Places are available for up to 840 pharmacy technicians to apply for new fully funded training launching in September.

The training aims to enable community pharmacy technicians to take on responsibility while more pharmacists train as independent prescribers.

Pharmacy technicians will be trained in consultation skills, therapeutics, clinical decision making and assessment skills as well as service improvement.

The training will be delivered online, with flexibility to accommodate the working patterns and prior experience of pharmacy technicians in community pharmacy.

In addition to independent e-learning, students will also receive education supervision and clinical skills training, with facilitated workshops, case studies, practice activities and group discussion.

David Webb, chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, said that the scope of practice for pharmacy technicians was being broadened ‘to make the most effective use of their skills, training and potential as registered, multi-professional healthcare team members’.

He added: ‘The ambition in community pharmacy is to continue to expand the clinical role of community pharmacy professionals in patient care pathways, providing more services in prevention, urgent care and long-term condition management and playing an important role in addressing health inequalities in the population.

‘Independent prescribing by all newly qualified community pharmacists from 2026 will open up new horizons supported by new clinical and technical roles for pharmacy technicians.’

Matthew Shaw, director of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), said that the programme would be ‘building the capability and capacity of community pharmacy services even further by extending and strengthening the roles of all registered members of the pharmacy team.’

‘Our heritage of developing team work in community pharmacy and engaging pharmacy technicians in learning continues to pay dividends for improved person-centred care and patient safety,’ he added.

Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the Company Chemists' Association (CCA) welcomed the investment but said that the provision of 840 training places 'only addresses a small part of the overall need', to train the current workforce of over 6,000 pharmacy technicians.

And he said that it was 'critical' that the government commissions new clinical services from community pharmacies in order for pharmacy technicians to put their new skills to use.