The University of East Anglia’s school of pharmacy is to become the UK’s first higher education institute to offer a training course for pre-registration pharmacy technicians.
The UEA course, ‘Certificate of Higher Education in Pharmacy Technician Practice (Level 4)’ has been formally accredited by the GPhC and will begin taking candidates from September, with the first cohort expected to be located in the East and South of England before a planned expansion to other regions in 2021.
The course will meet apprenticeship standards and is available to all employers seeking to train pharmacy technicians via this route. It has had input from stakeholders in settings that include community and hospital pharmacy, the NHS Health and Justice depatment and patient representatives.
It will focus on both medicines supply and managerial functions and is designed to help prepare pharmacy technicians “for the expanding clinical role,” according to a statement. Experiential learning will sit alongside a parallel taught course which emphasises putting knowledge into practice.
While training will largely be delivered online, there will be a number of face-to-face days “for elements best delivered in this manner”.
Melanie Boughen, director of pharmacy technician education at UEA, said: “This is a truly exciting moment for my profession and for the school of pharmacy.
“We have a great team of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists preparing materials here at UEA, and everyone is excited about the first students who will start with us in September. Knowing that we engaged extensively with such a variety of stakeholders and sought patient and public involvement gives me great confidence in our program.”
Simon Gibbons, head of the school of pharmacy, said: “I am absolutely delighted that our school have achieved this great success and that UEA is the first university in the United Kingdom to offer this exciting course, which will enhance and further the profession of pharmacy.”