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New learning opportunities for pharmacy technicians

An interview with CPPE's Jo Nevinson and Hannah Twigg.

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) has recently launched a new programme of learning for pharmacy technicians. Jo Nevinson (pharmacy technician, education supervisor and member of the CPPE learning development team) and Hannah Twigg (pharmacy technician and CPPE education supervisor) have shared some information with us on the opportunities available.

I have heard that CPPE has developed an exciting new programme of learning for pharmacy technicians. Tell me about it.

Hannah Twigg (HT): It incorporates an e-course, impact groups and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) workshops. The e-course has a self-assessment tool to identify the most useful aspects of the course based on individual learning needs. You then work through relevant sections, or the whole course if you wish. Impact groups are small online meetings with other pharmacy technicians, supported by a CPPE facilitator, helping you network, build confidence and develop leadership skills. MBTI workshops are aimed at understanding yourself and others, furthering your leadership skills. This supports your professional development – the great news is, it’s free! 

Jo Nevinson (JN): It is a fabulous offer for pharmacy technicians. The three different elements are designed to complement each other but you don’t have to do all three; there is something to meet every pharmacy technician’s learning needs. The e-course helps you to meet individual learning objectives, and also guides you to complete a whole revalidation cycle. The impact groups encourage learning in action, and the MBTI workshops support you to develop your leadership style.

Why has CPPE developed these opportunities for pharmacy technicians?

JN: There are two main reasons. The pharmacy technician qualification was updated in 2017, and this could create potential differences to the knowledge and skills pharmacy technicians have. In addition, there is an increasing number of people needing healthcare, and the multidisciplinary team need to evolve to cope with demand. We want to empower pharmacy technicians to grasp the opportunity to increase involvement with the healthcare team in providing excellent person-centred care.

HT: The initial training standards for pharmacy technicians have been updated recently, highlighting a need to ensure all pharmacy technicians have the same opportunity to develop their skills. The new programme maps the difference between the previous standards and focuses on the knowledge and skills the pharmacy technician role requires. The role of pharmacy technicians is expanding and developing over time so it’s important that we have opportunities available for the pharmacy technician workforce, in all sectors, to develop to meet growing demand.

What will participating in these learning opportunities do for me?

HT: The e-course is a fantastic way to identify learning needs you may have and to undertake learning to cover them at your own pace. 

JN: Not only will you be assured that you have the up-to-date knowledge and skills that are needed by today’s pharmacy technician role, you will also develop your leadership skills by understanding yourself better and how you interact with others. In addition, you will develop the confidence to take appropriate actions to improve outcomes in practice. You will be in a better position to take responsibility for developing yourself and to continue to adapt to the evolving NHS.

HT: The impact groups are a rare opportunity to meet pharmacy technicians from other sectors and share learning in a small, consistent, and supportive group. Undertaking the programme will help you to develop your skills and build your confidence, which will undoubtedly help you in current and future roles.

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