The Learning and Development team has been busy helping students during the lockdown. Here are just some of the courses that help to upskill members of the pharmacy team.
Medicines counter and dispensing course
This new combined level 2 course will allow pharmacy staff to work on the medicines counter and in the dispensary, to meet the GPhC’s minimum training requirements for this type of role.
Heenal Malde, Lead Learning and Development Pharmacist at the NPA, says the pharmacy landscape is changing constantly and pharmacy support staff are often encouraged to upskill to keep up with the demands.
She says: “This course is particularly valuable for members as they can employ new staff members, or upskill retail staff, as it allows them to complete their training both over the medicines counter and in the dispensary, under the supervision of the pharmacist.”
Heenal adds that it is vital that the skill-set of pharmacy staff is utilised in the most efficient way.
She says: “Dispensing and pharmacy assistants are often the first member of staff a customer will encounter, so appropriate training is essential. The course is also a great stepping stone for progression onto pre-registration pharmacy technician training and a career as a pharmacy technician.”
BTEC level 3 Diploma – Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Technicians
In addition to being fully accredited by the GPhC, this course is awarded by Pearson, so pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians will receive a nationally recognised, specialist and professional BTEC Diploma.
Louise Baglole, Head of Learning and Development at the NPA, says: “This diploma is unlike others in the marketplace. It is an integrated course tailored to suit the needs of the learner and the pharmacy, at a time when pharmacy is changing, and the responsibility and professional recognition of pharmacy technicians is growing.”
The course, to be completed over two years, comprises 22 self-study books that constitute the underpinning knowledge and competency. Competency is assessed by assessor observations in the workplace.
Louise says: “It gives flexibility for the employee to train and learn how they want to. This course also gives you credits to further qualifications, which other approved courses don’t.”
Accuracy checking for dispensers
This course is written and designed to enable dispensers to undertake accuracy checks on dispensed prescription items competently, in accordance with the pharmacy’s own standard operating procedures (SOPs). As part of the course, learners are assessed independently and accredited by NPA Learning and Development Pharmacists to undertake this responsible role.
Louise says the course aims to give members the peace of mind to fully optimise the skill mix within the pharmacy team: “Essentially, it gives helps to upskill the dispenser, giving them a greater role in the workplace and freeing up time for the pharmacist.”
NPA Learning Academy
NPA’s online learning platform is an interactive way to carry out training. It converts NPA courses that were previously only available in paper into an eLearning format, making them available online as well as on mobile devices.
Sureena Clement, Lead Learning and Development Pharmacist at the NPA, says the Learning Academy has proved to be very beneficial during the Covid-19 lockdown with much of the learning being done remotely.
“Our members have been able to meet their training needs during the lockdown as students have been able to access the learning online from the comfort of their own homes.”
She adds that pre-reg students have also benefited from the platform: “It’s been really good for the pre-reg students we’ve worked with as we’ve been able to host remote webinars, study days and mock exams. The Learning Academy provided a great platform for this.”
For more information on all NPA courses go to www.npa.co.uk/learning-and-development