Where is it?
What is it?
The pharmacy assistant prepares solutions or capsules and performs some analyzes (albumin, glucose, etc.). He/she is also in charge of inventory management (supply, verification of deliveries, etc.) and sales. He/she is under the responsibility of a pharmacist.
Pharmacy assistant degrees outside the European Union are not recognized in France and beneficiaries of international protection must start their studies again to obtain a French degree and be able to practice.
- To exercise the profession of pharmacy assistant in a pharmacy, you must obtain the Diploma of Scientific and Technical University Studies (DEUST) pharmacy technician assistant. The diploma is prepared in apprenticeship in two years after the BAC. Depending on your background, it is sometimes possible to have some of your experiences validated.
- Then, it is possible to specialize to work in a hospital. For this, you must obtain the diploma of Preparator in hospital pharmacy (PPH ). It takes a year to prepare, often as an apprentice.
How to do it?
The first step is to enroll in a university and/or an apprentice training center (CFA), which offers DEUST training.
Several options are possible:
1- Parcoursup platform:
On Parcoursup , you will find information on registration dates and how to proceed.
You must have a scientific or technological baccalaureate (BAC), or a recognized equivalent diploma. For a foreign scientific diploma equivalent to a scientific or technological baccalaureate, you can request a certificate of comparability from the Enic-Naric centre.
> To read: the Réfugiés.info sheet "Have a foreign diploma recognized in France".
2 - Outside Parcoursup (reorientation or work-study):
It is possible to register for the DEUST without going through Parcoursup if:
- You are reorienting yourself after having validated a first year of a specific health access pathway (PASS) or health access licence (L.AS). In this case, and if the teaching committee agrees, it is possible to be exempted from certain courses.
- If you do a work-study.
In all cases, admission is based on the student's file (transcript of marks, resume and covering letter) and an interview is required.
The training lasts 2 years in work-study (4 semesters).
The training is done in apprenticeship or professionalization. The person takes courses at the university or at the CFA 2 days a week and works 3 days as a pharmacy assistant in the company for 2 years.
The training is free, but the student must find an employer. In a professionalization contract, it is your employer who will finance your studies.
You can sign a professionalization contract if:
- you are between 16 and 25 years old,
- you are a jobseeker over the age of 26 and registered on the list of jobseekers,
- you are a beneficiary of the active solidarity income (RSA), the specific solidarity allowance (ASS), the allowance for disabled adults (AAH), or a single integration contract.
Training as a hospital pharmacy technician lasts approximately 10 months. It includes 1360 hours of teaching: 660 theoretical hours and 700 hours of internship or practical periods (20 weeks).
Training can be done in apprenticeship or professionalization.
To enter training as a hospital pharmacy preparer (PPH), you must have a professional patent (BP) as a pharmacy preparer or a DEUST pharmacy technician preparer.
The training lasts 1 year after obtaining a BP or a DEUST.
There are 4 ways to this training:
- Initial training (FI) for students who have just had the DEUST
- Apprenticeship training (APP) for young people under 30
- Continuing professional training (CVT) for people already engaged in professional life and in this sector
- Validation of acquired experience (VAE). To obtain a VAE, you must have worked in the sector, fill out a file and pass an interview.
> To read: the Réfugiés.info sheet "Have your experience recognised with Expériences Sans Frontières".
Entry into PPH training is selective: you have to take tests organized every year by the training centres.
To register, you must first fill out a registration form.
For the FI and the FPC, you must then take a written test and an oral test.
- The written test lasts 2 hours and relates to a topical health issue, related to the pharmaceutical field. To be declared eligible, the candidate must obtain at least 10/20.
- The oral test lasts 30 minutes maximum and is followed by a discussion on your motivations and your professional project. It is necessary to obtain at least 10/20 orally.
For the VAE, you must send a certificate of validation of one or more modules given by the VAE jury.
What happens next?
If you do a work-study program, the training is free, because it is paid for by the employer and you are paid.
If you are 25 years old or younger, you can apply for a scholarship from the local Mission.
In addition, if you have already worked in France, you can obtain assistance from Pôle emploi.
The Île-de-France Region can also finance a monthly grant for paramedical professions.
It is possible to have the PPH training financed by your employer.
After obtaining your DEUST, you can work as a pharmacy technician in a pharmacy.
But you can also continue your studies:
- It is possible to integrate a 2nd or 3rd year of pharmacy studies at the university, in order to prepare the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy.
- Required documents: a covering letter, a resume, the marks obtained at the DEUST.
- Note: there is a quota, only a small number of people are accepted.
- Specialize in one year to become a hospital pharmacy assistant (PPH): see step 3 of the sheet.
- Continue your studies for a further year to specialise and obtain a professional licence. It is possible to specialise in pharmaceutical dermo-cosmetics, dispensing medical equipment in pharmacies, homeopathy, orthopaedic prosthetics, herbal medicine and herbal health products, etc.
These specializations can be useful in pharmacies, industry or healthcare establishments.
After 5 years of experience, it is possible to become a trainer in a pharmacy assistant training center.
After training as a hospital pharmacy assistant (PPH), you can start working directly in a hospital.
After 4 years of experience, it is possible to claim the title of health executive.
To do this, you need to undergo executive training at an Institut de Formation des Cadres de Santé (health executive training institute / IFCS) and then apply for the competitive examination for hospital pharmacy preparation manager..
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