This GPhC accredited course is written and designed to enable qualified dispensers to undertake accuracy checks on listed dispensed items clinically approved by a pharmacist. Trainees should work in accordance with the pharmacy’s own accuracy checking standard operating procedures (SOPs).  After successful completion of this course, an electronic certificate will be issued (can be used within any suitable pharmacy setting) that will demonstrate achievement of competence to GPhC accredited standards for accuracy checking. As part of the course, learners are independently assessed and accredited by NPA Learning and Development pharmacists to undertake this responsible role.

Please watch our introductory course video for further information about what to expect from the course.

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  • Build the confidence and competency of the trainee accuracy checking dispenser (ACD) on accuracy checking prescriptions that have been clinically checked and annotated as suitable to accuracy check by the pharmacist
  • Develop the trainee ACD’s professional awareness of pharmacy practice including the legal and ethical implications surrounding the role of an ACD
  • Final assessment of checking skills in a pharmacy environment
  • Having an ACD can free up time for the pharmacist to offer patient-centred care by focusing on service provision, medicines’ management, and optimisation
  • Reduced risk of dispensing-related incidents as ACDs will be accuracy checking items labelled and dispensed by another individual
  • Accredited accuracy checkers will require continuous re-accreditation via completion of a reassessment portfolio every two years

Having an accuracy checker has free'd up time for the pharmacist e.g. checking dossets, so the pharmacist can complete other services such as MURs, Flu and spend more time with patients.

Timeea Cristea, Day Lewis


This course is written and designed for Level 2 certified dispensing assistants who have been practicing for a minimum of 6 months post qualification. They should be working at least 14 hours per week in their dispensing role and should be able to accurately dispense 200 items consecutively. To evidence this you should download a template of a log below, which you must submit upon enrolment by uploading to the enrolment form.

Dispensing template log

Please refer to our FAQs for further information on what to expect from this course.


This portfolio-based course consists of:

  • Complete learning resources
  • Practice-based checking activities
  • Structured learning assessment questions and reflective exercises
  • Monthly appraisals, where key competencies are addressed with the supervisor

The material for this course includes separate guides for the tutor and the trainee. The tutor pack is used to support the tutor on what to expect from the course and the trainee. The trainee pack covers the following:

  • An introduction to the role of an ACD
  • The importance of standard operating procedures
  • Information on the legal validity of a prescription
  • Information on near miss errors
  • Information on patient confidentiality
  • The legal and ethical implications of the role of an ACD
  • Assignments and reflective exercises
  • Guidance on how to build a portfolio evidencing ongoing accuracy checking
  • Dealing with dispensing and checking errors appropriately
  • The importance of proactively approaching errors in minimising risk to patients
  • Regular reviews with the tutor in the form of appraisals
  • The structure of the final assessment in the pharmacy
  • Re-assessment and ongoing development.


This course takes an average of 6 – 12 months to complete.

The trainee will have to submit a portfolio of evidence which must include:

  • Answers to the written assignments and reflective exercises
  • A copy of the accuracy checking SOP in use at the pharmacy (this should be signed and dated by the supervisor and the trainee)
  • The trainees own method of accuracy checking
  • Evidence of accuracy checking a minimum of 1000 items over a minimum of three consecutive months (trainees should document checking of a minimum of 2 days per week), this should be double-checked by the tutor
  • A minimum of three monthly appraisals with the tutor
  • Evidence the ability of maintaining patient confidentiality

Please refer to our Top tips for compiling a satisfactory accuracy checking course portfolio for further help in developing your portfolio.

The trainee will have to evidence their competency in the form of a final assessment which includes:

  • A practical accuracy checking assessment in the pharmacy where the trainee is required to identify all of the dispensing errors. The assessment needs to be set up by the supervisor with the guidance that we provide
  • A telephone interview with an NPA Learning and Development pharmacist

The tutor will be provided with a final assessment guide once their trainee has submitted their portfolio, and two assessment packs. This guide will help them to prepare for conducting the assessment within the pharmacy at a time that is suitable to them and the trainee. The second assessment pack should only be used if the student is unsuccessful in their first attempt.

The course price allows for up to two attempts at the final assessment. Thereafter a reassessment fee of £40 + VAT will be applicable for a further two attempts at the final assessment.

View our blog post for eight top tips on passing your accuracy checking final assessment.

Once qualified, the certificate is valid within any suitable pharmacy setting. The ACD may use their certificate whilst working with registered pharmacists within their workplace, including any branches of the same company. However, in conjunction with the responsible pharmacist (RP), they must ensure that the SOPs are the same (or if not, they should familiarise with them) and the RP is happy for them to conduct the final accuracy check. If the RP has not worked with them before, they are able to request the ACD to accuracy check 200 items under their supervision if they wish to establish their competence.

If the ACD were to move employment to another pharmacy, whilst the two-year certificate is in date, it is strongly advised that they should complete a transfer portfolio, which can be obtained from our Member Services department. The cost for the transfer portfolio is £70exc VAT.


e-Certification from the NPA


6-12 months

Start Date

Applications accepted throughout the year.

Members benefit from 10% cashback on all level 2 courses.

Course Fee


£170 +VAT

£170 +VAT