Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills (NVQ) (QCF)

Course Overview

The Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills is a vocational qualification designed to equip you with the essential skills you need to become a registered pharmacy technician with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The aim of this course is to provide you with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to practice as a pharmacy technician. The course includes an assessed work placement where you will spend a minimum of 14 hours per week. The College Placement Officer will help you to find a placement, usually in a community pharmacy or hospital.

This course consists of two separate qualifications both of which are needed to become a registered pharmacy technician. The first - the Level 3 Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills - is based on your work placement and requires you to collect evidence to demonstrate your competence in essential pharmacy skills such as dispensing medicines, counselling patients, receiving and maintaining pharmaceutical stock and providing pharmaceutical advice. The course is assessed through the completion of a portfolio of work-based evidence intended to confirm your competence as a pharmacy technician.

The second qualification is the Technical Certificate (accredited underpinning knowledge programme). This course provides you with all the theoretical knowledge you will need to carry out your day to day activities as a pharmacy technician. You will have the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of pharmacy including pharmaceutical science, pharmacy practice, pharmaceutics, laws and ethics, actions and uses of drugs and disease management. This part of the course will be completed by attending scheduled lectures at the college which will cover all the required knowledge. The course is assessed by the completion of one or more assignments at the end of each module; assignments include multiple- choice questions and short answer questions.

The course is ideal for you if:

  • You have an interest in science
  • You would like to make a positive contribution to the health of the local population
  • You enjoy interacting with different people as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • You are looking for a qualification that leads to employment.

Why Study at SLC?

  • You will be taught by UK qualified and registered pharmacists
  • You will have access to individual support for placements
  • You will have regular support sessions for assessments
  • You will benefit from interactive teaching methods including role plays, simulations and group work.

Commencement: January, July and September

Awarding Body: Edexcel (via Buttercups Training)

Level: QCF Level 3

Duration: 2 years

Study Mode: Part-time (1 day at the college & 14 hours in a compulsory work placement each week)

5 GCSEs at Grades A-C or equivalent, including English, Maths and Science.

A good level of spoken English will be required in order to take up a placement. Students whose first language is not English will have to do a short test before starting the course.

Please note this course is only available for UK, EU and ILR students.


The course is a vocational qualification and therefore includes an assessed work placement in a Pharmacy (either in the community or hospital). Students must demonstrate their competence by completing fourteen compulsory units and three optional units.

Click here for the course structure