This consultation closed on the 11 October 2021


The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) would welcome views from providers, employers, and industry bodies on draft outline content for the Healthcare Science T Level occupational specialism of Pharmacy services.

The Technical Qualification element of a T Level comprises a core component and Occupational specialism.

The core component contains:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the concepts, theories and principles relevant to the T Level and the broader route.
  • Core skills relevant to the T Level.
  • Assessed through an external examination and a substantial employer-set project.

The Occupational Specialism contains:

  • Knowledge, skills and behaviours required to achieve threshold competence in an occupational specialism.
  • Maths, English and digital skills are included where they are necessary to achieve threshold competence.
  • Students must complete at least one occupational specialism.
  • Assessed synoptically through rigorous practical assignments

In this consultation, we are seeking views on the Pharmacy Services specialism content only.

This content has been developed by T Level panel of experts in consultation with the General Pharmaceutical Council and a panel of Higher Education Institution colleagues and will be used by an awarding body to develop this specialism within the Healthcare Science technical qualification.


Following the pausing of the pharmacy services occupational specialism, the Institute has worked in consultation with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and a panel of Higher Education Institutions to redesign the outline content to achieve the following:

  • Aligning the Outline Content to the L3 Pharmacy Technician standard (approve for delivery on 3 July 2019)
  • Aligning the Outline Content to the GPhC’s Learning Outcomes.
  • Increased scientific and pharmacy specific content to align more closely with industry expectations.
  • Developing a 1-year accelerated apprenticeship to enable progression for learners, on completion of the T Level, to register as a Pharmacy Technician.
  • Rebalancing of workplace hours across the 2-year T Level and 1-year apprenticeship to align with the GPhC’s criteria.
  • Additional scientific content has been added to support progression for learners to higher education.

The revised Outline Content aims to provide learners with the pharmacy specific knowledge and skills to progress to employment within the industry and the foundation scientific knowledge that would support progression to scientific higher education courses and potentially a Master of Pharmacy degree.

Employers, providers, and industry bodies are well-placed to feedback on the suitability of courses, which is crucial in developing the detailed qualification specification.

We are asking for those groups mentioned above to take part in a short survey in order to help us find out:

  • The number of hours we might expect the content covered to take (from your experience).
  • The suitability of the content for teaching in a study-based setting.
  • If there are gaps in content or content that is unnecessary.
  • Whether the content will provide good preparation for skilled employment.
  • Whether this content would provide good preparation for students to go on to higher education in a relevant area.
  • The differing levels of prior attainment required.
  • Whether the content covers the necessary scientific and pharmaceutical content.


T Levels are two-year, technical study programmes that are available across 11 industry routes. Alongside apprenticeships and A levels, T Levels are one of the 3 major options available to students aged 16 – 19.

T Level panels of experts set out the knowledge and skills required for each T Level, based on the same occupational standards as apprenticeships. This ensures that individuals taking T Levels can develop the technical knowledge and skills required by employers in that industry.  

The Outline Content for the T Levels waves 1-4 has been approved. Wave 1 T Levels in Education & Childcare, Construction and Digital were first delivered in September 2020. Wave 2 T levels in Construction, Digital and Health & Science are to be delivered from September 2021. Wave 3 and 4 T Levels will follow in subsequent years.

The Institute awards and manages contracts for the development of T Levels. The Institute also oversees the development and approval of the standards, qualifications and occupational maps for T Levels and apprenticeships. In addition to their role in approving apprenticeship standards, the Institute’s Route Panels – made up of employers and industry experts – scrutinise the outline content for all T Levels.


We are asking the relevant groups previously mentioned to take part in the consultation using the outline content document below to answer the questions on whether the current draft covers the areas mentioned above​


If you are a provider, employer or industry body and would like to send in your feedback, please respond by midnight on Monday 11th Oct.


We will consider your responses as we consider the outline content for the pharmacy specialism

We will publish the final content for the T Level specialism in early 2022 ahead of an anticipated first delivery of the Pharmacy Services specialism in September 2023.