Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians (PTPT)

Pharmacy Technicians work in a wide range of settings including (but not exclusively) registered pharmacies, community services, justice (the Prison Service), GP Practices, dispensing doctors’ practices, care homes, Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), hospitals, mental health, defence (HM Armed Services) and within the pharmaceutical industry. They prepare medicines and other healthcare products for the supply to patients.  They also take an active role in providing patients with guidance on taking medicines.

PTPT funding for 2023 – Applications now open – Information for Practices

Would you like to develop a Pharmacy Technician in your practice?  Applications to support the training of Cohort 5 are now open.

What is the PTPT programme?

This is a two-year apprenticeship programme combining working on the job, and one day a week off the job learning.  The training programme will be the Pharmacy Technician Training Programme with Buttercups, Bradford College or UEA and on completion of the course, individuals will be able to apply for registration with the GPhC as a Pharmacy Technician.

How does the programme work?

This is a cross-sector partnership, therefore, to be eligible for funding, you must form a partnership with a local community pharmacy. The GP Practice will be the employing organisation and will work with the pharmacy to agree the model of partnership.  This could be for example, 2 days a week in General Practice, 2 days a week in pharmacy and one in college, or 12 weeks in General Practice and 12 weeks in community pharmacy on a rotational basis throughout the placement.

The employing organisation will be responsible for salary, supervision, and employment contracts (annual leave, appraisals, etc).

How is the programme being run in Cornwall?

The programme is being coordinated centrally through the ICB Lead, who will submit a system wide bid on behalf of all parties.  Practices who want to provide a PTPT placement can commit to offering a placement and will then be matched with a community pharmacy partner.

How do I recruit to the role?

There are two options.

If you have an individual in your practice who you would like to develop: please submit your application form specifying this on your form.  Provided they meet the eligibility criteria, you can then be matched with a community pharmacy and enrol your staff member on the course.

If you want to recruit to the role: Please submit your application form, specifying you want to recruit.  Adverts and applications will be managed centrally.  Provided individuals meet the shortlisting criteria, their application forms will be sent to the Practice they have applied for, and you can interview them to suit you.

What funding is available?

NHS England/HEE are making available £46,099 per individual over the two years.  Funding will be split into:

  • Year 1: £22,772
  • Year 2: £23,327

Funding will be held centrally via Kernow Health CIC and is released from HEE in 6 monthly intervals.  You will therefore be required to pay for the salary upfront and claim reimbursement.

Please note: There will be a shortfall of £5000 per individual per year, which will contribute towards administration costs and central placements training provided by RCHT.

What is the commitment?

As this is an apprenticeship programme, you must commit to the following:

  • 1 day a week attendance at college or off the job training
  • Provision of an educational and practice supervisor (this can be the same person)
  • Minimum of 2-year contract
  • Payment of any additional training and salary costs.
  • Time off to spend working in a community pharmacy organisation

NHS England are now releasing funding for Cohort 5 of the Pharmacy Technician Workforce Expansion Programme. Practices who are interested in employing a Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician (PTPT), working in conjunction with community pharmacy, can now confirm their placement offer and apply for funding.  This is a two year apprenticeship programme during which the individual will undertake a Pharmacy Technician Training Programme with Buttercups Training to enable them to apply for registration with the GPhC.

Bids and applications are being coordinated centrally as part of a system wide bid through the ICB Pharmacy Lead. Practices do not need to identify a Community Pharmacy at this stage.  Advertising and shortlisting will be coordinated centrally, or you are able to develop one of your existing staff members if they meet the eligibility criteria.  For further details on the requirements of a placement please read the guidance below, or contact

Register your interest

If you are interested in employer a Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technicians Apprenticeship from 2023 please register here.

Useful Resources

Generic Job Description Template – PTPT

Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacy Support Staff Workforce Development Strategy (

Employer Guidance Workforce Expansion Programme 2022-23 (

Frequently Asked Questions – PT Workforce Expansion Project 2022-23 (

Further Information

The information below is for:

  • Employers – PCNs and GP Practices in Cornwall looking to partake in and provide a 2-year work-based experience opportunity for a Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician (PTPT); and for
  • Prospective Employees looking for opportunities in Cornwall to undertake their 2-year work-based experience in a primary care setting.


Read more on what it is like training as a PTPT under Prospective Employees below.

Further information for Employers

Information about the programme

  • A 24 month training programme for pre-registration pharmacy technicians (PTPTs).  The NHS Long Term Plan has highlighted a need to grow pharmacy technician numbers to meet the increasing demand for patient-facing clinical pharmacy roles across the settings.  With pharmacy technicians added to roles eligible for the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) within primary care networks, it is essential that we work to grow PTPT placement numbers, ensuring workforce demands and patient needs are met across all sectors moving forward.
  • The training consists of two years of consecutive work-based experience under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician alongside a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) approved integrated competency and knowledge-based qualification/course.
  • Health Education England (HEE) have funded places for cross sector or integrated partnerships that will deliver a work-based training programme for PTPTs that meet the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) 2017 Initial Education and Training (IET) Standards for pharmacy technicians.  The knowledge component of PTPT training will be delivered by an education provide, ideally through the apprenticeship route.
  • Taking on a PTPT is a long-term investment to ‘grow our own workforce’ and will support participants to meet the increased demand placed on clinical services across sectors.  Many organisations are struggling to recruit qualified pharmacy technicians with the required experience, particularly in sectors not traditionally associated with the role, such as primary care networks (PCNs) or General Practice (GP).
  • By participating in this training programme, you will be contributing to a future pharmacy technician workforce better prepared to deliver enhanced integrated healthcare system services from the point of qualification.  This should in turn mean that less resource is required to establish new starters in these roles in the future.
  • CIOS have secured funding for these roles, from HEE.
  • Please register your interest here for future placements.


“It was really good to have an extra pair of hands to help, especially with medication focused queries.  I was able to delegate a little bit of light audit work. Hearing/knowing how secondary care worked from their experience and sometimes having useful contacts was helpful to deal with discharge queries”.

Holly Post- Clinical Pharmacist – Bodriggy Health Centre


Register your interest

If you are interested in partaking in the 2-year Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technicians Apprenticeship the please register your interest here.


Useful Resources

Generic Job Description Template – PTPT

Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacy Support Staff Workforce Development Strategy (

Employer Guidance Workforce Expansion Programme 2022-23 (

Frequently Asked Questions – PT Workforce Expansion Project 2022-23 (


Prospective Employees

Job role

Pharmacy technicians manage the supply of medicines and devices in a pharmacy and assist pharmacists with advisory services.

Once qualified as a Pharmacy Technician you could be involved in the following areas:

  • providing safe and effective pharmacy services
  • supply medicines and devices to patients, whether on prescription or over the counter
  • achieving the best outcomes through a patient’s medicines
  • assemble medicines for prescriptions
  • provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals
  • manage areas of medicines supply such as dispensaries
  • supervise other pharmacy staff / training and development
  • answering customers questions face to face or by phone
  • pre-packing, assembling and labelling medicines
  • referring problems or queries to the pharmacist
  • manufacturing
  • aseptic dispensing
  • quality control
  • procurement
  • information technology
  • clinical trials
  • medicines information

At the same time as providing patient centred care, you will also learn how to help people live healthier lives, adopt ways of working to reduce and prevent errors, look at ways to improve services and support colleagues in all aspects of medicines optimisation.


Entry requirements

The entry requirements will vary depending on the course provider. However, as a guide, you might be expected to have the equivalent of four GCSEs at Grade C and above, including mathematics, English language, science and one other subject. You will also need to be working in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.


Course Providers

Buttercups Training – Pharmacy Technician Training Programme (Apprenticeship Pathway)

Bradford College – Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Technicians

University of East Anglia – Certificate of Higher Education in Pharmacy Technician Practice Apprenticeship



I applied for the role during the pandemic, after leaving university and having no clue what I wanted to do; prior to this I had no pharmacy experience, however I’m frequently told that you would never have known this now. It was the opportunity to develop a career as opposed to just getting a job, whilst earning a living wage as an apprentice.

Being able to learn on the job, surrounded by colleagues who are so knowledgeable, meant that I was looking forward to going to work and it didn’t feel like a chore. Looking back now, I honestly can’t say there was an aspect of the course that I didn’t enjoy – it gave a great mix of knowledge and skills from accuracy checking through to human anatomy, and having my work placement split between an acute hospital and a GP surgery setting meant that I was able to build upon all aspects of what I had learnt.

I’m fully qualified now and about to join the register; I have a great job with set work hours which has been vital for me, a good pension scheme and the opportunity for career progression. I couldn’t be more grateful to have been offered the opportunity to become a PTPT, and had the opportunity been available to me prior to applying for university, I would have 100% chosen this path”.

Rhiannon – Pharmacy Technician – North Cornwall Coast PCN

Training completed with Bradford College, North Cornwall Coast PCN & Royal Cornwall Hospital


“I applied to be a PTPT after being a Pharmacy Assistant for 5 years because I wanted to progress my career and learn new skills. I learnt lots about human biology, chemistry and how this applies to pharmacy and how medicine works to treat different conditions. The course also taught me how to accurately check dispensed items and carry out medicines optimisation. I am able to carry on these skills in multiple different settings and it has enabled me to take on more responsibilities as a Pharmacy Technician. It was helpful to learn about different medical conditions and how they are managed and this really improved my understanding of different specialities I have previously come across in my hospital. Doing the course and becoming a Pharmacy Technician has opened up new opportunities for me and I would recommend doing it, I had lots of support and the 2 years flew by”.

Ellie – Pharmacy Technician – Duchy Hospital

Training completed with Bradford College & Royal Cornwall Hospital


“I applied for the PTPT course due to the issues created by COVID and I have not looked back since. I really enjoyed my time on the course which has allowed me to work with several great teams throughout many areas of the healthcare and pharmacy industries. I have been able to develop my skills and gain a vast amount of knowledge which has in turn, allowed me to become an effective pharmacy professional. I particularly enjoyed learning about the sciences behind medications and why/when we use them, this applied to the sciences of the human body, I found both challenging and engaging throughout the course. This course has provided me with a career that I enjoy greatly, filled with many exciting opportunities in the future. I would highly recommend this course and taking that leap into the pharmacy industry, as it has provided me with a stable, interesting and solid career path”.

Ben – Pharmacy Technician – Three Spires Medical Practice

Training completed with Bradford College, Royal Cornwall Hospital & Three Spires Medical Practice


Other useful resources

Generic Job Description – PTPT

General Pharmaceutical Council

Standards for Pharmacy Professionals – May 2017 (

NHS values of compassion, dignity and respect

Other approved courses and qualifications for pharmacy technicians | General Pharmaceutical Council (


If you would like to discuss anything on this webpage then please contact:


Victoria Ling

CIOS System Pharmacy Workforce Lead and Lead Pharmacist for Education, Training and Development