The Pharmacy Services Assistant Standard provides learners with skills and knowledge regarding a variety of pharmacy and medicines services to patients, the public and other professional healthcare teams. The PSA supports the delivery of pharmacy services in a variety of pharmacy environments, covering the following areas:
- Dispensing and supply of medicines and medicinal products
- Team work
- Communication, pharmacy law and ethics
- Person-centred care
- Health and Safety in the workplace
Assessment includes specific knowledge and skills outcomes that are accompanied by behavioural standards which must be demonstrated as part of the apprenticeship across all areas.
On completion of this programme candidates will also be issued with a Buttercups dispensing assistant certificate which meets the GPhC minimum training requirements for dispensing assistants / pharmacy assistants.
To be eligible for Apprenticeship funding, the following criteria must be met:
- Learner must work under the supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy technician or other accountable healthcare professional
- 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.
Buttercups Training has direct contracts with the Education and Skills Funding Agency to access funding for the Pharmacy Services Assistant apprenticeship. Learners 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, individual training plans are issued which accommodate the minimum duration requirements for the programme.
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
Unfortunately, we have not had our allocation of funding for apprentices based at small to medium sized employers extended. As such, we will not be able to deliver further apprenticeships for non-levy paying employers for the time being. We will update our Latest News section as and when this changes. Please be assured however that we do have funding available to continue delivery to existing apprentices.
This lack of funding is not limited to just Buttercups Training, or even the healthcare sector - funding for apprenticeships for small and medium employers is limited across all sectors: feweek.co.uk
This will also mean that we will be unable to help non-levy paying employers to advertise on the National Apprenticeship Service account for any apprenticeship vacancies.
In the meantime we are, as always, able to offer non-funded programmes for the training needs of any learners. The following non-funded options are available for non-levy paying employers:
|Apprenticeship programme||Non-funded alternative 1||Non-funded alternative 2|
|Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship in Pharmacy (dispensing assistant training)||Dispensing Assistant Course (GPhC accredited and equivalent to level two)||Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills OR Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills (No GPhC Registrant Supervision)|
|Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Pharmacy (pharmacy technician training)||Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician Programme||Senior Dispenser Programme (appropriate for dispensing doctors practices, or dispensaries with no pharmacist or pharmacy technician on site)|
Further information on these alternatives including costs and durations, can be accessed via the above links.
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 from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) as soon as we are able to - however we understand that there are currently no windows planned for this.
Please note, this only affects our non-levy paying employers, we are still able and eager to deliver apprenticeship training to existing and new levy paying customers.