Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills

Type of Study
Online, Paper
Pharmacy Support Staff
Study Time
12 months
Online Course Cost
£572 (Exc VAT)
Paper Course Cost
£650 (Exc VAT)
Entry Criteria
Staff working either part or full time in a pharmacy or pharmacy department
Course Overview

The Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills Course provides Dispensing Assistants with skills and knowledge regarding legal aspects and procedures within a dispensary. This course covers use of reference books, interpretation and validation of the prescription, law and ethics, the Drug Tariff, compliance and concordance and dispensing errors.

How will this course benefit me?

This course develops confidence in the dispensary and provides in-depth knowledge and assessment of competence in meeting individuals’ needs, teamwork, health and safety, preparation and issuing of prescribed medicines and the ordering, receipt and storage of pharmaceutical stock. There are additional alternative optional units available for learners working in hospitals.

How is the course delivered?

All our courses are delivered by blended learning. This course benefits from a dedicated website where learners with internet access can download course materials and complete some assignments on-line with immediate feedback. The course consists of 12 modules, and accounts of real life working experiences to be witnessed by a workplace pharmacist or senior pharmacy technician.

The assessment involves multiple choice questions for the underpinning knowledge modules, and written accounts of activities for the competency units, which must be endorsed by a pharmacist or senior pharmacy technician. You will also need to be observed carrying out tasks by an expert witness (pharmacist or senior technician).

The Course Content
Underpinning Knowledge Modules
Module 1
Working in the Pharmacy Team

You will learn about the pharmacy team, the NHS, the importance of Standard Operating Procedures and the interaction between pharmacy and other organisations.

Module 2
Communicating with Pharmacy Customers

Here you'll consider customer care and how to communicate effectively.

Module 3
Law, Regulations and Health and Safety within the Pharmacy

This module covers the laws relating to medicines, poisons and health and safety.

Module 4
Receiving a Prescription

This module covers the requirements for a prescription, how to understand what is written on one , procedures and records related to them as well as actions to take if the prescription is not valid.

Module 5
The Drug Tariff

This useful resource gives you all the information you need to calculate how you will be paid for supplying a prescribed medicine and how to endorse prescriptions. This module guides you how to use it.

Module 6
Controlled Drugs

Here you will learn about the requirements for storage and records for Controlled Drugs.

Module 7

Here you will gain a working knowledge of common calculations required in the pharmacy.

Module 8
Assembling a Prescription

This module covers assembly of a prescription, storage and labelling and the key points to remember.

Module 9
Giving Out a Prescription and Patient Counselling

Here you will learn about your role when issuing prescribed medicines and how and who to refer to when necessary.

Module 10
Ordering, Receiving, Storing and Issuing Stock

Effective pharmaceutical stock management is essential for the safe supply of medicines and you will learn about how you can contribute to an effective service

Module 11
Medicines for Veterinary Use

Veterinary medicines can be supplied through a pharmacy and you will learn about the special legislation and reference sources required.

Module 12
Dispensing Errors

Sadly dispensing errors occur, but having an awareness of the common types of errors and their causes help the pharmacy staff to reduce the risk. Here you'll learn about risk assessment and the importance of recording errors - those that reach the patient and those that don't.

Mandatory Competency Units (you must complete all 3 units)
Assist with the provision of a pharmacy service to meet individuals’ needs

Ensure your own actions reduce risks to health and safety

Contribute to the effectiveness of teams

Optional Competency Units (you must complete 4 units)
Assist in the sale of medicines and products

Assist in prescribed items

Assist in the issuing of pharmaceutical stock

Assist in the manufacture and assembly of medicinal products

Prepare aseptic products

Prepare documentation, materials, components and other items for the preparation of aseptic products

Assist in the preparation of documentation, materials and other items for manufacture and assembly of medicinal products

Assist in the issuing of prescribed items

Receive prescriptions from individuals

Receive pharmaceutical stock

Maintain pharmaceutical stock

Undertake an in-process accuracy check of assembled prescribed items prior to the final accuracy check

Order routine pharmaceutical stock

Expert Witness

Access to an Expert Witness is required in order for a learner to undertake the course. Their role is to observe the learner in the workplace undertaking tasks required to demonstrate competency against various Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria within the Pharmacy Services Skills Programmes.

They are not responsible for assessing evidence against the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria. The evidence of competency provided by the Expert Witness observations is holistically assessed by the learner's allocated Assessor at Buttercups Training.

Expert Witness

This is detailed in the Assessment Strategy as follows:

  • Registered Pharmacist, or;
  • Practising Pharmacy Technician registered with the GPhC:
    • Must be occupationally competent in areas that they are observing
    • Must be able to demonstrate CPD
    • Must be inducted by Centre/Training Provider - this will involve accessing reference materials via a dedicated website, and then taking a short on-line test