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“I love that I’ve been catapulted into this exciting, different, sometimes crazy world of general practice” says Salmia Khan

Salmia Kahn

How long have you been qualified as a pharmacy technician?


I have been qualified as a pharmacy technician for 5 years, but have worked in pharmacy from the age of 17. I started off working as a Medicines Counter Assistant whilst completing my A-Levels. In those two years, I completed my MCA course and my NVQ2 Dispensing Assistant course with the NPA. I discovered my passion for pharmacy at that time and wanted to stay working in a community pharmacy, so I opted to start my NVQ3 instead of going to University. At that time, I only saw myself completing my NVQ3 and working for the same pharmacy forever because it was a two-minute walk from home. Little did I know that this would open up so many opportunities for my career.


What did your educational route entail to become a pharmacy technician?


When I applied to go onto the course, I was asked to give proof of my GCSE results and any further education. Completion of my MCA and NVQ2 was mandatory.


What is your opinion on the ‘grandparent clause’?


I think this is very outdated. I believe that training for pharmacy technicians (PTs) should be uniform and the underpinning knowledge should be the same for all PTs. I understand that there are many PTs that work at different levels, and have different levels of experience, which is also great, but for the compliance and governance side of things, there should be a nationally recognised qualification in place for all PTs. The roles and responsibilities are changing for PTs and Pharmacists as the profession is evolving, and we need to ensure all PTs are working towards the same standard, with the same underpinning knowledge.


What is your view on education and training for pharmacy technicians? Are they fit for purpose or is improvement required?


Improvement is definitely required, as I have mentioned before, the profession as a whole is changing, and we need to evolve with the changes. I am really pleased to see all of the great work being put in place by other pharmacy technicians in regards to reviewing education and training requirements for pharmacy technicians, and I hope this will encourage current PT’s to move out of their comfort zone and progress in their career, and also increase the uptake of PTs in the future.


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