Medicine Counter Assistant Course (Interact)

Questions for this course

The student we initially enrolled on Interact has now left our pharmacy, can we transfer the course to another member of staff?

Yes, but only if the student initially enrolled has not completed the Part A assessment.

If the student has not attempted the Part A assessment, we can transfer the course over to another member of staff as long as it is done within 3 months of the last student leaving the pharmacy.

If you require replacement material e.g. workbooks, student guide, supervisor’s guide etc, please contact the Professional Development department to request the items.  There will be an administration fee to complete the transfer and a charge for all replacement material.  All charges will be fully explained by the administrator when the transfer is requested.

We don't sell any pet medicines; do I have to complete Chapter 10 on pet medicines?

Yes.

Interact is a GPhC accredited course and learning about pet medicines forms part of the GPhC syllabus to work on the pharmacy medicines counter.  As it qualifies you to work in any pharmacy within the UK, you are required to know about pet medicines because you may sell them in another pharmacy, even if you are currently working in a pharmacy that does not deal with them.

Remember, the Part A and B assessments are open book assessments, this means you can refer to your workbooks to help you answer the questions.  If you do not sell pet medicines, you may want to double check your answers in Chapter 10 to be sure you have got the right answers.

What happens if I fail the Part A/B assessment?

Don’t lose hope!

If you do not achieve the pass mark on your first attempt at the assessment paper, you will have 2 more attempts to achieve the pass mark of 80%.

After a total of 3 attempted at either the Part A or B assessment paper, we must discontinue you from the course as a condition of the GPhC accreditation is that all students are given a maximum of 3 attempts to pass the course.

Before sending out the final assessment resit paper, we will contact your supervising pharmacist to discuss any problems you may be having on the course to see if we can provide any further support to help you successfully complete the course.

Remember, the Part A and B assessments are open book assessments, this means you can refer to your workbooks to help you answer the questions.

What is the pass mark for the Part A/B assessment?

80%.

You must achieve 80% on the Part A assessment before moving onto Part B of the course and subsequently achieve 80% on the Part B assessment to receive a certificate of completion for the Interact course.

If you do not achieve the pass mark on your first attempt at the assessment paper, you will have 2 more attempts.  After a total of 3 attempted at either the Part A or B assessment paper, we must discontinue you from the course as a condition of the GPhC accreditation is that all students are given a maximum of 3 attempts to pass the course.

Before sending out the final assessment resit paper, we will contact your supervising pharmacist to discuss any problems you may be having on the course to see if we can provide any further support to help you successfully complete the course.

Remember, the Part A and B assessments are open book assessments, which means you can refer to your workbooks to help you answer the questions.

How long do I have to complete the Part A/B assessment?

60 minutes*

This is the time allocated to answer the questions, check any you are unsure about in your workbook and mark your answers on the answer grid found on the back of the letter sent with the question paper.

* If a student has learning difficulties, the supervising pharmacist can contact the Professional Development department for guidance and support on how to complete the course and assessments.

If you are enrolled on the online Interact course, the time allocation remains 60 minutes, with a timer in the top right-hand corner.  Each page will have 10 questions on it and you must select an answer for all 10 questions before you will be allowed to move onto the next set of questions.  There are a total of 50 questions, so there will be 5 pages to complete the assessment.  Make sure you leave yourself enough time answer all the questions.  If you have time remaining, you can go back to a previous page and review/change your answer(s).  If you do this, make sure you press the ‘Submit’ button to ensure your updated answer is saved to the system.  You will be able to open a PDF version of the course material to refer to if you need to check information in the modules to answer the assessment questions.

When do I request the Part A and/or B assessment paper from my supervising pharmacist?

You must complete the Part A assessment after completing chapter 5.  Once you have successfully completed the Part A assessment (achieve 80% or above) you can go on to read chapters 6 to 10 and attempt the Part B assessment after completion of chapter 10.

You cannot ask your supervising pharmacist for Part A and Part B assessments together.

You are advised to request the assessment papers when you have completed the workbooks and successfully passed the end of chapter MCQs respectively.

What happens if I do not get 80% or above on my end of chapter MCQs?

The chapter should be re-read and the questions attempted again.  These MCQs are a learning excercise and help both you and your supervising pharmacist judge when you are ready to attempt the summative Part A or B assessment paper.

These should be marked by your supervising pharmacist, who will have the answers to these questions in their supervisor’s guide.

What is the pass mark for the end of chapter MCQs?

80%

These should be marked by your supervising pharmacist, who will have the answers to these questions in their supervisor’s guide.

The pass mark for this assessment is 80%.  If candidates do not reach that level, the chapter is to be re-read and the questions attempted again.  These MCQs are a learning exercise that help both your and your supervising pharmacist to judge when you are ready to attempt the summative Part A or B assessment paper.

Do I need to submit the end of chapter MCQ answers for marking by the NPA?

No.

These should be marked by your supervising pharmacist, who will have the answers to these questions in the supervisor’s guide.

The pass mark for this assessment is 80%.  If candidates do not reach this level, the chapter is to be re-read and the questions attempted again.  These MCQs are a learning exercise and help both you and your supervising pharmacist judge when you are ready to attempt the summative Part A or B assessment paper.

I thought that my workbooks are not assessed, so why have you asked to see my Interact workbooks?

This forms part of our quality assurance process.

As a condition of our accreditation with the GPhC, we are required to quality assure all our courses.  This means, we must make sure that all students are completing the course to the same level as well as that they are being assessed fairly.

We recall your Interact workbooks, to check that you have completed all the inter-text activities and the end of the chapter MCQs before attempting the Part A and Part B assessment papers.  As you can imagine, it wouldn’t be very fair if we allowed one student to complete the assessment paper without attempting any of the inter-text activities while others have a go at everything.

Why does my supervising pharmacist have to authorise the assessment?

This is to ensure they are happy that the student is ready to sit the assessment paper.  As you only have a maximum of 3 attempts to sit the assessment, we do not want you to rush into it without your supervising pharmacist being aware only to fail because you took the assessment too soon.

How can I request the assessment?

Only the supervising pharmacist can provide you with the assessment paper.

This is to ensure they are happy tat the student is ready to sit the assessment paper.  As you only have a maximum of 3 attempts to sit the assessment, we do not want you to rush into it without your pharmacist being aware only to fail because you took the assessment too soon.

You will need to request the assessment for Part A and B from your supervising pharmacist.  Only they can authorise you to sit the assessment.  You can only do this once you have completed Parts A and B of the course respectively.

How much study time should I be provided by my employer to complete this course?

We do not stipulate a minimum amount of study time your employer must give you to complete this course.  This is to allow flexibility to fit the course around the needs of the pharmacy.

The course is to be completed at your own pace, however, it may be to your own and your employer’s best interest if you complete it within a reasonable time to allow you to work competently on the pharmacy counter.

On average each chapter should take you approx. 5 hours to read and complete.  However, this does not take into account that some chapters are bigger that others or individuals learning styles and pace.  It also does not include the time we would expect you to spend on the medicines counter reading about the products and learning from your colleagues or speaking to patients.

We suggest that you break down the time you spend on your course in your working week, e.g. half to 1 hour per day, 3, 4 or  times a week.  How you are allocated study time must be decided between yourself and your supervising pharmacist, taking into consideration the needs of the pharmacy, your working hours and your pharmacist’s working hours.

The course should be completed within 6-12 months of enrolment.

How long am I meant to spend on each module?

This course is to be completed at your own pace, however it may be to your own and your employer’s best interest if you complete it within a reasonable time to allow you to work competently on the pharmacy counter.

The course should be completed within 6 to 12 months of enrolment.

How long do I have to complete the course?

6 to 12 months.

If you require an extension, please contact the Professional Development to discuss your particular circumstances or request an extension.

What happens if I fail an assessment?

If you fail an assessment, you have two further attempts at passing it, after which, you can no longer continue on the course.

To request a resit paper, contact the Professional Development Department .

If you are an e-learning student, you will need to speak to your supervising pharmacist who can authorise the resit paper online.

Please note that only the supervising pharmacist can request the resit paper.  The student is not authorised to request the paper.  This is to ensure the supervising pharmacist is aware the student is ready to sit the assessment paper.

Is this an accredited course?

Yes.

The NPA Pharmacy Interact Course is accredited by the GPhC, and meets the training requirements for Medicines Counter Assistants.

You cannot work on the medicines counter without this minimum level of training and it is your employer’s professional responsibility to enrol you onto this course within 3 months of starting work in their pharmacy if you have not completed any previous GPhC accredited medicines counter assistant training.

Is there a minimum age to enrol on this course?

Yes.

You must  be 16 or over to enrol on this course.

Do I have to have any previous qualification to enrol on this course?

No.

This course is suitable for all Medicine Counter Assistants, full or part time, Saturday and evening staff over the age of 16.