Council retain pharmacist’s assistants and pharmacy technician cadres
Council initially planned to introduce three new cadres (i.e. Pharmacy General Assistant, Pharmacy Technical Assistant and Pharmacy Technician) and phase out the pharmacist’s assistant (i.e. Basic and Post-Basic). In July 2015 Council considered the concerns surrounding the introduction of the new cadres and has resolved to retain the current pharmacist’s assistants and only introduce the pharmacy technician as a new cadre.
In July 2015 Council resolved that:
- The cadres for pharmacy support personnel will be the:
- pharmacist’s assistant basic (PAB)
- pharmacist’s assistant post-basic (PAPB); and
- pharmacy technician (PT).
- The scopes of practice for the pharmacist’s assistants (basic and post-basic) will remain as they are at present.
- The pharmacy technical assistant (PTA) qualification will be halted and the scope of practice of this cadre will be incorporated into the PT qualification, which will be revised to create a single two-year diploma at NQF level 6. The PT will become the only new cadre that Council will recognise and accept for registration.
- Students that have already completed the PTA qualification, and those currently studying towards the qualification, will be required to continue with their studies and qualify as PTs. The PTA qualification will be used as an entry to the PT qualification until the PTA and PT qualifications have been merged into a single two-year PT diploma.
- The PTs, together with the PABs and PAPBs, will all be classified as pharmacist’s assistants under the new definition in the Pharmacy Act.
- Council will amend the relevant regulations, and students that have completed the PT qualification will, in the interim, be registered as pharmacist’s assistants post basic. Once the regulations have been amended, the concerned PTs will be informed and their registrations automatically changed to that of PT.
The PTA student, PTA undergoing practical training or qualified PTA is allowed to practise the scope of practice of a pharmacist’s assistant basic. A PTA with a post-basic qualification may practise the scope of practice of a pharmacist’s assistant post-basic. The PT student or PT undergoing traineeship is allowed to practise the scope of practice of a PT. The qualified PT is allowed to practise the scope of practice of a pharmacist’s assistant post-basic.
Parallel to the PT qualification being offered through the Council for Higher Education’s (CHE) sub-framework, there is another PT qualification based on the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations (QCTO) sub-framework. Council has resolved that the qualifications for the pharmacist’s assistant (basic and post’-basic) and the pharmacy technician be based on the QCTO format and be written as one qualification. This will enable learners to exit as a pharmacist’s assistant basic after completion of specified modules, a pharmacist’s assistant post-basic after completion of additional specified modules and, lastly, as a pharmacy technician after completion of all the modules.
Council is drafting these qualifications and it is envisaged the process will be finalised in March 2016. The new PT qualification will replace the current qualifications for pharmacist’s assistant (National Certificate and Further Education and Training Certificate). Providers will be accredited to offer this qualification (Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician) and enrol learners for the National Certificate and Further Education and Training Certificate.
Please contact the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org should you require further information.
To download the Scopes of Practice for Pharmacist’s Assistant (Basic), Pharmacist’s Assistant (Post-Basic) and the Pharmacy Technician Trainee – click here
Process flow for PTA as pharmacist’s assistant basic or PT as pharmacist assistant post-basic