Programme Details
Study Method
Paper or Online
Delivery Plan Duration
12-23 Months
Programme Cost
Contact us for current employer contributions

Apprenticeship in Pharmacy

Programme Overview
Levy-Paying Employers

Buttercups Training continues to have capacity for apprenticeship starts for all age groups (16+). Please contact us to discuss how you can make the best use of your levy pot.

Non-Levy-Paying (SME) Employers

Buttercups Training has funding available for apprentices aged 16 - 18, so applications for 16 - 18 learners can continue to come through to us as normal, provided the apprentice will be 18 or under at the time of their start date onto the apprenticeship programme with us.

For apprentices based at small to medium sized employers we have been given a contract allocation by the government body, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), for use for apprenticeship starts up to April 2019. As apprenticeships have proved very popular, we submitted a request for contract growth in July 2018. This month, we received notification from the ESFA that unfortunately our growth request was not approved and therefore as a result we have reached our current contract allowance for learners aged 19+ and do not have funding available for now for any further learners in this age group to enrol onto the apprenticeship programme with us (non-funded options remain available).

Please rest assured that we are dedicated in our work to promote and encourage apprenticeships as an option for training and we will be applying again for growth if the ESFA open another growth request window. We also expect a full contract review and extension for starts from April 2019. For any growth requests we submit to the ESFA, it can add weight to our application if we can provide the names of employers who are interested in apprenticeship funding. If you are happy for us to include your company name on our next submission to the ESFA, please let us know by sending an email to This will not be used for any marketing purposes, it will solely be your company name listed on the application to show the ESFA that there is great demand for apprenticeship funding from SME employers.

In the meantime we are, as always, able to offer non-funded programmes for the training needs of any learners aged 19+, so please contact us for further information.

The Apprenticeship in Pharmacy Programme provides learners with skills and knowledge regarding legal aspects and procedures within a dispensary. This programme meets the GPhC minimum training requirements for dispensing assistants / pharmacy assistants.

The Apprenticeship programme consists of the BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Pharmaceutical Science, Level 2 Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (NVQ), Functional Skills Level 1 in Maths and English, and Employee Rights and Responsibilities Workbook. If the learner is exempt from Functional Skills Level 1 in Maths and / or English they will need to complete Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths and / or English, unless their existing qualifications also exempt them from Level 2. Buttercups Training has direct contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to access funding for the Apprenticeship in Pharmacy programmes. Learners enrolled onto the Level 2 Apprenticeship programme who work 30 hours per week or more must be on programme for a minimum of 12 months before their completion of the programme. For part time learners, the minimum duration must be extended as per the calculations in the Education and Skills Funding Agency funding rules. Upon enrolment, personalised Delivery Plans are issued which accommodate the minimum duration requirements for the programme.

To be eligible for Apprenticeship funding, the following criteria must be met:

  • Learners must live and work in England and have been a resident in the EU for a minimum of 3 years
  • Learners cannot be in full time education and must be aged 16 years old or above
  • Learners must hold a National Insurance Number
  • Learners must hold a contract of employment and be working a minimum of 21 contracted hours per week
  • Learners cannot be enrolled onto another government funded programme
  • Learners cannot hold a Level 4 qualification or above, unless the qualification is "materially different" from the Apprenticeship in Pharmacy framework. Any queries in relation to prior qualifications and their content in relation to the Apprenticeship programme will be passed to our Principal Pharmacist
  • At least 20% off the job training must be delivered, in relation to the apprentice's contracted working hours. Off the job training includes online learning, practical training through shadowing and mentoring, alongside learning support and time spent writing assessments and assignments. Buttercups Training will work with the employer to agree a training plan prior to enrolment. Please note, time within work for any Functional Skills courses must be allowed in addition to this 20% off the job training for the BTEC and NVQ courses.
  • Learners must be on programme for a minimum of 12 months from their start date with Buttercups Training if they are contracted to work 30 hours or above. For learners who are contracted to work 21-29 hours per week, the minimum duration of the programme will be extended, pro rata.

Enrolment packs for funded programmes must be posted to:

Buttercups Training Limited,
Buttercups House,
Castlebridge Office Village,
Castle Marina Road,
Nottingham NG7 1TN

If you are based within a Dispensing Doctors Practice without a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician, please visit the Apprenticeship Programme (No GPhC Registrant Supervision)

Key Features
Full BTEC certificate for the underpinning knowledge, with option for merit or distinction
Functional Skills - developing important Maths and English skills
Regular contact at least every 9-12 weeks for a formal review with adjusted target setting
For non-levy paying employers, the co-investment model is in place so employers will just need to contribute 10% of the Funding Band for the programme. The exception being if the apprentice has RPL for the Apprenticeship programme.