Using normalisation process theory to understand implementation of integrated multi-sector pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician training

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The pre-registration trainee pharmacy technician (PTPT) integrated training programme is a workforce intervention designed to train PTPTs in multiple sectors. The programme recruited 35 PTPTs to 2-year training posts which involved employment in one sector, and a minimum of 12 weeks' work-based training in ≥2 further settings each year.

To identify facilitating and inhibiting factors to implementation of the PTPT integrated training programme and make recommendations on ways to embed and maintain PTPT integrated training in routine practice.

Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) constructs were used as a framework for analysis. Semi-structured interviews (14 PTPTs, 15 supervisors) explored PTPTs' learning and practice experiences over their 2-year training. A survey explored training outcomes (confidence and preparedness to practise) of integrated (n = 31) and single sector PTPTs (n = 39).

Whilst some understood the intervention well, others had differing understandings of its purpose and potential benefits (coherence). Educational and practice supervisors acknowledged the importance of regular communication but reported difficulties implementing this due to time constraints (cognitive participation). PTPTs benefitted from having an educational supervisor oversee learning and progress over 2-years, and a practice supervisor for their day-to-day learning. PTPTs' experiences of supervision were inconsistent due to variation in supervisors' availability, knowledge, experience, and level of support (collective action). Participants perceived the PTPT integrated training as supporting development of a flexible pharmacy technician workforce able to work across sectors. The survey found that integrated PTPTs felt significantly more prepared than single-sector PTPTs to work in different settings (reflective monitoring).

PTPTs on the programme had better ability to work in different sectors. Improving implementation requires clear understanding of the intervention's purpose by all stakeholders; clarity on supervisors' roles/contributions; and effective communication between supervisors to create effective learning opportunities. Findings can inform implementation of future multi-sector education and training globally.
Original languageEnglish
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2022


  • Pharmacy technician
  • Supervision
  • Experiential learning
  • Pharmacy training
  • Pharmacy education


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