Foundation Practice Programme for Registered Pharmacy Technicians
The Foundation Practice Programme is aimed at pharmacy technicians who wish to update their knowledge and skills in line with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) latest professional and training standards. The programme is mapped to the GPhC’s standards for the initial education and training of pharmacy technicians. These standards emphasise the importance of person-centred care, team working, communication and professionalism for pharmacy technicians. In the programme, we will cover some examples of how these principles can be applied to practice, enabling you to develop new skills and contribute to the provision of excellent pharmacy services.
The programme is applicable to pharmacy technicians working in all sectors of practice. It is particularly aimed at pharmacy technicians who completed their initial training using the older education standards for pharmacy technicians that required an NVQ programme.
The Foundation Practice Programme consists of five core modules covering the following topics:
- Person-centred Care
- Evidence-based Medicine
- Medicines Optimisation
- Leadership and Management Part 1
- Leadership and Management Part 2
On completion of the Foundation Practice Programme, an optional module is available: Introduction to Primary Care Practice. This module provides an introduction to working as a pharmacy technician in primary care and is aimed at those who are new to a primary care role, such as working in a GP practice, primary care organisation (e.g. a Primary Care Network) or care home.
The content of the optional module has been mapped to the National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians. This framework has been led by the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK, the professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians) in collaboration with the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA).
Details of how to enrol on the optional module: Introduction to Primary Care Practice, are included on the enrolment form.
Be a qualified pharmacy technician
Learners undertaking the optional module, must have completed the Buttercups Foundation Practice Programme.
How is the programme delivered?
The Foundation Practice Programme and the Introduction to Primary Care Practice module are delivered by online blended learning, incorporating interactive e-learning activities, videos, case studies and work-based assignments. These are hosted on our e-learning platform, the b-Hive.
Timescales for delivery
It is anticipated that the Foundation Practice Programme will take between five and twelve months to complete, allowing a minimum of one month to complete each core module and the associated assignment. In total, the core modules and associated assessments will take around 150 hours to complete.
The optional module, Introduction to Primary Care Practice, will take three months to complete. In total, the teaching content, activities and the work-based assignments will take around 75 hours to complete.
Upon enrolment the learner must supply the name of a workplace mentor who is willing to offer support, guidance and feedback to them during the programme. The mentor will also be responsible for reviewing and submitting work-based assessments.
For the Foundation Practice Programme, the mentor must be a registered pharmacy professional who is either the learner’s line manager or an appropriately experienced colleague who understands the application of person-centred care, evidence-based medicine, medicines optimisation, leadership and management skills to pharmacy practice.
For the optional module, Introduction to Primary Care Practice, the workplace mentor must be a registered healthcare professional who understands the role of a primary care pharmacy technician. The workplace mentor for this optional module may be a different person to the one who acted as mentor for the core modules.
Prior to the learner starting the programme, all mentors will be required to undergo a short online training module to help them understand their role in supporting learners.
After completing an introductory module and signing a learner agreement, the learner will undertake five core modules and a work-based assignment for each module. The content of the five core modules is outlined below:
Introduces person-centred care and how to apply the principles of shared-decision making during consultations with patients. The module covers supporting and communicating with people with different needs, values and beliefs.
Discusses how evidence-based medicine is applied to clinical practice and how pharmacy professionals can ensure that they use reliable sources of medicines-related information. The module covers the use of local and national guidelines to guide clinical decisions.
Introduces the principles of medicines optimisation, taking a medication history, patient counselling, and medication reviews.
Introduces the knowledge and skills required for leadership, including: professionalism, coaching, giving feedback, problem solving, and managing conflict. The module also introduces how effective prescribing in the NHS is achieved through use of guidelines, formularies and shared-care protocols.
This module covers various aspects of clinical governance including: safe and secure handling of medicines, stewardship of medicines, principles of audit, and risk management. It introduces regulation within pharmacy, including the role of GPhC inspections.
The optional module, Introduction to Primary Care Practice, introduces what happens in a GP practice including the roles and responsibilities of the practice team. The module covers a wide range of subjects including: how to conduct an audit, clinical assessment and monitoring, medicines management in care homes, and infection prevention and control.