How long have you been qualified as a pharmacy technician?
What did your educational route entail to become a pharmacy technician?
Prior to my technician training, I did standard GCSEs, and I also did A’levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. When I began my pharmacy technician training it was to complete a BTEC in Pharmacy Services and NVQ in Pharmacy Services.
What is your opinion on the ‘grandparent clause’?
I think the grandparent clause is a good thing for technicians who have been working prior to the formal registration process. However, now that registration has been in place for around 7 years I think it should be administered in such a way that standards are maintained and people are not entered onto the register without thorough checks to ensure their experience and training (particularly if from different countries) meets the minimum standard required.
What is your view on education and training for pharmacy technicians? Are they fit for purpose or is improvement required?
I think the training I went through was fit for purpose, however, I understand there has been variation across different sectors and that improvement has been needed to standardise the training. I feel that the improvements in the Initial Education and Training Standards from the GPhC and also the proposed new qualification is a step in the right direction to standardise the training for all pharmacy technicians. However, I am disappointed that the improvements and standardisation have led to the removal of technical services training from the pharmacy technician qualification.
I feel that pharmacy technicians in the aseptic and other manufacturing sectors (particularly when they are operating in Unlicenced (Section 10) units) have a very important role to play in the safe manufacture and provision of Specials. The skills gained in areas such as Store and Distribution when working with other members of the MDT and having an understanding of patient pathways all assist in the delivery of aseptic services.
I hope that further work will continue to develop a Foundation Framework of education and training for all pharmacy technicians within all sectors, of which aseptic and technical services would be one of them.