6 - advise people, in a wide range of settings, on the safe and effective use of their medicines and devices
  • Duty 7 - manage your own professional and personal development
  • Duty 8 - ensure patient safety, by promoting safe practices, and the effective use of systems
  • Duty 9 - provide specialist services in response to local and national needs and initiatives
  • Duty 10 - respond appropriately to medical emergencies.


Following the minimum training period, the learner will undergo an end-point assessment. For learners working 30 hours per week or more, the minimum training period is 24 months. For learners working 21 to 29 hours per week the minimum training period will be extended pro rata.


For full details of the standard please click here.


The new standard is set out to emphasise the focus on person-centred professionalism in conjunction with communication and team working. The integration of learning and experience during the training programme allows the apprentice to acquire the knowledge and skills required and facilitates the achievement of the new standard.


The apprenticeship programme is also recognised as a route to registration by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to meet their Initial Education and Training (IET) Standards for Pharmacy Technicians. Completion of this programme, however, does not guarantee registration as a pharmacy technician. That will be subject to further checks on health, character and work experience by the GPhC.


Please read our programme information pack before enrollingPTI cover Download programme information pack

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

  • Learners must work under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician
  • 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 (maximum 45 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 towards the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the standard. 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 the 20% off-the-job training
  • Learners must be on programme for a minimum of 24 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
  • Learners must meet the pre screening criteria in relation to: health and character, current ability and current level of maths, English and science knowledge
  • Learners must have a Workplace Training Supervisor in place for the duration of the programme

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 Update

Buttercups is accepting applications with planned starts for any apprentices from late August onwards due to the new funding contract year starting on 1st August 2020.


Non-Levy-Paying (SME) Employers

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) have released access to funding for small and medium sized employers via the Digital Apprenticeship Service account. The Digital Apprenticeship Service now allows an employer to reserve funding for a maximum of 10 apprentices.


If you are interested in apprenticeships, please contact us by phone or email to for further information on how to start the process to access the funding through the Digital Apprenticeship Service.


As always, we are 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)
Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) Pharmacy Technician Training Programme Dispenser Development Programme for Dispensing Doctors (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.

Government Employer Incentives

The government has announced incentive payments which are available for employers who hire an apprentice between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021. The apprentice must be a new employee to the business, have a contract of employment start date between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021 (inclusive) and must not have been employed by the employer within the six months prior to the contract start date. The apprentice must also start their programme with Buttercups Training between 1st August 2020 and 31st January 2021, therefore in January 2021 we will have final deadlines for paperwork submission to meet this requirement.


The grants available are:

  • £2000 for any apprentice aged between 16 and 24 on their enrolment to the programme with Buttercups Training
  • £1500 for any apprentice aged 25+ on their enrolment to the programme with Buttercups Training


The employer must use the Digital Apprenticeship Service account to apply for the incentive payment. The payments will be split into two payments with 50% received 90 days after the programme start date should the apprentice still be in learning, then 50% received after 365 days. The employer must have the following evidence on file to support their claim:

  • Confirmation of the apprentice's date of birth (which will be documented within the Commitment Statement completed for the apprenticeship application)
  • An Apprenticeship Agreement (which will be issued after enrolment on the programme)
  • Confirmation of an employment contract (responsibility of the employer)
  • Confirmation the apprentice is a new employee (responsibility of the employer, this can include payroll evidence or vacancy and recruitment documentation)
Course Features
Regular contact at the end of each period of training for a formal review (4-5 weeks for learners working to a 24 month duration. Training periods will be extended for learners working for fewer than 30 hours / week, reflected on the agreed training plan)
Workplace training supervisors are provided with a short training course prior to the apprentice being enrolled to help them understand their role
Interactive e-learning teaching platform containing case studies, embedded professional standards and hotspots
Successful completion with relevant experience will allow for registration as a pharmacy technician
Flexible learning activities including e-learning activities, virtual classrooms and expert patient videos
Functional Skills - developing important maths and English skills
Tailored training plan