There are no minimum entry requirements to enter training as a pharmacy technician, although you will usually be expected to have four GCSEs at Grade C or above, or the equivalent, including English, science and maths. You will then need to obtain a trainee post either at a hospital or in a community pharmacy.
Some trusts may offer the chance to train through an apprenticeship for pharmacy technicians. For general information about apprenticeships, please click here
Since 2011, pharmacy technicians are legally required to be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to practise in Great Britain.
To register as a pharmacy technician you need to complete competency and underpinning knowledge-based qualifications which have been approved by the GPhC and which lead to pharmacy technician registration. These qualifications can be studied separately, for example by taking a level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills (QCF) plus a level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science (sometimes referred to as a level 3 technical certificate). It is also possible to take a single qualification, such as the Buttercups Training level 3 or National Pharmacy Association Level 3 qualifications, which combines both the knowledge and the competency elements.
The training usually takes two years to complete and involves a combination of study either at a college or by open learning, plus practical work experience. The GPhC sets the amount of relevant work experience required for registration.
More information about the qualifications required for registration as a pharmacy technician is available from the General Pharmaceutical Council's website.