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Career Spotlight: Director of Pharmacy Technician Programmes, Melanie Boughen

Melanie Boughen MA (Health. Ed.), MAPharmT, FHEA


What is your role now?

Director of Pharmacy Technician Programmes, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia. Iā€™m responsible for the provision of pre- and post-registration education and development training for pharmacy technicians.


I also represent the East of England Pharmacy Technician workforce at a national level and I’m the Academic and Education Lead on the APTUK Advisory Group


What roles did you do to get to where you are now?


  • Community pharmacy technician (where I trained)
  • Dispensary Manager in a dispensing practice
  • NVQ Assessor
  • Pharmacy lecturer for pre-reg pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants (ongoing)
  • Rotational then ward-based Pharmacy technician ā€“ West Suffolk Hospital
  • Principal Pharmacy Technician, Education and Training, West Suffolk Hospital
  • Internal Quality Assurer for Pharmacy awards (ongoing)
  • Appointed member of the RPSGB Support Staff Advisory Group
  • Lecturer for regional NHS CPD courses for pharmacy technicians (Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire)
  • Specialist Pharmacy Technician Lead for Education and Training, NHS Pharmacy Practice Unit (Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire)
  • Director of Pharmacy Technician Programmes, School of Pharmacy, University of East Anglia


What do you enjoy about your job?

I am glad that I chose to train as a pharmacy technician and my diverse experience across different sectors has been so valuable to me in my work. I sometimes reflect on the progression that pharmacy technicians have made since I started, particularly those in secondary care, but there is still a long way to go, particularly the development and opportunities for our colleagues in the community sector.


I really do enjoy what I do, however, if I had to choose just one thing above everything it has to be educating, training and developing our future workforce, the pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians. This is how I started out on my education pathway and where my deep passion lies.


We work closely with the employers and listen to the students as all are stakeholders. Seeing them progress from the start of their qualification to the end and how they mature into their professional role, knowing the influence and responsibility that we all have in the process is so important and something that we work very hard to achieve. At the very start of their training, the one thing I tell all the students is never to forget that patients are at the centre of our universe and everything we do has to be for the good of the patient!


How much do you earn?

Enough to pay my golf club fees! Seriously, my salary is fair for the level of responsibility that I have and equal to colleagues in similar roles. Pay is always a sensitive topic, but I do believe that people should be paid fairly for the role that they undertake and that this can be a contributing factor not only to career progression but also to the services we are able to provide to optimise patient-centred care.


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