This website uses cookies to help you make the most of your visit.
By continuing to browse without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.
Give me more information

Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Staff training and development

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context

A pharmacy situated in a hospital and carrying out minimal registerable activity, including dispensing private prescriptions (5-6 private prescriptions per month). Most prescriptions were received from a private patients unit or were for specialist HIV medication. The pharmacy had over 350 staff across all departments which included the manufacturing unit, medicines information and wards. Less than a third of the workforce was involved in medicine supply.

Relevant standards

  • 2.2 - Staff have the appropriate skills, qualifications and competence for their role and the tasks they carry out, or are working under the supervision of another person while they are in training
  • 2.4 - There is a culture of openness, honesty and learning

Why this is notable practice

Staff are actively encouraged and supported to meet their learning needs and development plans are in place to identify skill gaps, with comprehensive support for those in training. There is an evident culture of learning, continuous improvement and personal development.

How the pharmacy did this

The dispensary was technician lead with ACTs completing the checking in most cases. The department had 15 pre-registration trainees and training technicians. Staff started off doing the NVQ 2 training. Trainee technicians were enrolled on a programme in conjunction with a local college. The department had an education and training team which consisted of pharmacy staff with qualified assessors in each location. Staff had to attend training days which were organised by the team. Pre-registration trainees had weekly training sessions and trainee technicians had a training session on Friday mornings, in addition to a day spent at college each week. Newly registered technicians (Band 4) had to complete a rotation which covered: oncology, wards and dispensary. They learnt how the hospital worked and also covered areas such as: robotics and manufacturing. Staff had to be qualified technicians for two years to be enrolled on the ACT course. Staff also had training days for aseptic preparations. Staff were also encouraged to attend CPPE courses and completed their required Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The technician gave an example of using her learning from wards to record CPDs. In addition to this there was further training for technicians who had to do the General Level Framework and the advanced GLF (framework). Pharmacists had to complete the diploma. Staff were also required to complete mandatory training on topics such as handwashing, anti-microbial, update with HIV and diabetes. Each trainee had a tutor and in each rotation they had a supervisor. The supervisor passed on any feedback to the tutor. Pre-registration trainees also completed cross-sector training. The pharmacy had pharmacy students routinely for placements. The medicines information team produced bulletins for the departments and staff were also given updates on the formulary.

What difference this made to patients

A comprehensive approach to the training and development of pharmacy staff from initial training through to post qualification and ongoing continual professional development helps to ensure that patients receive safe and effective services.

Highlighted standards

We have identified the standards most likely and least likely to be met in inspections, and highlighted examples of notable practice for each of these standards; to help everyone learn from others and to support continuous improvement:

  1. 1.1 Risk management
  2. 1.2 Reviewing and monitoring the safety of services
  3. 4.2 Safe and effective service delivery
  4. 4.3 Sourcing and safe, secure management of medicines and devices
  5. 2.2 Staff skills and qualifications