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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION THAT HAS PASSED THE END DATE: 

Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
102235  Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - HWSETA 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services  Curative Health 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  362  Not Applicable  NQF Level 06  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Passed the End Date -
Status was "Reregistered" 
SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as a Pharmacy Technician (PT). This occupational qualification is intended to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills required as PSP at the level of a PT. The occupational certificate will allow for two part qualifications, Pharmacist's Assistant B at Level 4 and Pharmacist's Assistant Post Basic (PB) at Level 5, thus fulfilling the need for different levels of well-trained Pharmacy Support Personnel (PSP).

This occupational qualification will improve learner access to PSP qualifications and provide an opportunity to those learners who do not wish to pursue the academic (Council on Higher Education) PT qualification and/or wish to remain in the workplace while achieving the qualification.

Successful completion of this qualification, and each of the part qualifications, may enable the learner to register in the relevant PSP category with the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC).

Learners exiting with the PT qualification will be able to assist with:
  • Medicine supply management.
  • Manufacturing of medicines.
  • Dispensing (supplying) of medicine to patients.
  • Providing patient care.
  • Managing pharmacy resources.
  • Apply health and safety regulations, human rights, relevant medical and pharmaceutical law and ethics in the performance of their pharmaceutical duties.
  • Housekeeping and administration relative to pharmaceutical services.

    A PT is a generalist who can operate in the four categories of pharmacy: community, institutional (private or public), manufacturing and wholesale. While the PT works under the direct personal supervision of a pharmacist in a pharmacy they may also work in a primary health care clinic or any other facility approved by Council under the indirect personal supervision of a pharmacist.

    A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Manage medicine supply.
  • Manufacture, package and repackage medicines and scheduled substances.
  • Compound, manipulate and prepare extemporaneous preparations.
  • Dispense medicine to patients.
  • Manage pharmacy resources.

    Rationale:
    South Africa currently has nine pharmacy schools producing a limited number of pharmacists. It is recognised that medicine supply is key to effective delivery of healthcare. Consequently, it is imperative that pharmacy human resources are effectively and efficiently managed to meet the healthcare needs of this country.

    There is an urgent need to increase pharmacy human resources and following a global trend, pharmacy support personnel can fill that manpower gap. The South African Pharmacy Council must ensure that these Pharmacy Support Personnel (PSP) are suitable for the National Health Insurance, the re-engineering of primary healthcare services and for facilitating the State President's initiative, Operation PHAKISA for the ideal clinic realisation. The need to increase the productivity and responsibilities of the PSPs especially in areas around medicine supply chain and dispensing became apparent with the thrust to release the pharmacist to focus more on patient care. The evolution of a more patient-centric role for the pharmacist is a global phenomenon and it is critical that the PSP support this change.

    PSPs may practice in both private and public sector pharmacies. The scope of practice for PSPs allows them to work, under the direct personal supervision of a pharmacist, in four categories of pharmacies i.e. community, institutional (private or public hospital), manufacturing and wholesale pharmacy provided that they are competent to practise and are appropriately registered with Council to practise in that category of pharmacy.

    Typical learners will be school leavers and those working in various categories of pharmacy, but who have no qualification. Benefits to the learner include a nationally recognised qualification and part qualifications that will improve current knowledge skills and competencies in performing support functions in a pharmacy. Further, this qualification provides improved access to acquiring skills as full time employment is no longer a requirement for registration of a learner. Lastly, career pathing and progression is built into the qualification.

    Benefits to the country include the fact that this qualification will serve as a national benchmark for PSP at all three levels Basic (B), Post Basic (PB) and Pharmacy Technician (PT). In addition, there will be improved utilisation of pharmacy human resources and an improvement in the quality of PSP.

    Society will benefit from an occupational qualification which, combined with its part qualifications will increase employment opportunities for many. The increased productive capacity of PSP means that the pharmacists are free to focus more on patient care. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning:
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a statement of result or certifying a work experience record.

    RPL for access to the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • Level 4 with Mathematics and Life Sciences. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge and Practical Skill Modules:
    Knowledge Modules:
  • 321301000-KM-01, Introduction to the pharmaceutical environment, Level 4, 10 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-02, Stock distribution and control (Basic), Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-03, Stock management (Post Basic), Level 5, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-04, Supply chain management (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-05, Non-sterile medicine manufacture (Basic), Level 4, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-06, Non-sterile and sterile medicine manufacture (Post Basic), Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-07, Medicine manufacture (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-08, Compounding of non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Basic), Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-09, Compounding of sterile and non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Post Basic), Level 5, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-10, Compounding of sterile and non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-11, Dispensing (Post Basic), Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-12, Dispensing (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 11 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-13, Screening and testing patients (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 2 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-14, Managing pharmacy resources (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 10 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-15, General housekeeping (Basic), Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-16, Administration and housekeeping (Post Basic), Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-17, Body systems, disorders and commonly used medicines (Post Basic), Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 321301000-KM-18, Pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of common communicable and non-communicable disease states and conditions (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 18 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Knowledge Modules: 126.

    Practical Skill Modules:
  • 321301000-PM-01, Distribute and control stock as per current legislation (Basic), Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-02, Manage stock, as per current legislation (Post Basic), Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-03, Manage supply chain (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 5 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-04, Manufacture non-sterile medicines (Basic), Level 4, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-05, Manufacture non-sterile and sterile medicines (Post Basic), Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-06, Manufacture non-sterile and sterile medicines (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 8 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-07, Compound non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Basic), Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-08, Compound sterile and non-sterile extemporaneous preparations, as per current legislation (Post Basic), Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-09, Compound sterile and non-sterile extemporaneous preparations, as per current legislation (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 7 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-10, Dispense medicines (Post Basic), Level 5, 14 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-11, Dispense medicines (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 12 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-12, Perform general housekeeping and administrative tasks in the pharmacy (Basic), Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-13, Perform general housekeeping and administrative tasks in the pharmacy (Post Basic), Level 5, 3 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-14, Conduct screening tests (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 3 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-15, Manage pharmacy resources and self-development (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 10 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-16, Identify anatomical structures (Post Basic), Level 5, 15 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-17, Conduct practical activities to optimise therapy for patients (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 15 Credits.
  • 321301000-PM-18, Operate computers and computer software (Basic), Level 4, 4 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Practical Skill Modules: 133.

    This qualification also requires the following Work Experience Modules:
  • 321301000-WM-01, Processes to distribute and control stock, as per legislation (Basic), Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-02, Processes to manage stock as per legislation (Post Basic), Level 5, 8 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-03, Processes to manage supply chain and supervise the supply chain (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 10 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-04, Processes to manufacture non-sterile medicines (Basic), Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-05, Processes to manufacture non-sterile and sterile medicines (Post Basic), Level 5, 5 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-06, Processes to manufacture non-sterile and sterile medicines and to supervise select manufacturing activities (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-07, Processes to compound non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Pharmacist's Assistant - Basic), Level 4, 5 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-08, Processes to compound sterile and extemporaneous preparations (Post Basic), Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-09, Processes to compound and supervise the compounding of sterile and non-sterile extemporaneous preparations (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 7 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-10, Processes to dispense medicines (Post Basic), Level 2, 15 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-11, Processes to dispense and supervise dispensing of medicines (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 15 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-12, Processes to perform general housekeeping and administrative tasks in the pharmacy (Basic), Level 4, 2 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-13, Processes to perform general housekeeping and administrative tasks in the pharmacy (Post Basic), Level 5, 3 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-14, Processes to conduct screening tests (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 2 Credits.
  • 321301000-WM-15, Management of pharmacy resources (Pharmacy Technician), Level 6, 10 Credits.
    Total number of Credits for Work Experience Modules: 103. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Apply scientific knowledge to provide technical support in delivering pharmaceutical services.
    2. Provide technical support for the ordering, managing, despatching and disposing of medicines, scheduled substances, medical supplies and devices in compliance with Good Wholesaling and Distribution Practice (GWDP) and legal requirements.
    3. Provide technical support for the manufacture, packaging and re-packaging of sterile and non-sterile medicines and scheduled substances in compliance with GMP guidelines under the supervision of a Pharmacist.
    4. Provide technical support for the compounding, manipulation and preparation of sterile and non-sterile medicines and scheduled substances (extemporaneous compounding) in compliance with standards as described in the GPP rules and GMP guidelines under the supervision of a Pharmacist.
    5. Provide technical support to dispense prescriptions and to sell Schedule 0, 1 and 2 medicines in compliance with legal requirements, including GPP.
    6. Provide technical support in the management of pharmacy resources. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Legislation related to the relevant scope of practice in pharmaceutical services is explained in the South African context.
  • Ethical and professional conduct related to the relevant scope of practice is demonstrated in the provision of pharmaceutical technical support services.
  • Basic pharmaceutical terms and concepts are explained in relation to sterile and non-sterile drug delivery systems and their routes of administration.
  • Basic pharmaceutical terms and concepts are explained in relation to non-sterile and sterile drug delivery systems and their routes of administration.
  • Basic scientific principles are explained and applied to sterile and non-sterile and sterile pharmaceutical preparations.
  • Basic concepts of anatomy, physiology and patho-physiology are explained in the context of common, acute and chronic conditions.
  • Basic principles and concepts of pharmacology and bio pharmaceutics, as applied to the management of common acute and chronic conditions, are explained.
  • Screening tests are performed in accordance with Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP).

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The principles of GWDP are explained in relation to the management of stock.
  • Ordering and receipt of stock of medicines, scheduled substances, and medical devices are organised and managed in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), GPP and GWDP.
  • Stock is organised, managed and secured in accordance with legal requirements, including current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), GPP and GWDP.
  • Despatch of medicines, scheduled substances, medical supplies and devices are organised and managed in accordance with cGMP, GPP and GWDP.
  • Disposal of expired and unwanted medicines, scheduled substances, medical supplies and devices is managed according to current relevant legislation and guidelines.
  • Documents are completed and records maintained in accordance with applicable legislation, process documentation and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
  • Supervision of ordering, managing, despatch and disposal processes is managed according to procedures.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Pharmaceutical and GMP principles are explained and applied to the manufacture, packaging and/or re-packaging of sterile and non-sterile medicines and scheduled substances.
  • Resources, materials and equipment for the preparation of specific medicines are organised and prepared in accordance with relevant SOPs and process documentation.
  • Line clearance is signed off according to procedure.
  • The manufacturing process is maintained and controlled in accordance with cGMP, process documentation and relevant SOPs.
  • Medicines and scheduled substances are re-packaged in accordance with cGMP, ethical principles, relevant legislation, process documentation and SOPs and authorised by a pharmacist.
  • Packaging processes are checked and signed-off by appropriate personnel (PB and PT).
  • Manufacturing processes are checked and signed-off by appropriate personnel (PT).
  • All documents are completed and records maintained in accordance with cGMP guidelines.
  • Supervision of manufacturing and packaging is managed according to procedures (PT).

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The principles of GPP are explained in relation to compounding, manipulation and preparation of sterile and non-sterile medicines.
  • Sterile admixtures are compounded, manipulated and prepared following relevant SOPs and process documentation, using aseptic techniques and the principles of cGMP and/or GPP for specific patients.
  • Non-sterile medicines are compounded, manipulated, prepared and packed following relevant SOPs and process documentation, in accordance with cGMP and/or GPP for specific patients.
  • Records are generated for each of the preparations produced in accordance with legal requirements and organisational policies and procedures.
  • Supervision of compounding is managed according to procedures (PT).

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Communication with patients/caregivers is conducted in a professional manner with sensitivity to patients' needs and diversity.
  • Prescriptions are dispensed in accordance with current legislation, GPP and organisational procedures.
  • In the case of Schedule 0, 1 and 2 medicines, relevant information and history are obtained and a suitable course of action is decided in consultation with a pharmacist.
  • Medicines and/or appropriate advice is/are provided according to GPP.
  • Patient and/or prescription is/are referred to a pharmacist for further management as needed.
  • Relevant records are maintained in accordance with current legislative requirements, including GPP.
  • The concepts of health and wellness are explained in terms of disease and disability (PT).
  • Socio-economic factors that contribute to poor health and wellness dysfunction are identified and described with the aid of relevant examples (PT).
  • Preventative measures and lifestyle modification options are explained in relation to the identified condition (PT).
  • Supervision of dispensing is managed according to procedures (PT).

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Pharmacy resources are managed according to operational and legal requirements, including GPP (PT only).
  • Principles of staff supervision are explained and applied in the context of the practice of pharmacy (PT only).
  • Financial aspects of the pharmacy-related facility are explained and applied in the practice of pharmacy.
  • Pharmacy-related facility operations are explained and applied in the practice of pharmacy (PT).
  • Principles of time management are explained and applied in the practice of pharmacy (PT).
  • Principles of team building and diversity are explained and applied in the practice of pharmacy (PT).
  • Effective lines of communication are established and maintained to facilitate supervision in the workplace.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated Formative Assessment:
    The skills development provider will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant Quality Council for Trades and Occupations Assessment Quality partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the exit level outcomes and associated assessment criteria. The external summative assessment will be a test conducted through an evaluation of written and practical tasks covering critical aspects in a simulated environment at an assessment centre accredited by QCTO and conducted by a registered assessor. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The aim of the international comparability was to examine Pharmacy Technician qualifications of other countries and to compare the South African qualification against international best practice in this field. The comparability exercise focused on New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, the United States, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Namibia.

    In New Zealand the National Certificate in Pharmacy (Technician) (Level 5) with strands in Community, and Hospital includes the following unit standards:
  • Apply legislation, codes, and standards to the supply of products and services as a pharmacy technician.
  • Compound non-aseptic pharmaceutical products under the supervision of a pharmacist.
  • Dispense prescriptions and pharmaceutical orders under supervision.
  • Apply procedures for handling hazardous substances as a pharmacy technician.
  • Provide advice on the use of dispensed medicines as a pharmacy technician.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pharmaceutical dose forms and accessories.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of pathogens, infections, and anti-infective therapy.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, as a pharmacy technician, of drug dosing, action, adverse effects, and misuse and dependence.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human nutrition and nutritional states as a pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician.
  • Provide written and oral advice as a pharmacy technician.
  • Manage stock within a pharmacy as a pharmacy technician.
  • Demonstrate professionalism as a pharmacy assistant or pharmacy technician.
  • Make conversions and perform calculations for compounding and dispensing as a pharmacy technician.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human nervous and endocrine systems and medicines used in their treatment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human cardiovascular and respiratory systems and medicines used in their treatment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human digestive, reproductive, and urinary systems and medicines used in their treatment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human musculoskeletal, integumentary systems, eye and ear and medicines used in their treatment.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of human immune system and malignant disease and medicines used in their treatment.

    Certificate in Pharmacy (Specialist Technician) (Level 6).
    The purpose of this qualification is to provide the pharmacy sector with specialist pharmacy technicians who carry out a range of specialist pharmacy services. This qualification is for people who are already employed as pharmacy technicians, and who are wishing to enter into a specialist pharmacy technician role with management/leadership responsibilities.

    Programme structure: Students complete the following courses:
  • Effective Communication.
  • Learning and Development.
  • Leadership and Management for Effective Teamwork.
  • Pharmacy Operational Management.
  • Pharmacy Law and Ethics.
  • Quality Assurance in Pharmacy Practice.
  • New Zealand Health Care System.
  • Specialist Project 1 Specialist Dispensing.
  • Specialist Topic - Patient and Medicine Management.
  • Specialist Topic - Operational.

    Ireland:
    In Ireland the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) Pharmacy Technician Course (Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Services Skills) prepares pharmacy technicians to assist pharmacists in ensuring the delivery of a high quality pharmacy service in an efficient, safe and cost-effective manner.

    Course Structure: Year 1:
    Underpinning Knowledge Modules covering: Introduction to working in a pharmacy and Stock Control; Pharmacy Practice and Procedure; Law and Ethics; Irish Medicines Schemes; Role of the Technician; Actions and Uses of Drugs - various BNF categories; Pharmaceutical Science and Dispensing and Product Formulation.

    Year 2:
    Evidence collection to cover the 5 assessments.
    The Institute of Technology Carlow offers a Higher Certificate in Science - Pharmacy Technician Studies, this programme provides students with the administrative and clinical skills required to work in a retail or hospital environment. It offers a blend of academic knowledge, hands on experience and real-world training in a pharmacy environment. The programme addresses:
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry and human physiology - the study of how the body functions.
  • Drug actions and uses - understanding human diseases and the drugs used to treat these diseases.
  • Formulation and compounding - understanding how drugs are made and the regulations surrounding safe dispensing.

    Special features of the programme include weekly work experience throughout the programme.
  • Six month-full-time work placement between first and second year at either a retail or hospital pharmacy. As part of the work placement module students may work abroad for eight weeks under the supervision of registered pharmacists.
  • Participation in conferences, poster competitions and lectures by guest speakers from the pharmacy industry will ensure that students are well grounded in all areas of work available to pharmacy technicians.
    Subjects Year 1: Mandatory: Regulations and Dispensing; Human Physiology; Drug Actions and Uses 1; Pharm Chemistry, Form and Comp; Pharm Admin and Work Placement; Pharm Calculations & Computing; Over the Counter; Communication, Innovation and Teamwork.

    Year 2: Mandatory: Drug Actions and Uses 2; Pharmacy Practice; Aseptic Techniques; Work Placement.
    The details of many of these subjects clearly indicate the resonance of the South African qualification with this qualification.

    Canada:
    Humber College in Canada offers a Pharmacy Technician Diploma which prepares graduates for various careers in pharmacy including community, hospital and long-term care settings. Courses focus on legislation, physiology, pharmacotherapeutics, customer care, health-care ethics, hospital and retail software systems, inventory management, hospital practice, and infection control.
    Semester 1:
    Community Pharmacy Management.
    Pharmacy Calculations 1.
    Pharmacy Dispensing Theory.
    Pharmacy Dispensing Lab 1.
    Pharmacotherapeutics 1.
    College Reading and Writing Skills.

    Semester 2:
    Pharmacy Calculations 2.
    Professionalism and Ethics.
    Pharmacy Dispensing Lab 2.
    Institutional Dispensing Lab 1.
    Hospital Practices and Pharmaceutics.
    Pharmacotherapeutics 2.

    Semester 3:
    Pharmacy Dispensing Lab 3.
    Institutional Dispensing Lab 2.
    Aseptic Compounding.
    Pharmacotherapeutics 3.
    Professional Communications: Pharmacy Technician.

    Semester 4:
    Professional Communication and Collaboration.
    Pharmacy Technician Work Experience.
    Pharmacotherapeutics 4.

    USA:
    In the United States, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) is the accrediting body for pharmacy technician programs. ASHP-certified programs are available at many community colleges and vocational schools. Coursework covers technical and practical training in the following areas:
  • Pharmacy law.
  • Pharmacology.
  • Pharmacy ethics.
  • Anatomy.
  • Healthcare systems.
  • Physiology.
  • Medical terminology.
  • Pharmaceutical calculations.
    Most programmes allow students to gain clinical experience during their training. Depending on state laws, students may also choose to gain on-the-job training without enrolling in a postsecondary education program. Clinical experience may take the form of a structured training program at a retail drugstore that has partnered with the school. Another option is to complete hands-on training at an approved pharmacy or medical centre.

    A Pharmacy Technician Diploma or Certificate Programme can be completed in one year or less and provides the basic education and training needed to sit for the Certified Pharmacy Technician exam.

    Botswana:
    In Botswana the Boitekanelo College offers the Higher National Diploma in Pharmacy Technology programme. A total of 98 Credits are from the general and core courses plus six (6) credits from the two optional courses for each student. The credits are distributed among 11 core courses, 3 general education courses and 2 optional courses. There will be one-week registration period, one week for examinations, one reading week, one mid-semester break and 14 weeks of teaching, making a total of 18 weeks. Each student should register for all general and core courses plus any two optional courses during the entire period of training.

    Tanzania:
    In Tanzania the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences and the Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences offer the Diploma in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The former institution offers it over a period of 3 years. However, there is a paucity on the programme structure and course outlines.

    Zimbabwe:
    In Zimbabwe the Pharmacy Technician course of the US-based Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center is taught by a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Harare Polytechnic. This program allows students to complete TOPS requirements and seek education in a four-year college. A major emphasis of this course is the national exam. Students will be instructed in materials required on the national exam.

    The student will take the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) examination. This course is designed to prepare the students for entry-level positions as a pharmacy technician. The course also introduces the student to other opportunities available in the pharmacy field. Emphasis is placed on skill development in assisting the pharmacist to record and maintain records, label medications, perform computer patient billing, perform stock inventory, and order supplies.

    Additional emphasis is placed on interpersonal skill development, telephone skills, drug classification and interactions, and work ethics. Topics of study are mathematics specific to the pharmaceutical field. Appropriate work-based strategies are service learning, field trips, and job shadowing.

    Namibia:
    In Namibia, the University of Namibia offers the Diploma in Pharmacy the duration of which is three years. Holders of this qualification are able to:
  • Undertake practice as a pharmaceutical technician within the legal requirements in a professional and ethical manner.
  • Provide pharmaceutical care under the supervision of the pharmacist.
  • Effectively manage medicines inventory in a pharmacy setting.
  • Design and implement strategies to promote rational and safe use of medicines in healthcare.
  • Use and maintain pharmaceutical equipment in an industrial setting.
  • Promote good dispensing and pharmacy practices in a pharmacy setting.
  • Effectively control the medicine supply system at the health facility.
  • Design and conduct medicine use audits and research at the health facility.
  • Assist the pharmacist in the provision of pharmaceutical information.
  • Design and implement Standard Operating Procedures to control the quality of medicines and services.
  • Implement the basic concepts of primary healthcare related to pharmacy.
  • Organize and conduct activities in quality analysis and pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Assist in the regulatory process of the registration of medicines.
  • Competently administer and undertake management duties in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist.
  • Competently contribute to therapeutic committee at a primary healthcare facility.

    Many, though not all of these competencies, correspond with the competencies of this qualification.

    Conclusion:
    The qualifications from all the countries identified resonate substantially with the South African qualification. There is a paucity of information on the nature and structure of the programmes. The New Zealand qualification compares most favourably with this qualification. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Advanced Certificate in Health Management, Level 6, (ID: 96725).

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Advanced Diploma in Public Health, Level 7, (ID: 98985). 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Part Qualifications:
    This qualification is structured to allow for sequentially defined career exit points that support relevant employable skills for partial completion.

    The First Level Exit Point:
  • Pharmacist' Assistant NQF Level 4 (62 Credits).

    The Second Level Exit Point:
  • Pharmacist's Assistant Post Basic NQF Level 5 (130 Credits).

    These will be made available as soon as registered.

    Qualifying for external assessment:
    In order to qualify for an external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required standards by means of statements of results and work experience. Foundational Learning Competence for the Pharmacy Assistant (Basic).

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:
    Must be sighted.

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant curriculum on the QCTO website.

    The curriculum title and code is: 321301000: Pharmacy Technician.

    This qualification encompasses the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
    This is not a trade qualification. 

  • LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.