The life of the current qualifications ended on 30 June 2021 and the last date for new enrolments with approved providers is 30 June 2022. Thereafter, the teach-out period (i.e. the period where the learner is required to complete the qualification) for the qualifications ends on 30 June 2025.
The Pharmacist’s Assistant (Basic) course will take a minimum of six months, and the Pharmacist’s Assistant (Post-Basic) requires a minimum of twelve months to complete. For the Occupational Certificates, a learner is required to complete a third of the qualification (i.e. two months for Pharmacist’s Assistant (Basic) and four months for Pharmacist’s Assistant (Post-Basic)) at a workplace for work-experience modules. While completing the work-experience modules, learners must gain experience in all sectors of pharmacy, as the new qualifications are for a generalist practice and are not sector specific. This means that after obtaining the qualification, the Pharmacist’s Assistant may work within his/her scope of practice in any sector of pharmacy.
The work-experience modules are monitored and assessed by the provider and are conducted in Grade A pharmacies under the preceptor appointed by the provider. The Pharmacist Assistants are not required to complete the in-service training for a whole year as with the old qualifications, but they must be exposed to all sectors of pharmacy during the work-based learning period. Learners who want to work in a pharmacy may do so under a tutor in an approved pharmacy, but will have to go to other sectors of pharmacy for their mandatory work-experience modules.
All learners enrolled on the occupational qualifications must 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 qualification (Basic and Post-Basic).
The Office of the Registrar is currently examining applications from institutions that intend to offer the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacist’s Assistant (Basic), and the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacist’s Assistant (Post-Basic). The SAPC intends to ensure that by 30 June 2022, there will be providers accredited to offer Occupational Certificate learning programmes.
Council will accredit Skills Development Providers for the Pharmacist’s Assistant (Basic) qualification and the Pharmacist’s Assistant (Post-Basic) qualification using the current legislative framework, while the amended legislation (relating to education, practice, and registration regulations) is being processed. When the amended legislation is promulgated, the Occupational Certificate: Pharmacy Technician will be accredited.
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 criteria as per the Good Pharmacy Education Standards (GPE) as set by Council.