NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services

Units

Do I need to fill the personal profile every time I submit each unit?

No, you don’t need to fill the personal profile form every time as this information will not change and so you can fill up the form one time and then use the copy of it to attach it with all the other unit submissions.

Do I need to complete all the units?

No, you need to complete 17 units in total.  This includes units 1-14 as they are mandatory and 3 operational units.

Do I need to complete the units in the order they are listed on the timetable in the course guide?

We advise that you do complete the units in this order as this is the way we have designed the course so you can complete it in the most holistic way.

However, if you are having difficulty completing the units in this order please let us know and we can advise you on the best way to proceed.

I have completed a Medicines counter assistant course and I work on the medicines counter, which units do I need to complete?

You will complete units 1-14 as your mandatory units and your optional units will be units 16,18 and 25.

I have completed a medicines counter assistant's course but I do not work on the medicines counter anymore, which units do I need to complete?

You will complete units 1-14 as your mandatory units and your optional units will be unit 23, unit 24 and unit 25.

I haven't completed a medicines counter assistant's course, or I completed it a long time ago and can't find my certificate. Which units do I need to complete?

You will complete units 1-14 as your mandatory units and your optional units will be until 23, unit 24 and 25.

Our pharmacy doesn't do any extemporaneous dispensing, how do I complete unit 9?

Unit 9 is a mandatory unit so you must complete it, you can submit this unit when you have completed three activity reports, one reconstitution (could be either an antibiotic powder or Zineryt lotion)  and two simulations of an extemporaneously dispensed product which can be chosen from the example prescriptions in your course guide.  For the extemporaneous product you choose you will need to complete the worksheet and produce and example label and make the product.

Do I need an expert witness?

Yes, you must have an expert witness.

I work with several pharmacists, how many expert witnesses can I have?

You can have more than one expert witness, as long as all pharmacists who wish to act as your expert witness have completed the training pack and claimed a certificate from the NPA.

Can anyone from my pharmacy be an expert witness for me?

No, your witness must be a registered pharmacy technician or pharmacist.

Do I need to send Expert Witness Observation Planning Record to my assessor along with my portfolio?

No, as this form is only for the student and the expert witness to plan the activity for the observation.

Our pharmacy doesn't deal with one/some of the assessment criteria listed in the unit, can I pretend that I have done the task and write it up as if I have?

No, if you have trouble with some of the assessment criteria you must call the Professional Development team and a inhouse assessor will advise you on what to do.  Alternatively discuss with your allocated assessor.

How many activity reports will I need to write?

There is guidance in the front of each unit which gives you a rough idea of how many activity reports you will need but everyone is different and you many need more reports than this.  The most important thing to remember is that you need to cover all of the assessment criteria (twice as a rule) with the activity reports you submit.

Why do I need so many reports?

You need to show you can complete your job role competently and consistently in a range of situations over a reasonable period of time.

My unit has been returned to me and it has been marked as meeting the standards, what do I do next?

Read the feedback given by your assessor and make sure that there is nothing you need to do.  Once you have read this keep the unit in a safe place, it may be called back into the NPA for Quality Assurance purposes.  You may also be able to use some of the activity reports for later units.

My unit has been returned to me and it has been marked as meeting the standards subject to additional work, what do I do next?

Read the feedback from the assessor and carry out the work they have asked you to do then keep the unit safe in a safe place, it may be called back into the NPA for Quality Assurance purposes.  You may also be able to use some of the activity reports for later units.

My unit has been returned to me and it has been marked as further work required, what do I do next?

Read the feedback given by your assessor, sit down with your supervising pharmacists and discuss this feedback, make an action plan on how you are going to meet the standards and record this on the feedback form sent back with your work.  Complete the additional tasks and activity reports and resubmit the unit when you feel it is complete.

How do I resubmit my units?

Once you have completed any additional work your assessor has asked for, read the feedback to see if the assessor has asked you to send the whole unit back or just the new work.  When you resubmit your unit you will need to send the work in with all the feedback and the tick sheets your assessor sent you.

Don’t forget to photocopy any additional work you complete

My modules/units have been recalled for Quality Assurance - what does this mean?

We may from time to time ask you to send some of your work into use for quality assurance.  This process is just to ensure that assessors are marking to the set standards.  It will not affect the student’s mark or grade in any way.

What is a professional discussion?

A professional discussion is a conversation between you and your assessor; you will have several professional discussions throughout your award.  Your assessor will plan with you when they are going to call you and what you can expect to discuss.

Your professional discussion is not a question and answer session and it is not an oral exam.

What if I lost my course in post?

We strongly suggest that you photocopy your work before you send it to the assessor by post as if it gets lost then there is absolutely nothing we can do and you may have to re-do all the work.

General

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

Yes – ideally.

This course is suitable for new dispensing staff, part-time dispensing staff, relief dispensers including Medicines Counter Assistants.

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 be working in pharmacy to enrol on this course?

Yes.

The NVQ is divided into two parts:

  • Modules – where you learn the knowledge required to work in the pharmacy
  • Units  – where you put your knowledge into practice

Therefore, you have to be working in the pharmacy to complete both parts of the course.

I have done a dispensing assistant course with an organisation other than the NPA, can I transfer onto the NPA NVQ Level 3 course?

No.

However, you can still enrol on to the NPA NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services and start the course from the beginning.

Can I transfer from ADAC to NVQ Level 3?

Yes upon successfully completing ADAC, within 15 months of enrolment.

The modules that make up ADAC are the same as the first four modules of the NPA NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services course.  The NPA is the only organisation that allows this unique ability to transfer onto the NVQ Level 3 once a student has completed ADAC.  This allows the student to get a feel of the course before committing to the full NVQ Level 3.  The NPA will not charge you any additional costs for transferring from ADAC to NVQ Level 3.  If a student decides to transfer, the cost of ADAC will be deducted from the total cost of the NVQ Level 3 course.

Contact the Professional Development Department or alternatively, request a transfer from ADAC to NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services.

Is this an accredited course?

Yes.

Completion of the course will allow you to apply to the GPhC and join the register as a qualified Pharmacy Technician.

Is there a minimum number of hours that I need to be working in a pharmacy to do the course?

Yes.

You need to be working a minimum of 14-20 hours to be able to enrol for this course.

Where do I send my work?

Modules: You must send your completed workbooks, case studies and multiple choice questions to your allocated marker, unless otherwise instructed.

Units: You must send your evidence collection work directly to your allocated assessor, unless otherwise instructed.