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Pharmacy / dispensing assistant

Pharmacy/ dispensing assistants work under the supervision of pharmacists. They undertake general duties in community pharmacies.

What does a dispensing assistant do?

Their duties include:

  • sale of over the counter medicines
  • giving information to customers on symptoms and products
  • prescription receipt and collection
  • the assembly of prescribed items (including the generation of labels)
  • ordering, receiving and storing pharmaceutical stock
  • preparation for the manufacture of pharmaceutical products (including aseptic products)
  • manufacture and assembly of medicinal products (including aseptic products)

Skills required

You should have:

  • good teamwork skills
  • an ability to communicate well
  • good organisations skills

Training programme and entry qualifications

Trainees are mostly given on-the-job training. However, you can demonstrate ability in this area by completing NVQ level 2 in Pharmacy Services.

There are no formal entry requirements.

Career pathway

For those who have gained experience and wish to take on additional responsibility, opportunities to train as a pharmacy technician may be available.