HNC Pharmacy Services Development and Management

HNC Pharmacy Services Development and Management

The HNC in Pharmacy Services Development and Management at SCQF level 7 has been designed to develop management skills of pharmacy technicians within the delivery of pharmacy services. The qualification aims to develop and improve skills in communication, management of others, management of projects, problem solving and self management. This qualification has been designed to help practising pharmacy technicians progress into managerial roles.

This qualification is available through colleges.

Alternative assessment guidance 2021-22

For guidance on which approach suits your current circumstances please use the HNVQ assessment decision tree

Why deliver this qualification

The HNC in Pharmacy Services Development and Management is vocational and will develop the skills and knowledge of employed pharmacy technicians. The qualification can be fitted around work commitments and will enhance career and employment prospects for candidates. The market for this qualification extends across all pharmacies in Scotland.

Who does this qualification suit

The HNC in Pharmacy Services Development and Management is designed for those pharmacy technicians in employment wishing to improve their career opportunities. The majority of candidates are employed in hospital pharmacy (secondary care), but the identified changes to the HNC should attract pharmacy technicians from community pharmacy (primary care) to support the evolving roles of the community pharmacist.


Access to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre, and the following recommendations are for guidance only. Some of the appropriate formal entry requirements are specified below. They are not exhaustive or mutually exclusive:

  • SQA National Certificate in Pharmacy Services (or equivalent)
  • SVQ Pharmacy Services level 3
  • a minimum of two years experience of employment as a qualified pharmacy technician or be currently in employment within a pharmacy or have access to a pharmacy

Other qualifications may be accepted for entry, and centres will have alternative access arrangements if you have the required competences. These arrangements are referred to as: Assessment on demand; Credit Transfer; and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL, or APEL).

Progression and employment

There is no direct progression to higher education as this HNC is a vocational qualification designed to support the extended roles of pharmacy technicians and is not solely pharmacy specific. Candidates who complete the HNC in Pharmacy Services Development and Management could progress towards management vocational qualifications or use their HNC as an entry requirement for an appropriate degree course.

What you'll learn?

The HNC Pharmacy Services Development and Management qualification has been designed in a generic way to help practising pharmacy technicians progress into managerial roles.

You will learn about: how to carry out an audit; how to identify gaps in the service and develop a plan to implement change; project activity; personal effectiveness; developing the individual within a team; working with people and teams; and applying knowledge of pharmacology to clinical situations.

You will also develop your planning, analysis, synthesis, evaluative, interpersonal skills, study and research skills.


Centres with devolved authority are eligible to seek approval through their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact the Business Development Team for guidance in completing the combined CA1/SA1 form.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA's general requirements as outlined in the guide to approval.

How to assess

A more holistic approach to assessment has been adopted in this HNC. The HN Unit specification places the emphasis on reducing assessment load for candidates and centres by devising assessments which assess the entire theory content of the Unit where appropriate, and by sampling of knowledge and/or skills carried out under closed-book conditions.

Where can you take this course?

Arrangements Documents

Unit(s) and delivery tools

Group Award code: G801 15 (96 SCQF credit points)
SCQF level: 7


Mandatory Units

The HNC comprises nine mandatory Units.

Communication: Presenting Complex Communication for Vocational Purposes ¿ F69L 34
Developing Skills for Personal Effectiveness ¿ DF4E 34
Developing the Individual within a Team ¿ F870 34
Research Skills ¿ F60A 34
Developing Pharmacy Services ¿ DR35 34
Communication: Business Writing Skills ¿ D7LN 34
Therapeutics: Common Medical Conditions ¿ DP95 34
Working with People and Teams ¿ A6GV 34
Pharmacy Services Development and Management: Graded Unit 1 ¿ DP9Y 34

Other information

There are no optional Units in the qualification. All Units are mandatory and are sufficiently generic that they can successfully be completed by candidates working in a variety of pharmacy settings, eg secondary and primary care settings, the MOD, HM Prison Service, and the pharmaceutical industry.

Qualifications Support Team (QST) - Action Grids