Pharmacy Technician Training Programme (Apprenticeship Pathway)
Apprenticeship pathway to meet the Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) apprenticeship standard
The Pharmacy Technician Training Programme (Apprenticeship Pathway) enables learners, with relevant work experience, to apply for registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
This programme will equip learners with the clinical knowledge, confidence, practical and professional skills to practise as pharmacy technicians.
- 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 a minimum of 21 hours a week
- Must work under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician for the duration of the apprenticeship
- Must work alongside a pharmacy registrant for a minimum of 14 hours per week
- Must meet the pre-screening criteria in relation to: health and character, current ability and current level of maths, English and science knowledge
- 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 offers an employer funded alternative, the Pharmacy Technician Training Programme.
- The workplace is in England
- Must provide a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician to oversee and support the apprentice’s training as a workplace training supervisor
- Must provide off-the-job (OTJ) training during the apprentice's normal paid working hours.
- This will be approximately between 690 - 760 hours over the apprenticeship, depending on whether accuracy checking and/or aseptic training is included in the training plan, 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:
- Be able to participate in stock management
- Be able to dispense a wide range of prescriptions
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. Click below to find out more.
Placements, rotations and training plan
As part of the enrolment process, we will ask you for various information. The most common questions we receive concern the following:
- Placement form: a placement form will be required if the candidate’s primary location (lead employer) does not meet the requirements of the programme. For example, a GP Practice without a dispensary would require a placement form. Further guidance is provided during enrolment but please familiarise yourself with our Guidance on workplace suitability for pharmacy technician training towards the GPhC initial education and training standards and Pharmacy Technician Training Programme (Apprenticeship Pathway) Placement Agreement
- Rotation schedule: if your candidate is part of a cross-sector partnership, please ensure that you submit a rotation schedule during the enrolment process. Note that Buttercups Training recommends a job share style rotation, for example, 1 - 2 days a week for the duration of the programme.
- Training Plan for learners receiving additional funding through the Health Education England (HEE) Pharmacy Workforce Expansion Programme: the training plan associated with HEE funding includes ACPT competency
If you are a primary care organisation set up for Pharmacy Technician apprenticeships, before starting the enrolment process, please follow this link for further information around placement requirements specific to your organisation structure
The programme meets all the learning outcomes of the GPhC Initial Education and Training standards, which are integrated into the 10 duties for the Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) apprenticeship standard:
- Duty 1 - achieve the best possible outcome through a person's medicines, 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
- Duty 4 - provide training to pharmacy and the wider healthcare teams
- Duty 5 - maintain a quality service through auditing and evaluating the service and processes, and respond to feedback
- Duty 6 - advise people 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
This programme is recognised as a route to registration by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), to meet its Initial Education and Training (IET) Standards for Pharmacy Technicians. Completion of this programme, however, does not guarantee registration as a pharmacy technician. Registration will be subject to further checks by the GPhC.
Please read our programme information pack before enrolling
All learners are required to undertake the following:
- Initial assessment in science, maths and English during the enrolment process
- Functional Skills in maths and English at level 2 as a mandatory part of this programme, unless acceptable exemption evidence is provided during the enrolment process
- Additional foundation learning in science / maths / English depending on the outcome of the initial assessment
- Learners contracted 30+ hours a week: 24 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 34 months.
*The typical duration once enrolled onto the programme is 24 months for full time learners but this may be reduced by up to 3 months if learners have been employed in a pre-registration pharmacy technician role while waiting to be enrolled onto the apprenticeship programme.
Learners will be required to undertake an end-point assessment (EPA) in order to achieve this apprenticeship standard.
The EPA takes place after the learner has completed all the requirements on programme and their workplace agrees they are competent. The EPA is completed by an external examiner reviewing their portfolio completed during the programme to ensure it meets all the requirements for the apprenticeship. It can take up to four weeks for the EPA to be completed and the learner must remain in employment during this time.
On completion of this programme learners will receive with an overall Pharmacy Technician (Integrated) Apprenticeship certificate issued by the government. They will also be issued with a Buttercups Training certificate which meets the requirements of the Initial Education and Training Standards for Pharmacy Technicians and has been accredited by the GPhC.
The Pharmacy Technician Training Programme (Apprenticeship Pathway) is an apprenticeship programme that must be funded through an employer’s apprenticeship service account. The maximum cost for this apprenticeship programme, set out by the funding band, is £8000.
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 programme, this will be a maximum cost of £400+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.