NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Service Skills

Most hospital Trusts in the South West provide training placements for preregistration trainee pharmacy technicians. A leaflet is available with details of the Training Scheme for Hospital Pharmacy Technicians pdf (Updated October 2015).

To become a registered pharmacy technician, candidates undergo a two year training programme. This consists of work-related training and assessment in order to achieve a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service skills, and a taught course - BTEC Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science to cover the underpinning knowledge requirement, provided on a block release basis at Somerset College.

Entry requirements:

Normally 4 GCSE passes (grade C or above) or equivalent qualifications are required. However, other entry qualifications may be acceptable for mature students and students with previous pharmacy experience.

 ESF Poster


Students must demonstrate competence in fourteen core units and three optional units to obtain the full NVQ. Individual units can also be completed to top-up existing qualifications.

Core Units:

Unit 301 Provide an effective and responsive pharmacy service
Unit 302 Process pharmaceutical queries
Unit 202 Ensure your own actions reduce the risks to health and safety.
Unit 304 Reflect on and develop your practice
Unit 305 Receive prescriptions from individuals
Unit 306 Confirm prescription validity
Unit 307 Assemble prescribed items
Unit 308 Issue prescribed items
Unit 309 Prepare extemporaneous medicines for individual use
Unit 310 Order pharmaceutical stock
Unit 311  Receive pharmaceutical stock
Unit 312 Maintain pharmaceutical stock
Unit 313  Issue pharmaceutical stock
Unit 314 Undertake an in-process accuracy check of assembled prescribed items prior to the final check
Optional Units:   
Unit 317 Manufacture and assembly of medicinal products
Unit 318 Prepare aseptic products and carry out in-process checking
Unit 319 Prepare documentation, materials and other items for manufacture and assembly of medicinal products
Unit 213 Prepare documentation, materials, components and other items for the preparation of aseptic products
Unit 321 Check documentation, starting materials, components and other consumables for the production of aseptic products
Unit 203 Contribute to the effectiveness of teams

Workplace assessments:

A regional training manual is provided for each student. Students are assessed in the workplace by trained NVQ assessors, and regional internal quality assurers visit the centres to verify the quality of the assessment process. Documentation for conducting NVQ work-based assessments has been prepared for all students and assessors to use.


Pharmacy Apprenticeship Block Release Dates: 2017-18

Year 1 Block Release Dates:

Autumn Term w/c 16 October 2017   w/c 20 November 2017 
Spring Term w/c 5 February 2018 & w/c 12 March 2018
Summer Term w/c 21 May 2018 & w/c 18 June 2018

Year 2 Block Release Dates:

Autumn Term w/c 25 September 2017 & w/c 6 November 2017
Spring Term w/c 15 January 2018 & w/c 26 February 2018
Summer Term w/c 23 April 2018 & w/c 4 June 2018