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 register at 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 BAC, or a recognized equivalent diploma. For a foreign scientific diploma equivalent to a scientific or technological BAC, you can request a certificate of comparability from the Enic-Naric center.
> Read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Have a foreign diploma recognized in France”.
2 - Outside of Parcoursup (reorientation or work-study):
It is possible to register for the DEUST without going through Parcoursup if:
- You are changing direction after completing a first year of the specific health access pathway (PASS) or the health access bachelor's degree (L.AS). In this case, and if the teaching committee agrees, you may be exempted from certain courses.
- If you are in a work/study program.
In all cases, admission is based on an application (academic transcript, CV and covering letter) and an interview.
The training lasts 2 years on a work-study basis (4 semesters).
Training takes place through apprenticeship or professionalization. You will take courses at university or CFA 2 days a week and works 3 days as a pharmacy technician in a company for 2 years.
The training is free, but you 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 job seeker aged over 26 and registered on the list of job seekers,
- 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.
Hospital pharmacy technician training 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 through apprenticeship or professionalization.
To enter training as a hospital pharmacy technician (PPH), you must have a professional certificate (BP) as a pharmacy technician or a DEUST pharmacy technician.
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 passed the DEUST
- Apprenticeship training (APP) for young people under 30
- Continuing professional training (CPD) for people already engaged in professional life and in this sector
- Validation of acquired experience (VAE). To obtain a VAE, you need to have worked in the field, fill in an application form and pass an interview.
> Read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Have your experience recognized with Experience Without Borders”.
Entry into PPH training is selective: you must sit tests organized every year by the training centers.
To register, you must first complete a registration form.
For the FI and the CPD, you must then pass a written test and an oral test .
- The written test lasts 2 hours and concerns a current health issue, linked to the pharmaceutical field. To be declared eligible, the candidate must obtain a score of at least 10/20.
- The oral test lasts 30 minutes maximum and is followed by a discussion on your motivations and your professional project. You must obtain a score of at least 10/20 orally.
For the VAE, you must submit 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 also paid.
If you have already worked in France, you can get help from Pôle emploi.
The Île-de-France Region can also finance a monthly grant for paramedical professions.
It is possible to have 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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