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NPA’s accuracy checking course — important changes

The NPA’s Accuracy in Dispensing (AID) course has undergone some changes following the updated General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) “Standards for pharmacy professionals” (which include registered pharmacy technicians), the new GPhC revalidation framework and the updated GPhC ‘Standards for the initial training and education for pharmacy technicians’.

Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technicians (ACPTs) will be responsible for ensuring their own ongoing competence and the NPA will be providing a range of resources to make this process as easy as possible.

The changes mean that accuracy checking certi cates will no longer need to be renewed every two years. ACPTs that have already been certi ed by the NPA can, therefore, conduct nal accuracy checks inde nitely, at the discretion of the responsible pharmacist (RP).

Up to 2 July 2018, reassessment portfolios already issued are expected to be completed. For those ACPTs with a:

  • Certificate for accuracy checking expiring before 2 July 2018, it is recommended that they send their completed portfolio to the NPA for reassessment. The new certi cate issued will not have an expiry date.
  • Certificate expiring on or after 2 July 2018, a new certi cate will not automatically be issued. It is nationally recognised that reaccreditation is not a mandatory requirement, therefore, expired certificates should not place restrictions on the ACPT to conduct final accuracy checks and the discretion remains with the RP. However, a new certi cate without an expiry date can be obtained by contacting the NPA Member Services team who will discuss the options.

Impact on pharmacy technicians in Northern Ireland

Pharmacy technicians practising in Northern Ireland are not generally registered with the GPhC, therefore this change will not impact them. Pharmacy technicians in Northern Ireland who are enrolled onto the NPA AID course will still require re-accreditation of their accuracy checking with the NPA every two years.

As only GPhC registrants are impacted by this change, level 2 dispensing assistants who have been issued with an accuracy checking certi cate by the NPA will still require re-accreditation with the NPA every two years.

Pharmacy technicians who successfully complete the written coursework and practical nal assessment:

  • Between now and 2 July 2018 will be issued with a certi cate for accuracy checking which will not have an expiry date.
  • After 2 July 2018 will be issued with a certi cate for accuracy checking which will not have an expiry date.

Impact on RPs

The responsible pharmacist (RP) remains potentially liable for unintentional dispensing errors. Therefore, it is essential that the RP is satis ed that ACPTs are competent to perform nal accuracy checks on dispensed items in line with the pharmacy’s standard operating procedures (SOPs). After 2 July 2018, if the RP wishes the NPA to continue to be involved in verifying competency at any point, the ACPT’s reassessment portfolio should be submitted to the NPA for reaccreditation. Following a satisfactory submission, a new certi cate without an expiry date will be issued. The cost for reaccreditation to NPA members is £60 +VAT (£72) and to non-members/associates, the cost for reaccreditation is £90 +VAT (£108).

NPA support

The NPA “Accuracy in Dispensing course: changes to reaccreditation FAQs” outlining the impact of the updated reaccreditation process on the NPA AID course has been published with some of the questions received by the NPA Member Services team and Education and Training team; in addition, other anticipated questions have been included .

ACPTs should continue collecting evidence of ongoing competency;
this is not a mandatory requirement. In order to do this from 2 July 2018, ACPTs will have access to the following support resources:

  • ACPT Competency Toolkit – to provide further guidance on the changes what to expect, and logs to maintain ongoing competency
  • ACPT Competency Workbook – to cover learning outcomes defined by Skills for Health National Occupational Standard, “PHARM28: Undertake the final accuracy check of dispensed medicines and products’”.

For further information please contact the NPA Member Services team on 01727 800 402 or email at

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