Pharmacy Apprenticeships from the NPA

Status as at October 2020

Launch of NPA/Qube Pharmacy Retail Apprenticeship

The NPA is launching a Pharmacy retail apprenticeship for its members in partnership with Qube Learning.

Although the NPA was appointed to the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers in 2019 (see below), we are not in a position to deliver pharmacy apprenticeships at this stage. However, we do wish to support our members and to offer you the opportunity of using the Government incentives that are available currently.

Through our existing business partnership with Qube Learning, we have therefore developed the pharmacy retail apprenticeship – you can find out more here.

The NPA will not be offering a Level 3 pharmacy apprenticeship in the foreseeable future – however, we introduced the new BTEC Diploma – Principles and practices for pharmacy technicians at Level 3 this summer – you can view details via this link.

The NPA’s pharmacy apprenticeship journey prior to October 2020

Structure – Standards and Frameworks

The new Level 2 Standard for Pharmacy Apprenticeships was approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships in November 2018 and the Level 3 Standard was approved in the summer of 2019.

Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP)

The Government’s (Education and Skills Funding Agency – ESFA) register re-opened in mid-December 2018. The NPA made a submission to become a main training provider on this register at the end of January 2019 and was informed at the end of May 2019 that it had been successful. We were appointed to the register in August 2019.

Pilot Apprenticeship programme

Initially, the NPA hoped to pilot apprenticeships with a small group of members in England who pay the Apprenticeship Levy. We considered working with a third-party apprenticeship provider for this pilot, as we may have needed this provider to deliver the English and maths qualifications that are part of the apprenticeship requirement.

Results from apprenticeship survey with apprenticeship Levy-paying Members

At the end of 2018, the NPA undertook a survey of members with 15+ branches to ascertain their appetite for Pharmacy apprenticeships and to understand how many of them pay into the Apprenticeship Levy.

The results of this survey revealed a good appetite for pharmacy apprenticeships, the preferred learning formats, the need for the NPA to provide support with the recruitment of apprentices, the popularity of optional learning modules and some concern around the 20% off-the-job training rule.

The results were very helpful and will be considered by the NPA teams in any future development of an apprenticeship programme. 

Appointment of Qube as a Business Partner to deliver non-clinical apprenticeships

Several Levy-paying members expressed the desire to start using some of their Levy payments for Leadership or Customer Service apprenticeships. The NPA signed a Business Partner agreement with Qube Learning in spring 2019, a privately owned training provider, who is already on the RoATP.

Qube is our partner to deliver non-clinical apprenticeships, as well as the new Pharmacy retail apprenticeship, for our members – more information on Qube can be found on their Business Partner page

More information

Click for more information on the new Pharmacy retail apprenticeship, the benefits of taking on an apprentice, the current funding availability for apprenticeships.