The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has agreed to introduce new education and training requirements and learning outcomes for all pharmacy support roles.

The GPhC said its council meeting on Thursday decided to move forward with the new requirements considering the feedback received from consultation and engagement with the pharmacy sector, pharmacy support staff, pharmacy professionals, members of the public and education and training providers.

The Council also agreed that the GPhC should continue to set requirements for the education and training of pharmacy support staff and to accredit courses.

“Pharmacy support staff play a very important role in providing pharmacy services to patients and the public. All members of the pharmacy team must have the education and training they need to undertake their important roles safely and effectively,” said Duncan Rudkin, GPhC chief executive.

The previous requirements only covered medicines counter assistants and dispensing assistants while the new requirements will cover all support staff who have roles in dispensing and supply of medicines and medical devices; advising on the use of medicines and medical devices; and assisting in the provision of pharmacy services.

A set of updated criteria for use in the accreditation of courses has also been developed.

Next year, the regulator will set and communicate the date from which any new course will need to meet the revised criteria for accreditation.

“I want to thank everyone who took part in our consultations and engagement on our proposals. We have made significant changes to our original proposals based on their feedback and look forward to implementing our new approach,” Rudkin said.

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