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Pre-reg technicians won't require pharmacist supervision from autumn

Pharmacists will also no longer be able to automatically register as a technician from August 31
Pharmacists will also no longer be able to automatically register as a technician from August 31

Trainee pharmacy technicians will have the option to be supervised by fellow technicians, rather than a pharmacist, from autumn, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said.

The regulator proposed allowing pre-registration technicians “to train under the direction, supervision or guidance of a pharmacy technician or pharmacist” in 2016.

At its council meeting last week (March 8), the GPhC “proposed that the changes come into effect on August 31, 2018, in advance of the 2018-19 academic year”.

August 31 is also the date when “current or recently registered pharmacists in the UK” will no longer be able “to register automatically as a pharmacy technician”, it added.

Pharmacist supervision “undermining”

The GPhC noted last year that feedback from its consultation on education and training standards for pharmacy technicians had shown “strong support” for allowing qualified technicians to supervise their pre-reg colleagues.

Respondents stressed that supervising technicians “should be appropriately trained and experienced”, which the council said at the time that it agreed with.

The GPhC also reported last year that pre-reg technicians had said that “being supervised by their registered peers was the ideal, and having to defer to another profession for their competence to be confirmed was undermining”.

12 Comments
Question: 
What do you think about the GPhC's decision?

Helen Pinney, Pharmacy technician

Why are people reading this as though this is regarding supervision of work? It’s supervision of training - a qualified technician has done the course so is in a perfect position to train a pre-reg tech. 

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

There is only one answer, technicians are not a legally required species, we have to save Pharmacy from them: manage them out of the sector. Those who employ technicians are cutting their own throats, if this is within your power (I mean most independants), don't employ them (this may be difficult for multiples, because these poorly trained school leavers are cheaper than pharmacists). I think pharmacists working in chains will be forced to work with them. The big companies are relying on technicians to save them money. The other side of the coin is these 'technicians' which the GPhC chooses to 'regulate' will become another source of income and safeguard these pharmaceutical parasites' pensions.

CAPT FX, Locum pharmacist

I find this so buffling. I think the thinking in this article underlines the chaos in Pharmacy. Are Pharmacy Technicians professionals? If they are Professionals , are they a separate Profession from Pharmacists. I suppose this is why there are the palpable parallel work flows in Pharmacies and the resulting chaos.

Jacqueline Davies, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

Am I being silly here? In the SOP's it clearly states 'Responsible Pharmacist' with all the rules and regulations regarding this. if Technicians no longer have to defer to a pharmacist, will they be signing a 'Responsible technician' sign in and out each day? I really don't feel comfortable with this at all. there is a clear difference between a technician and a pharmacist and their roles and training. How do the powers that be explain this?. Doh1 forgot, the accountants do 'cos they know better don't they?!?. soon we'll have the 'pfogof'. Pay for one get one free. Ridiculous!
 

bilal hussain, Community pharmacist

"The GPhC also reported last year that pre-reg technicians had said that “being supervised by their registered peers was the ideal, and having to defer to another profession for their competence to be confirmed was undermining”."

This is ridiculous. The GPhC must have found the one pre-reg in the entire country who had enough time to complain about their tutor.

A dispenser feels offended that to become a technician they have to learn from a pharmacist? Isn't this the best, for patient-safety amongst other reasons? A dispensers biggest concern when training to become a technician should be to train at such a level that they protect the public, not to train at a level which puts huge emphasis on the possible offence they feel instead.

Technicians have an important job which can cause a lot of damage if incorrectly carried out. They should be given the best training possible.

locums locumen, Community pharmacist

The naivety of pharmacist in general suprises me. The long term plan is to replace pharmacist with technicians to manage and control cost by multiples and increase profit margin and dividend payments to their shareholders. 

The pharmacist will eventually be humiliated out of the profession, standing on the counter, selling toiletries, painkiller and sleep aid. All in the name of increasing the accesibility and visibility of the scientists on the high street. Technicians becoming managers,and with the tacit support of the management, and instructing pharmacist to clinically screen or check prescription first thing in the morning, whilst been shunted to the counter for the rest of the day. 

Where is the dream clinical services that freeing up our time to do, by delegating our accuracy checking of prescription to suitably trained professional? 

It is essentially a prelude to a professional extinction.

We can bury our head in the sand and voice our opinion. The dream of owning a pharmacy is dead for most pharmacist, locuming is on its last legs. 

We are ceeding more control and power without getting anything in return. No one gets catches cancer by choice, allowing the registration of another group under our professional body is an own goal. 

Female Tech, Pharmacy technician

I didn't find referring to a pharmacist in the least bit undermining. In fact discussions and assistance from various pharmacists increased my knowledge and therefore my competence.

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

You're welcome..!!!

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

From where does the comment "that having to defer to another profession for their competence to be confirmed was undermining" originate? Is that one individual's opinion or that of APTUK or GPhC? Are we all part of one profession or are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians completely separate?

Andy Burrells, Community pharmacist

Dear Ben,
I was always under the impression that collaborative education was the aim of both the Council and RPS. I was also under the impression that referring and deferring to areas of expertise was encouraged by all bodies of leadership... Maybe the GPhC could enlighten me?

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

In fact, I'll go one further; does having to refer to and working alongside and under the authority of a member of another profession (a pharmacist) undermine the first profession in a community setting?  Is this why we're having the supervision debate?!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

 "that having to defer to another profession for their competence to be confirmed was undermining" 

First of all, how is a PHARMACY technician a different Profession from a PHARMACIST???

Do they not understand the fact that, even after qualifying as a technician, they still have to DEFER (or follow instructions) to/of the other professional, i.e the RESPONSIBLE PHARMACIST ??????

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