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General Practice Pharmacy Technician Medicines Optimisation Training Programme

Programme Introduction

The GP Pharmacy Technician Training Programme was developed in collaboration between HEE Wessex Primary Care Training Hub and Pharmacy Workforce Development South and piloted in 2019.

The programme is a competency based framework designed specifically to meet the training and learning needs of pharmacy technicians working in primary care/general practice. The programme provides assessment of competence across a variety of tasks and holistic practice and delivers the underpinning knowledge to support these tasks. The programme supports the pharmacy technician to demonstrate that they can safely deploy the knowledge; skills and behaviors required for safe practice relevant to their role and provides the assurance needed for safe delegation of tasks and practice autonomy for the pharmacy technician.

PWDS has aligned the PWDS/HEE GP Pharmacy Technician Training Programme to the APTUK/PCPA National Competency Framework (NCF) for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians in recognition of the importance of this framework in supporting the support safe practice and professionalism in primary care, inform the education and training requirements and further the professional development of pharmacy technicians working in primary care. The GPPT programme has been formally approved by APTUK as meeting the requirements of this nationally recognised framework.

Entry Criteria

The following prerequistes must be met before application

The programme offers structured medicines optimisation training and assessment for pharmacy technicians working in primary care roles including GP practices.

At this time we are not able to offer this training to pharmacy technicians who are funded by the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) in Primary Care Networks (PCNs), due to the requirement for them to undertake the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) as a condition of funding (correct as of December 2021).

Trainees who are funded outside of the PCN ARRS are welcome to apply to undertake the training programme.

Entry Criteria:

  • You must be a registered pharmacy technician working in General Practice/Primary Care
  • You MUST NOT BE employed by a PCN using Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) e.g.  you should be directly employed by the practice or CCG
  • You must have agreement from your practice to study the programme
  • You must access to a pharmacist or occupationally competent pharmacy technician locally who will act in the capacity of educational supervisor for the programme and undertake local observations and assessment of practice

Please contact to the programme director to discuss enrolment.

Programme Details

The training and assessment programme consists of 4 modules delivered over a 14 month pathway

Module 1

  • Unit 1 – Medicines Optimisation in Primary Care (underpinning knowledge)

Module 2:

  • Unit 1 – Effective Consultations
  • Unit 2 – Clinical Knowledge and its Application
  • Unit 3 – Medicines Safety

Module 3:

  • Unit 1 – Manage Medication Request and Issue
  • Unit 2 – Manage and Respond to Medication Related Queries
  • Unit 3 – Level 1 Medication Review
  • Unit 4 – Medicines Reconciliation

Module 4:

  • Unit 1 – Medication Switching (optional)
  • Unit 2 – Audit and Quality Improvement

Each module has its own learning pathway that supports the trainee to complete all of the necessary underpinning knowledge and evidence collection to achieve formal sign off and certification.

Underpinning knowledge to support development of competence is delivered by;

Self-directed and in house learning:

  • Reading
  • E-Learning and online activities
  • Practical activities

Virtual study events (facilitated by PWDS):

  • Programme Induction
    • Understand the structure and format of the training and assessment programme and initiate learners into the programme
  • 3 single Practice Development Events
    • One in each module from module 2 to 4
    • Bringing learners together to share best practice and undertake scenario work that facilitates reflection on current practice
    • Deliver underpinning knowledge to support professional development
    • Deliver targeted content to support journey through training (e.g. reflective practice)

Further details can be found at the FAQs here

Our trainees say:

‘The GP Pharmacy Technician Medicines Optimisation Programme covers everything a Pharmacy Technician working in General Practice would need in their day-to-day role. We are now able to prove that we are competent in the tasks that are expected of us and have learnt best practices and ways of approaching tasks we hadn’t previously considered. The layout of the course encourages completion of tasks in a realistic and holistic way which allowed for efficient evidence collection. The course leaders are approachable and accommodating in their support to trainees individual needs. We now feel as though we are better Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians because of this course’  HS & CS

Method of Delivery​

Virtual Induction Day

Virtual Programme Development Events

Trainees undertaking the programme MUST attend all of these scheduled events

Method of Assessment​

Demonstration of competence is achieved through local practical skills evidence collection and using the following assessment methods:

  • Accuracy logs – second checked processes
  • Competency based observations and level of entrustment assessment
  • Reflection on practice through written case studies across a range of experiences
  • Case based discussion
  • Submission of electronic portfolio of evidence for assessment by PWDS

GPPT Documents & Templates

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Frequently Asked Questions

Please read our comprehensive FAQs before submitting an enquiry

Questions about this Programme

The programme comprises of 4 Modules. The units within these modules deliver the knowledge, and skills that contribute to the skill set necessary to meet safe and effective practice for pharmacy technicians working in primary care. The structure facilitates the development of additional modules and units to reflect the developing role and training needs of primary care pharmacy technicians in the future, supporting the career progression and development of this workforce. The training and assessment programme consists of: Module 1 • Unit 1 – Medicines Optimisation in Primary Care (underpinning knowledge) Module 2: • Unit 1 – Effective Consultations • Unit 2 – Clinical Knowledge and its Application • Unit 3 – Medicines Safety Module 3: • Unit 1 - Manage Medication Request and Issue • Unit 2 - Manage and Respond to Medication Related Queries • Unit 3 - Level 1 Medication Review • Unit 4 - Medicines Reconciliation Module 4: • Unit 1 – Medication Switching • Unit 2 – Audit and Quality Improvement Each module has a learning pathway that supports and guides the trainee to undertake all of the necessary underpinning knowledge and evidence collection to complete the programme. In modules 3 and 4, the programme assesses the trainee’s competency in tasks appropriate to pharmacy technician practice in primary care. These competency-based assessments are included in the assessment strategy to ensure that the pharmacy technician can demonstrate safe, accurate and competent practice in these particular tasks and provides the assurance needed for independent practice. The programme structure supports the demonstration of competence in line with core practice criteria from the APTUK/PCPA National Competency Framework (NCF) for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians.
At this time we are only able to offer this training to pharmacy technicians who are NOT funded by the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) in Primary Care Networks (PCNs) due to the current requirement for ARRS funded pharmacy technicians to undertake the CPPE Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) as a condition of this funding (correct as of December 2021)
Each module has a learning duration and the total programme takes 14 months to complete. As with any professional/personal development there is an expectation that trainees will undertake some of the learning in their own time.
In order to compete the programme trainees must be allocated an educational supervisor who is an appropriately experienced pharmacist, a pharmacy technician who has completed the HEE/PWDS GPPT programme or a pharmacy technician or other registered healthcare professional who has equivalent experience at the practice base to be acknowledged as occupationally competent. The educational supervisor does not need to be based at the same site as the trainee. In the modules there are planned observations of practice which will require them to be with the trainee, but this can be undertaken remotely. An educational supervisor guide document is available to support educational supervisors in understanding their role in the assessment of the trainee through the modules/programme.
The role of the education supervisor is to assess trainee competence through observation of practice and some assessment of the trainee’s written evidence. The educational supervisor has a role in supporting the trainee to complete the elements of the programme locally including underpinning knowledge activities and tasks, and providing any additional support required to achieve this. In each module trainees are required to have ‘regular reviews’ with their educational supervisor to discuss progress etc. Much of the assessment of evidence in the e-portfolio is undertake by Programme Support Officers provided by PWDS so the main role of the educational supervisor is supporting the trainee locally, competency-based observation and assessment of the trainee in practice and some evidence sign off in the e-portfolio.
The NCF published in September 2020 provides a set of core competencies to support safe and effective practice for pharmacy technicians in primary care roles. The framework intends to support training providers (such as PWDS) to develop and deliver training programmes that meet these standards. The GPPT programme has been ‘mapped’ to the NCF so employers and trainees can be assured that the programme provides a structured programme/framework for pharmacy technicians to demonstrate competence against the nationally approved competencies and core practice criteria published in the NCF. PWDS have formal APTUK/PCPA approval of the GPPT programme as meeting the requirements of this nationally recognised framework.
Underpinning knowledge to support development of competence is delivered by: Self-directed and in house learning: • Reading • E-Learning and online activities • Practical activities • Assignments Virtual study events (facilitated by PWDS): • Programme Induction o Understand the structure and format of the training and assessment programme and initiate learners into the programme • Practice Development Events o Bringing learners together in each module to share best practice and undertake scenario work that facilitates reflection on current practice o Deliver underpinning knowledge to support professional development o Deliver targeted content to support journey through training (e.g. reflective practice, supporting others to learn)
Demonstration of competence is achieved through local practical skills evidence collection and using the following assessment methods: • Accuracy logs – second checked processes • Competency based observation and level of entrustment assessment (to support autonomous practice) • Reflection on practice through written case studies across a range of experiences • Case Based Discussion • Submission of electronic portfolio of evidence for final assessment by PWDS
The cost per trainee to undertake the programme is £1,850. This includes the virtual induction and practice development events, access to e-portfolio (licence), allocation of a programme support officer and full assessment of the e-portfolio with formal certification on completion
Please contact the PWDS GPPT Training Programme Director: Mary Carter at mary.carter1@net or email PWDS at PWDS@uhbw.nhs.uk

General Questions

Answers to most common applications for each stage of the Programme process can be found on our dedicated Frequently Asked Questions page and is usually the quickest and easiest way to resolve most enquiries.

Please ensure you check this page before submitting a contact enquiry. 

Contact

Programme Director

For general enquiries or in case of Programme Director absence:

Email: pwds@uhbw.nhs.uk

Telephone: 0117 342 6677

Useful Links

The development of a National Competency Framework (NCF) for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians has been led by APTUK in collaboration with the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA). The framework provides a set of standard core competencies that underpin the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes required for pharmacy technicians working in and across primary care roles. It is designed to support the safe practice and professionalism required to meet a portfolio of roles across primary care, not limiting to one particular area of practice. It also informs the education and training requirements and provides a basis to further the professional development of pharmacy technicians working in these roles. The framework can be found here: APTUK/PCPA National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians

To understand the role and training needs of a GP pharmacy technician (GPPTs), HEE Wessex CEPN collaborated with PWDS to design a learning needs analysis. Read more about the results of this survey here: https://primarycaredorset.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/GP-Pharmacy-Technician-Role-Learning-Needs-Report-2018.pdf

The Association of Pharmacy Technicians United Kingdom (APTUK) is the national professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians working in all pharmacy sectors across all countries in the UK: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. APTUK work on behalf of pharmacy technicians securing and advocating the pharmacy technician profession and advancing the professions education and scope of practice. Further details regarding APTUK can be found at the website here: https://www.aptuk.org/

Note: These links may lead to other web sites which are not under our control. We are not responsible for the content of any linked site. Listing and linking should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind and we accept no liability in respect of the content. We cannot guarantee that these links will work all of the time and have no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Enrolment

Step One

Application for the GP Pharmacy Technician Medicines Optimisation Training Programme

Duration

14 Months

Costs

PWDS Affiliated Trust
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£1850
Non-PWDS Affiliated Trust:
£1850

Programme Director

Enrolment