Trade for prosperity

Pharmacists are supported by a team of trained staff working under their direct supervision. They can include pharmacy technicians, accredited checking technicians and dispensing assistants.

A dispensing assistant, also known as a pharmacy assistant, is an important member of the pharmacy team. Dispensing assistants work on the front line of health care supporting patients in a range of community settings.


They work under the supervision of a pharmacist and help the pharmacist and pharmacy technician.


What does a dispensing assistant do?


Dispensing assistants are often the first point of contact for patients. They play an essential role in:


  • receiving prescriptions
  • assembling prescribed items
  • assisting in the issuing of prescribed items
  • ordering, receiving and maintaining medicine stock
  • listening and providing advice to patients
  • efficient running of the dispensary


How do I become a dispensing assistant?


Dispensing assistants work under the guidance of a pharmacist.


  • Training to become a dispensing assistant is vocational and you will need to be employed by a community pharmacy either full time or part time.
  • The entry requirements vary by employer but applicants usually require GCSEs or equivalent.
  • While employed, you will need to take the relevant modules of the Level 2 certificate in pharmacy service skills. This qualification must be recognised or accredited by the General Pharmaceutical council.


Pharmacists are supported by a team of trained staff working under their direct supervision.  They can include:


  • Pharmacy technicians – skilled members of the pharmacy team who prepare, dispense and supply and issue a range of medicines to patients.
  • Accredited checking technicians, who are specially trained to undertake accuracy checks of medicines
  • Dispensing assistants, who support the pharmacist in the management of dispensary stock.
  • Medicines counter assistants, who provide a range of functions to support the rest of the team.