15. Pharmacy Assistant Programme - Teamwork

This module on Teamwork will prepare you contribute to the effectiveness of teams and make your pharmacy a success. 


Learning outcomes

Working in a Pharmacy

Overall aim of course

To contribute to the effectiveness of teams.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Know the legal and ethical requirements relevant to working in a pharmacy team
  • Understand the principles of effective team work
  • Know your own strengths and weaknesses

Why is this module important? 

Working effectively as part of team is important to morale and the success of the pharmacy. A strong team that works well together contributes to the customer experience in the pharmacy and service excellence which the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will be looking for during inspections.

What do you know already?

You probably know more than you think. Take this quick test and see how much you know already. 

  • SMART is an acronym used to define goals
  • Belbin’s theory relates to team roles
  • There are 3 GPHC Professional Standards
  • A characteristic of a good team is to avoid taking risks
  • One of the steps in a disciplinary procedure is to give letter setting out the issue

Download workbook here

MCA Work In Pharmacy Module 1

Getting started

Consolidating your learning

The next part of the course brings your learning to life.

Once you've read the PDF and had a chance to complete the Time Out sections, you'll be ready to look at different situations and see how you respond. Don't worry these are not assessed so you can make as many mistakes as you like. In fact people learn better from mistakes.

Have fun!

Interactive Exercises

Online activities

In your workbook you’ll find some online activities highlighted. You can either link directly from the PDF as you read through each section, or you may prefer to set aside time to focus on doing the activities separately.

Team roles

Take the short self-assessment to decide what team role best suits your personality.

GPhC standards

Watch this short video about the GPhC standards.

RPS Medicines, Ethics and Practice

Watch this short video about the the RPS MEP.

What are Belbin Team Roles used for?

Team Roles

A Team Role as defined by Dr Meredith Belbin is “A tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way.” The value of Belbin Team Role theory lies in enabling an individual or team to benefit from self-knowledge and adjust to the demands being made by the external situation.

What are Belbin’s team roles used for?

  • To encourage staff to learn their strengths and weakness and how they contribute to the team dynamics
  • To label individuals for their appraisal
  • To encourage staff to like each other
  • To set standards in teamwork

What are the characteristics of a good team?

A good team - FF to complete

Pick which of the following are the characteristics of a good team?  

  • Everyone participates actively and positively in meetings and projects.
  • Team goals are understood by everyone.
  • Individual members have thought hard about creative solutions to the problem.
  • Members are carefully listened to and receive thoughtful feedback.
  • Everyone takes initiative to get things done.
  • All the above

What makes a good team member?

A good team member - FF to populate

Choose from the following characteristics, which are good to have in a team member?

  • Encourages the development of other team members
  • Likes to gossip about colleagues
  • Involves others in the decision-making process
  • Trusts, supports, and has genuine concern for other team members
  • Will not accept constructive criticism
  • “Owns” problems rather than blaming them on others
  • Is argumentative and confrontational
  • Just gets on with own work, nothing else matters

What does SMART mean?

SMART goals

A team should always have clear goals and objectives. Objectives should be S.M.A.R.T. You will see this acronym frequently throughout your career so remember what it stands for.






Consider the following statement.

“Jane will sign up 2 patients each week to the smoking cessation service between the first week in January to the end of March.”

Now see which phrase best matches up to the element of the goal.

  • sign up
  • 2 patients each week
  • first week in January to the end of March

What are GPHC professional standards?

GPhC standards

The GPHC has professional standards that all pharmacy professionals should work to.

Is the following statement True or False?

  • The GPhC professional standards apply to pharmacist only.

What happens at a disciplinary?

Disciplinary procedures

Your employer could start formal disciplinary action against a team member if they have concerns about their work, conduct or absence.

Before taking formal disciplinary action or dismissing the person, your employer may try to raise the matter informally with them. However, they can go straight to their formal disciplinary or dismissal procedures.

Disciplinary procedures are a set way for an employer to deal with disciplinary issues. They should include a disciplinary hearing where you’re given a chance to explain your side of the story.

There should also be a chance to appeal any disciplinary action your employer decides to take.

Put the following stages of a disciplinary process in the correct order

  • A letter setting out the issue
  • A meeting to discuss the issue
  • A disciplinary decision
  • A chance to appeal this decision

How do you manage conflict within your team?

Managing conflict

Most often when there is a disagreement within a team, both parties actually do want the same thing, but their communication or personality styles are different. It’s a good starting point when managing conflict in a team to find out what both people really want to happen. If there is conflict with another member of the team it is good practice to raise this with your manager.

You and a colleague clash over whose turn it is to go on the shop floor and ‘pull forward’. Your colleague feels she’s always the one doing it but you thought she preferred to do that to being on the medicines counter.

Which of the following would you do to help the situation?

  • Listen
  • Show empathy
  • Read body language
  • Diffuse any anger
  • Tell the manager immediately
  • Ask other colleagues to join in the argument

How to communicate with your team members?

Team communication

Good communication is essential in any team, but it comes in many forms other than verbal. The ways in which a team can communicate and become productive are:

  • Using positive body language
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Posters  
  • Team memos
  • Team meetings – can also take place using technology such as video/web calls.

Is the following statement True or False?

  • A good way to communicate in a team is raising your voice until you are heard

How do you use SOPs?

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) cover all area of the pharmacy’s practice, whether it’s handling customer complaints, handing out prescription items or recommending over the counter medicines. They specify how each operation should be carried out and how each member of the team is involved.

Standard operating procedures are structured instructions which detail what is to be done and by whom.

Match the SOP section with the correct description:

  • Scope
    ... the activity which is covered by the SOP
  • Objective
    ... the purpose of the procedure
  • Responsibility
    ... who is able/authorised to carry out the activity
  • Stages of the procedure
    ...step by step instructions on what should be done and how should be clear and unambiguous
  • Audit
    ...a review of whether it worked

Scenario - blank awaiting content

Resources - FF to complete

Supporting modules to complete

Take action

End of module reflection point 

Have your learning outcomes been met? 

Have the following learning outcomes identified at the start of this module been met?

  • Know the legal and ethical requirements relevant to working in a pharmacy team
  • Understand the principle of effective team work.
  • Know your own strength and weaknesses

What went well with your learning? 

What didn’t go so well? 

Ask your Pharmacist for some feedback

Preparing for the next module

In the next module you will explore Dispensing. To prepare for the next module, ask your line manager for copy of the dispensing process SOP.  Read and consider if there are any parts in the process that you aren’t permitted to undertake.

This material has been prepared to support your practice. Use of this material is not intended to replace the need to refer to the latest product information and other established sources of information. Information correct at time of publication. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of information, Mediapharm does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. Mediapharm is not responsible for the content of any external websites mentioned.

© 2018 Mediapharm Ltd. V1 29.01.18 


Test your understanding

  • SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed
  • Belbin’s team roles are used to set standards in teamwork
  • There are 4 GPhC professional standards
  • It is not appropriate for a team to communicate with each other via email
  • ACAS stands for the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service
  • An example of effective leadership is turning a blind eye to errors
  • An example of speaking up about concerns is telling the manager what you think of them
  • Respecting personal privacy and confidentiality includes not gossiping about patients
  • Professional behaviour means putting the patient first in all your activities
  • An example of partnership working is talking to the GP receptionist on the telephone to sort out a prescription query