Scope, Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics
01 March 2021 - the Scope(s), standards and Code of Ethics are still in draft, and currently going through a consultation process. They are published here for your information. If you wish to comment on these, please contact the College of Pharmacists
Scopes of Practice
Pharmacy Technician practice is a subset of the practice of pharmacy, and is commensurate with a Pharmacy Technician's approved education, training and competence. A Pharmacy Technician is “an individual working in a pharmacy setting who, under the supervision of a registered pharmacist, assists in pharmacy activities that do not require the professional judgment of a pharmacist.”(Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2001;58(1):69-76.)
The Pharmaceutical Society of NZ Inc sets the prescribed qualifications for the Pharmacy Technician and PACT Scopes:
- NZ Certificate in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician - Core) Level 4
- NZ Certificate in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician - Advanced) Level 5
- NZ Diploma in Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician - Specialist) Level 6
- Pharmaceutical Society of NZ PACT Certification.
Standards of Practice for Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmacy Accuracy Checking Technicians (PACTs) in New Zealand November 2020
These standards are intended to establish a national standard for the pharmacy technician workforce, and to support and be consistent with The Competence Standards for the Pharmacy Profession (pharmacists).
They focus on the principles of good practice required of pharmacy technicians who have completed training programmes approved or recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ.
It should be noted that because of the diverse roles that are undertaken by pharmacy technicians, not all competencies may be relevant to all pharmacy technician’s roles.
These Standards have been developed to:
- define the expected knowledge, skills and behaviours of pharmacy technicians both at entry and advanced levels, as described in the Scopes
- support entry level pharmacy technicians develop the knowledge and skills to allow their progression to advanced level practice
- provide a benchmark for pharmacy technicians to review and advance their practice by identifying gaps in current practice
- provide assurance that the pharmacy technician workforce is maintaining and developing their knowledge and skills to enable them to support pharmacists in their professional roles in the rapidly changing professional environment.
There are five Practice Standards:
- Professional Practice
- Communication and Collaboration
- Patient and Pharmaceutical Care
- Quality and Workplace organisation
- Undertake the final accuracy check of dispensed medicines (PACT only)
Code of Ethics for NZ Pharmacy Technicians and PACTs
Why a Code of Ethics?
A code of ethics is an essential characteristic of any profession and serves three main functions:
- It clearly articulates the minimum ethical and professional principles that guide members of the profession and under which they are accountable
- It provides a benchmark for monitoring and addressing the conduct of members of the profession.
- It serves as a resource for education, self-evaluation and peer review
The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to provide guidance to Pharmacy Technicians for their expected conduct, practice and professional performance.
The public and other health professionals place a significant amount of trust in pharmacy technicians. As a result, technicians have an obligation to maintain a high level of professionalism and capability, and also behave with integrity and remain accountable for their own actions or inactions.
At all times, the pharmacy technician is under the supervision of a pharmacist however, working as a pharmacy technician carries obligations as well as privileges.
- the development and use of professional knowledge and skills for the benefit of those who use professional services,
- the maintenance of good professional relationships with others, and
- behaviour that promotes confidence and trust in the pharmacy profession.
This code is not exhaustive and cannot cover every situation that may be encountered. The professional and ethical principles outlined in this Code should be the basis for making decisions, particularly where there are conflicts. Ethical standards are never less than those required by law; frequently they are more stringent.
Who does the Code apply to?
Membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of NZ inc (the Society) comes with an expectation that members will practice in a professional and ethical manner at all times. This is for the benefit of the public, other health professionals and the pharmacy profession as a whole.The Code of Ethics is applicable to all Pharmacy Technicians in any pharmacy practice, education and research environments including non-traditional practice settings which may not involve a healthcare professional/patient relationship.All Pharmacy technicians are responsible for applying the Code of Ethics requirements in the context of their own specific professional working environments.