Pharmacy Assistant News

Immunisation dates for 2021 are set

Dates for the 2021 Immunisation Courses have been set and we are now accepting online registrations.

The program provides pharmacists with the knowledge to manage vaccine administration in the pharmacy as part of the Victorian Pharmacist Administered Vaccination Program. Pharmacists successfully completing this program will obtain a certificate issued by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. 

Feedback for the course has been fantastic but don’t take our word for it…

“I attended the Pharmacy Guild’s IMMUNISATION COURSE in April 2020 and found it to be one of the best one-day trainings that I have attended in a long while. The nurse-trainer was knowledgable, humorous, friendly and very capable, and I got all that I came to the course for. I am happy to recommend the course to any pharmacist wanting to hone their skills and expand their professional capabilities.


For further information click here

Job Vacancy

We have an exciting opportunity for a dynamic Trainer/Assessor who specialises in the delivery of Community Pharmacy Qualifications.

Your vast experience as a Pharmacist or Pharmacy Assistant will allow you to play a key part in the learning and development for Pharmacy Assistance in both Victorian metro and rural regions.

This is a Full-Time position. Applications close 4th Jan 2021

Further details available here

Upskilling staff more important than ever

Pharmacy is a kaleidoscope of change and 2020 has altered the way training has been delivered at the Guild. 

With pharmacy at the forefront of health emergency and essential services this has meant that staff need to be supported in upskilling and creating employment opportunities as well has developing the confidence and up to date knowledge to work effectively in pharmacy’s constantly changing environment. Pharmacies are an essential healthcare provider which have continued to deliver vital assistance to the community during the bushfire crisis in regional Victoria and again during the ongoing pandemic. 

Guild training provides a holistic approach to training, support and advice to community pharmacy and their staff. Training offers a platform for staff to provide professional services for the health and wellbeing of the community resulting in delivering a boost to the pharmacy.

Understandably, many pharmacies have had little or no time to support their staff in meeting their training needs as their priority to date during 2020 is the community at large. When COVID hit, regional and rural pharmacies were still recovering from the bushfires. As a member service, Guild Training’s focus has been supporting pharmacy through the challenges of this time and making alterations in the way training is delivered. 

Guild Training is very aware of the emotional and physical toll the pandemic has taken on pharmacy staff dealing with their own fear and anxiety and that of the community. We have granted requests of suspensions and extensions, listened and adapted to flexible working hours by setting up after hours assessments. 

Virtual platforms have been introduced to replace face to face visits and end dates extended to give staff more time to complete their workbooks. These changes are supported via care calls to ensure that staff and pharmacists can discuss their training options at any time so we can customise the training to meet the needs of the business. 

Guild Training recently received funding to deliver training focussed at regional and rural pharmacies for Certificate III and Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy, and the Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy Dispensary. This funding will allow more access to rural pharmacy via supporting students across vast distances by increased face to face visits and growing training, employment and career pathways in this sector. It will also help us deliver crucial training and support the ongoing needs of the industry. Community pharmacies are more essential than ever, particularly in regional and rural areas, and we will work to ensure your staff have the latest skills they need to continue to serve those communities during the pandemic and beyond.

Kyisha Freeman, Dispensary Technician, Yarra Junction Pharmacy

Kyisha undertook the Cert III and Cert IV in Community Pharmacy with the Guild. 

Training with the Guild has given me a great perspective into the various aspects of community pharmacy. It has helped me fully grasp the value of customer service and how I can help improve staff management. Michelle Skinner has been my trainer since I first started training with the Guild, she has been exceptionally helpful and a great Mentor. The past year has been flat out in pharmacy as you all would know. 

The skills that I learnt from the course have helped me manage some of the issues that we faced at the pharmacy. Infection Control unit from Cert III was very relevant given the pandemic. It helped me implement and manage some of the changes in store. I have also recently done a unit on Work Health and Safety which has helped me look at the health and safety aspect of the staff in our pharmacy.

My study time has been disrupted due to the pandemic, but the Guild have been very helpful. They have allowed unit extensions and provided additional support which has taken away a lot of my stress. I miss not seeing Michelle face to face, but we now do our assessments over the phone and she calls me frequently in between to ensure I’m on the right track. Overall training with the Guild has been challenging but enjoyable at the same time. It has helped me grow so much in my workplace from a Pharmacy Assistant to a Dispensary Technician.

Emma Gash, Pharmacy Assistant, Neilson’s Pharmacy Yarram

Emma was part of the LaTrobe Valley Traineeship Pilot Program and is currently enrolled in Cert III in Community Pharmacy with the Guild.

I started working at Neilson’s pharmacy in March, right about when COVID hit and I felt fortunate to have a job. The Training helped me during this time as the first few units that I learnt were on prescriptions and I could help the other staff in the dispensary at an extremely busy time for the pharmacy. I enjoy working in the pharmacy, learning about the products and sharing my knowledge with the customers trying to assist them. I am grateful to the Pilot Program and the Guild that helped me discover what I enjoy doing.

Kay Neilson, Pharmacy Owner, Neilson’s Pharmacy

It has been a very exciting journey for us. My husband Geoff has a passion for pharmacy, and I have a passion for training – the Guild is the link that brings it all together for us! 

It has happened with us twice that we have advertised for a position and have had two applicants that we could not turn back – so we created a second position just to have them join our pharmacy. It is so exciting to see passion in young people! Our young trainees have moved on to Nursing and other Allied Health professions and as much as I feel sad to let them go it helps us provide that opportunity to other trainees in the area. The Guild makes it all possible by developing units and timelines that are achievable. It builds confidence in the students and gives them the platform to grow further. 

Wodonga pharmacy assistant to represent Victoria in national award

The dream of representing their state in a national award which recognises and celebrates outstanding pharmacy assistants has become a reality for Cody Marshall from United Chemists Wodonga.

Cody has been chosen to represent Victoria at the National Finals of the 2020 Pharmacy Guild of Australia/ Maxigesic Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award (PATY).

PATY, which is in its 14th year and is the premier award for pharmacy assistants in Australia, is being contested entirely online in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Cody was selected as the VIC State Winner for her demonstration of pharmacy knowledge and skills in customer service and in leadership.

By participating in the National Finals, Cody will be in the running to take home over $10,000 in prizes including cash, a training package, educational opportunities and other great rewards.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia National President, George Tambassis congratulated Cody for her valuable contribution to community pharmacy in Australia.

“This award recognises pharmacy assistants who go the extra mile to help our customers – which is critical to the future success of the pharmacy industry as our range of services to the public continues to grow,” Mr Tambassis said.

“The calibre of PATY nominees is always extremely high, and each PATY nominee candidate displays a strong commitment to their work and this industry”.

Calvin MacKenzie, General Manager of AFT Pharmaceuticals, the award’s major sponsor, was delighted that Cody was selected to represent the state at the national awards.

“AFT Pharmaceuticals is very honoured to support PATY and to ensure that the industry is recognising excellence in the frontline of pharmacy.”

“I congratulate Cody for standing out as Victoria’s top pharmacy assistant and look forward to seeing her at the National Finals on 30 October,” Mr MacKenzie said.

In addition to the main award, PATY features the Glucojel Super Star Award, which recognises outstanding customer service amongst the PATY state finalists. Congratulations to Susan Gainey from TeryWhite Chemmart Mentone for taking out this year’s Glucojel Super Star Award for Victoria.

Changes due to COVID-19

Changes to Guild Training courses and processes due to COVID-19

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria and the fact that the Victorian Branch of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is now closed for at least the next 6 weeks, Guild Training has had to make some amendments to it’s processes and workflows regarding S2S3 workbooks.

S2S3 Workbooks

Students will now only have the choice of enrolling in the S2S3 online course or the S2S3 Digital Workbook course. The digital version of the workbook can be completed by typing into the PDF document and saving. There are several alternate options for completing and submitting work Click here

Paperless Submission Of Work

There are several options for completing and submitting work – Click here

Last chance for PATY 2020

The Pharmacy Assistant of the Year Award is the premier award for Australian pharmacy assistants, recognising and celebrating the ‘best of the best’ in community pharmacy.

How To Nominate


If you have already nominated using the old criteria, a member of our team will be in touch to discuss this with you.


In addition to outstanding training, development and networking opportunities, the award offers the following prizes:

State Finalists

The top 5 finalists in each state are invited to participate in a State Selection Interview.

State Winners

One winner will be selected from each state/ territory and awarded:

  • Custom glass trophy
  • Exclusive training and development sessions
  • National recognition in industry publications such as Retail Pharmacy, AJP, ITK, AJP, Pharmacy Daily and Pharmacy News
  • Profile in National Guild electronic and social media platforms
  • Invitation to be a judge at the PATY 2021 State Workshop Day in their state or territory

National Winner

One National winner will be selected and awarded:

  • Custom glass trophy
  • $5,000 cash prize
  • Guild Training Package of your choice
  • Return flights, accommodation and registration to APP2021 on the Gold Coast, including tickets to the Welcome Reception and Street Party (pending availability)
  • Invitation to participate as a judge for the 2021 state workshop day in your state
  • Return flights, accommodation and registration to PA2021, including tickets to the Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner (pending availability)
  • Invitation to participate as a judge at the 2021 National Workshop Day at the PA Conference in October

2020 Student Outcomes Survey: Have your say about training

Did you complete training with us in 2019? If so, you may be invited to participate in the National Student Outcomes Survey, Australia’s largest survey of VET students.

Completing this survey will help to improve training courses and programs, and help students like yourself to make better decisions about their training options.

Make sure to complete your survey early for more chances to WIN a share of the prize draw! Invitations will be sent to eligible students from mid-June 2020.

For more about the survey, including what information is collected and how survey responses will be reported, you can read the FAQs here:

Congratulations Ashley West

Congratulations to Ashleigh West from Barry Dean Pharmacy on completing her SIR40216 Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy Dispensary.

Pharmacy owner Julie Wong is excited to have Ashleigh’s practical experience and assistance in the dispensary as her practical experience grows in the pharmacy.

Ashleigh says she found Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy Dispensary very well structured and broad, allowing her to work in different parts of the pharmacy and practising her newly learnt skills.

“I took about 15 months to complete the course as I was working full-time and finding time for dedicated study was a challenge that I overcame with good time management” shares Ashleigh. She also found the course rewarding and has learnt a lot of practical skills.

Talking specifically on support received from Guild Training, Ashleigh says “My trainer Michelle Skinner was lovely and organised which definitely helped me. She was always in contact with me about my units and their due dates and was there to support me when required.”

For more information about Cert IV click here