Pre and in-process checking accreditation (PIPC)
The Nationally Recognised Framework for Pre and In-process Checking Accreditation within Pharmacy Technical Services has been developed as best practice guidance to promote robust checking systems in technical services throughout the NHS, as well as developing a safe and portable skill mix in line with government policy to ensure the patient receives a product suitable for its intended use.
Quality Assurance of Aseptic Preparation Services: Standards supports the view that pre and in-process checking forms an important part of the overall product approval process of aseptically prepared products.
Completion of a nationally recognised Pre and In-process Checking accreditation is an entry requirement for Pharmacy Technicians enrolling on to the Product Approval Accreditation Programme (PAAP).
Details of the training and assessment processes covering the product approval function/role can be found in the Nationally Recognised Competency Framework for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: The Assessment of Product Approval (Release) in Aseptic Services under Section 10 exemption.
Applying for Approval of PIPC training programme
Any training provider wishing to develop and deliver a Pre and In-process training and assessment programme can apply to have their programme mapped against the standards of the national framework and be approved nationally under the authority of the NHS Aseptic Services Accreditations Group. The approval panel members are occupational experts who have been designated by NHS ASAG.
Before a programme is submitted for approval, the programme lead must have assessed whether the programme fulfils the criteria of the framework. The submitted programme will then be assessed against criteria based on learning outcomes, resources and training delivery, and methods of assessment.
For more information on the programme approval process, please refer to the Approval Application Pack, available to download at Pharmacy Workforce Development South.
Current approved pre and in-process NHS training providers
Pharmacy Workforce Development South
Available to access online at Pharmacy Workforce Development South.
Health Education England
North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation Yorkshire and Humber Local Office,
available to access online at https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/medicines-optimisation
Product approval (release) accreditation
The Nationally Recognised Competency Framework for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians: The Assessment of Product Approval (Release) in Aseptic Services under Section 10 exemption outlines the processes that must be followed for the training and assessment of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians involved in an accreditation programme to be able to release aseptically prepared products.
Product Approval Accreditation Programme
The National Product Approval Accreditation Programme (PAAP) is a national training course that has been developed to deliver a functional and high-quality training and assessment programme for individuals who carry out the task of “product approval” for aseptic products, prepared within hospital pharmacies under section 10 exemption from the Medicines Act 1968.
The programme addresses the training requirements of both pharmacists and suitably trained and experienced, registered pharmacy technicians. As a result, the accreditation must be applied alongside an operating framework that ensures that pharmacist supervision and other governance and safety requirements are fulfilled.
The course is open to applications from across the United Kingdom.
Follow the link above to read more about the programme features or submit an application.
Recognition of prior learning and checking experience
The Product Approval Accreditation Programme Transitional Period for the Recognition of Prior Learning and Previous Checking Experience for Registration onto the Programme (May 2021 till May 2023) is intended to provide guidance for pharmacy technicians who wish to enrol onto the Product Approval Accreditation Programme (PAAP) using recognition of prior learning and previous checking experience in the absence of having completed a nationally recognised Pre and In-process Checking (PIPC) accreditation.
This option has been put in place for a period of two years (a similar agreement has been in place for and since the pilot programme) to support employers with maximising the knowledge and skills of their existing workforce and with future workforce planning.
This period will end May 2023 after which time holding a full nationally recognised PIPC certificate will become the only accepted route to enrolment onto the PAAP course for pharmacy technicians.
The process outlined for recognition of prior learning and previous checking experience is aimed at Pharmacy Technicians that meet all of the following requirements:
- are very experienced in technical services
- have completed an in-house pre and in-process checking training/competency
- have been demonstrating their pre and in-process checking skills on a regular basis
- have the PIPC role written into their job description
NHS Aseptic Services Accreditation Group
The NHS Aseptic Services Accreditation Group (ASAG) formed in response to Chief Pharmacists requesting increased development and training for all individuals working within technical services areas of pharmacy. One of the objectives of ASAG is to develop and maintain standards of competency covering staff in technical services completing accreditations around checking activity.
The working group has members from several professional areas of pharmacy, National Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Committee, Pharmaceutical Aseptic Services Group, Technical Services Manager, Pharmaceutical Technical Specialist Education and Training Group and Pharmacy Education and Training.
The following resources may be of use: