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Building a skills matrix

NPA Essential

Building a skills matrix

Skills matrices can be used to assess the skills and knowledge of individuals working in your pharmacy. This is an extract from the Essential Pharmacy Business Pack

A skills matrix allows employers/managers to assess individuals’ learning deficiencies and gaps in knowledge and to highlight any further education and/or training required.

Start with a template. You could use as a baseline a template skills matrix with standardised competencies listed. These competencies should describe the skills and knowledge requirements needed to work in your pharmacy.

This baseline will then need to be tailored according to your pharmacy’s requirements, and according to the different job descriptions of your employees.

For example, a pharmacist would need to be expertly qualified in all of the skills and competencies listed below, whereas a cashier or delivery driver may not need to meet the same level of competency.

Standard competencies

The following competencies should be included in the skills matrix tempate:

Technical skills

  • Customer service
  • Decision making
  • Pharmacy knowledge
  • Prioritisation
  • Problem solving
  • Sales skills

IT skills

• Use of internet
• Pharmacy system

Interpersonal skills

  • Oral communication
  • Written Communication
  • People Management
  • Teamwork

Define skills levels

Each of these skills should have defined levels of competency, for example with Teamwork skills:


Able to work with others, recognise the importance of sharing knowledge and information and to respond positively when approached by others for assistance.


Able to work with others, recognise when another team member requires support, and share knowledge and information to benefit team members.


Able to identify the needs of and to provide appropriate support to other team members, share knowledge and information and to identify priorities for the pharmacy business.

Individual plans

Once the requirements are highlighted, development of a training plan for each individual
can be carried out. A skills matrix should be carried out for each current employee in the company.

A pre-designed skills matrix template defining basic, competent and expert levels for each skill is available in the Essential Pharmacy Business Pack at business-pack.

This NPA resource provides detailed guidance for members across the UK on:

  • SWOT analysis
  • Gap analysis
  • Drug Tariff guide
  • Key performance indicators
  • Job descriptions
  • Apprenticeships
  • GPhC inspections
  • CPAF
  • Business achievement plan template
  • Skills matrix
  • Action plan template with prioritisation matrix
  • Developing private services
  • PGD services
  • Automated dispensary systems and pharmacy robots
  • Benefits of renting out your consultation room
  • Leadership
  • Social media
  • Improving your pharmacy business

The full resource can be found at business-pack.

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NPA Essential