Update on training of Pharmacy Support Personnel
The life of the current qualification for pharmacist’s assistant in the category basic ended on 30 June 2018 and the last enrolment date with approved providers is 30 June 2019. In October 2018 Council resolved that the last enrolment date for the pharmacist’s assistant qualifications in the category post-basic be extended to 30 June 2020. This means that the teach-out period for the qualification for basic pharmacist’s assistants ends on 30 June 2022 and for post-basic pharmacist’s assistants will end on 30 June 2023.
According to the current guidelines for providers, the time taken to complete a learning programme must not exceed thirty (30) months. Learners who do not complete the learning programme within the stipulated time will not be allowed to enroll for the same qualification for the following two years. Council will automatically remove such learners from the register. However, in October 2018 Council resolved that all learners who have exceeded 30 months of in-service training but have not completed the qualification remain in their relevant register until 30 June 2022 (for basic pharmacist’s assistants) and 30 June 2023 (for post-basic pharmacist’s assistants), which is the end of the teach-out period for the current qualifications.
All learners enrolled on the occupational qualifications are required to pass an External Integrated Summative Assessment (EISA) to complete their qualifications. This is a national assessment, which all learners will be required to pass at the end of each part qualification (i.e. pharmacist’s assistant [basic], pharmacist’s assistant [post-basic]) and the remaining part of the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician. The examiners and moderators for the EISA, will be appointed in line with the criteria approved by Council in October 2018.
On 26 June 2018 the QCTO released a circular which indicates that the QCTO would phase in Final Integrated Summative Assessment (FISA) for all historically registered qualifications on a voluntary basis with Quality Assurances Partners (QAPs) who feel they are in a “state of readiness” to do so. Council resolved that all learners enrolled for the National Certificate: Pharmacist Assistance and the Further Education and Training: Pharmacist Assistance who do not complete their qualifications by 30 November 2019 must write and pass the FISA.
The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) registered the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician course on 01 July 2018, which can now be offered by the skills development providers. Council in collaboration with the QCTO has re-aligned the part qualifications of pharmacist’s assistant (basic) and pharmacist’s assistant (post-basic) with SAQA requirements. The part qualifications will be registered with SAQA soon.
Council will accredit Skills Development Providers for the pharmacist’s assistant (basic) part qualification and pharmacist’s assistant (post-basic) part qualification using the current legislative framework, whilst awaiting promulgation of the amended legislation (relating to education, practice and registration regulations). Accreditation of the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician will commence upon promulgation of the amended legislation. The criteria for the accreditation/approval of a curriculum leading to the awarding of the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician and its part qualifications was approved by Council in May 2018 and will be utilised to evaluate the applications for accreditation.
Providers who wish to offer the qualification(s) on the Occupational Qualification Sub-framework (OQSF) as approved by Council will be required to comply with the standards as set in the Good Pharmacy Education Standards (GPE) as set by Council. The GPE for qualifications on the OQSF was approved to be published for comment by Council at its last meeting in October 2018