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GPhC commits to ‘parity’ in work with pharmacists and technicians

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GPhC commits to ‘parity’ in work with pharmacists and technicians

The General Pharmaceutical Council has published a new set of criteria against which to judge its regulation of pharmacy technicians, including a commitment to “ensuring parity” of the two pharmacy professions in its communications and “programmes of work”.

The criteria, which were included last week in papers released ahead of the GPhC’s April 13 council meeting, launch amid a “rapid pace of change within pharmacy and healthcare,” said the regulator, explaining that there is increasing focus on utilising Great Britain’s some 25,000 pharmacy technicians as pharmacists provide “greater clinical roles”.  

The GPhC said: “Pharmacy technicians are a maturing profession, with mandatory registration becoming a requirement as recently as 2011.

“With this in mind, there are ongoing challenges with a lack of understanding and acceptance of the profession by some; questions around scope of practice; and limited ongoing career development pathways.”

The GPhC said the new criteria aim to promote a “common understanding” of pharmacy technicians’ knowledge and skills and help ensure its frameworks for safe practice “include both professions”.

In addition to maintaining parity in its approach to both professions, the regulator’s criteria make commitments to emphasising the “positive and complementary differences in knowledge and skills of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in providing safe and effective care,” and increasing “understanding of the education, training, and revalidation requirements for pharmacy technicians to provide clarity and assurance to patients and the public, healthcare professionals and employers”.

It also pledged to develop relationships with pre- and post-registration pharmacy technicians to help it tailor its communications appropriately, and to build on its current relationship with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK).

The regulator commented: “There are an increasing variety of roles across primary and secondary care with and, without some guiding criteria, there is a risk that we do not set a clear regulatory direction in respect of pharmacy technicians. This could limit opportunities to enhance safe and effective care for patients and the public.”

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