How the Framework is Being Used

We've put together a collection of examples of how the prescribing competency framework is being used to help inspire you to think about how you could also use the framework.

These examples have been sent to us from those who were involved in the consultation response to the draft competency framework. 

More examples of how others have used the prescribing competency framework will continue to be added to this page. If you have any examples of how you have used the framework and would like to share these with us, please email [email protected].

NHS organisations (local and regional)

Within 2Gether the framework is the basis for a Preceptorship Pack used with all newly registered non medical prescribers. The pack and process has been mandated by the Nursing Professional Advisory Committee and Drug and Therapeutics Committee for use within the Trust. The pack uses the framework to inform a series of evidence based competencies to allow the newly registered prescriber to grow in confidence and competence and provide assurance for the Trust that NMP staff are adhering to best practice.

2Gether Mental Health Trust

For further information email Phil Morgan Henshaw on [email protected]

At City Health Care Partnership the competency framework forms the basis of a passport for all non medical prescribers. All prescribers receive a passport when they join the organisation or are newly qualified. Having the competencies in the passport allows prescribers to reflect on their prescribing and helps them to structure their CPD records as well as informing clinical supervision discussions. As an organisation we expect prescribers to ensure that the competencies are demonstrated in their prescribing practice.

City Health Care Partnership, Hull

For further information email Emma Baggaley on [email protected]

Within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Addiction Services the competency framework forms part of our non medical prescribing Operational Policy. The policy is a working document which follows on from our Service's non medical prescribing Strategy for the period 2015-2020. Within our policy there are three levels of prescribers based on qualification status, level of experience and clinical competence. The competency framework is used to support the progression of prescribers through prescribing levels and supports designated medical prescribers and line managers to assess competence and clinical expertise.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Addiction Services

For further information email Mary Clare Madden on [email protected]

The competency framework has been included within the organisation's three yearly revalidation programme for nurse prescribers. Other allied health professional prescribers and pharmacist prescribers will also be asked to complete revalidation. Throughout the three years the framework will be used as part of individual prescriber’s appraisals and supervision.

Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

As NMP lead I have used the framework to support NMPs when they have been put under pressure to prescribe medicines or for conditions they aren't familiar with- both as a tool to explore the issues with managers and to guide NMPs in the further education they might need to fulfill the expected role. I expect every NMP in this organisation to be familiar with the framework- I direct new NMPs and those new to the organisation to it at our first 1:1 meeting.

NMP courses in this region are all structured around the prescribing competency framework so NMPs are familiar with its contents prior to qualification. In the past I have used the framework to structure CPD for NMPs although that wasn't easy because of the diversity of roles amongst the NMP community here.

NMP Prescribing Lead

Regulators and national organisations

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) runs a Return to prescribing course to support qualified pharmacist prescribers to develop the competence and confidence to get back into a prescribing role. The competency framework is introduced at the beginning of day one and its use as a learning needs assessment tool demonstrated. Delegates work in groups to explore the relevance of the competencies to their area of practice. We then map the learning through the rest of the three-day course to the competency framework, and encourage delegates to think about how they can use the competency framework in the short and long term to inform development. CPPE also have Prescribing: maintaining competence and confidence, which was formerly known as the Prescriber’s guide, and links to the prescribing competency framework as a diagnostic tool to identify learning needs. 

Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education

For further information email Dianne Bell on [email protected] 

Used as the competency framework for Pharmacists training at our schools of pharmacy to complete their PLP.  Programmes are accredited by GPhC.  Specific parts of the framework are related to additional postgraduate training for PIPs, e.g. clinical assessment skills and consultation skills are included as part of the learning outcomes for these courses.  The framework could be used as a part of the UG currriculum/pre-reg programme to develop some of the prescribing related skills to produce graduates more fit for purpose to deliver in the current NHS, they would however require greater meaningful patient-facing time than at present.

NHS Education for Scotland (NES)

The Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development (NICPLD) has embedded the competency framework into a practice portfolio which forms part of our accredited independent pharmacist prescribing programme. All pharmacists use the practice portfolio to document their developing competency over the course of the programme with the expectation that pharmacists document their competency against most statements in the competency framework before qualifying as a prescriber. The practice portfolio is submitted to NICPLD for assessment and must be passed independently of all other elements of the course to qualify as a prescriber.

The Northern Ireland Centre for Pharmacy Learning and Development

The framework has been used to underpin the outline curriculum frameworks for supplementary and independent prescribing to be used by radiographers (this also includes a framework for a conversion course for existing therapeutic radiographer supplementary prescribers to become independent prescribers). 

The Society and College of Radiographers

Higher education institutes

"I have used the prescribing competency framework in designing a seven week teaching programme for fifth year medical undergraduates, the effectiveness of which has been demonstrated by a pre- and post- teaching assessment that allows the students to demonstrate competency in many of the areas identified in the framework (calculations, identifying adverse drug reactions, considering contraindications to therapies, use of formularies)."

Medical Education, NHS - Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

For further information email Hannah Collins on [email protected] 

The students at LSBU have been using the SCF as part of their portfolio assessment since September 2012, (updated to the RPS Competency Framework, July 2016). Students are required to include 'evidence' that they have met all the competency statements in relation to their area of clinical practice. Each statement is dated and signed by the DMP. The students usually work hard with this - it is a robust way of assessing the students understanding of the prescribing process. I like using it as I feel it provides generic framework for all the HEIs providing NMP courses. this in turn provides validity for the course.

School of Health and Social Care / Department of Primary and Social Care | London South Bank University

For further information email Bernadette Rae on: [email protected]

The 10 competencies are used within the Medway School of Pharmacy Independent / Supplementary Prescribing Programme, as outcomes which have to be demonstrated within each student’s portfolio.  Students are offered the use of templates to help them structure and focus their reflection on demonstrating the competencies as well as the learning outcomes. The culmination of the portfolio entry template is the skills/attributes/attitudes they have taken from their experience and how they are going to apply this learning to their future prescribing practice. The competency dimensions are shown in the reflection within various aspects of the portfolio and clearly mapped to specific cases within the placement experience. We also provide an example of a matrix to help students map where they are demonstrating they have met the competencies and learning outcomes within the various portfolio activities to support the identification of ongoing learning needs to fully demonstrate all of the required competencies.  The portfolio is submitted as a summative assessment at the end of their period of learning in practice and the portfolio is summarised in the narrative where the student explains how, and where, their portfolio demonstrates they have met the requirements.

Medway School of Pharmacy 

We use the competency document as a major component to the folder of evidence that our V300 independent and supplementary prescribing students complete.  The document is completed in practice by the student and their designated medical practitioner.

It is useful in providing structure and focus to the clinical hours the students must complete (minimum 12 days supervised practice).  It helps shape their learning opportunities through highlighting areas of strength and areas to develop.  These can then be revisited through the course and ongoing development assessed/evaluated until they are competent.

We also use the document to support marking criteria for Structured Clinical Examinations in Practice (SCEP) that form part of the course assessment in our simulation centre. University of West London have produced Guidelines for Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who support non-medical prescribers during the course.

University of West London 

For further information email Reuben Pearce on:  [email protected] 

The University of Leeds have used the competency framework as part of the work-based assessment since the framework was introduced (and updated).  We use it to structure the portfolio for both pharmacists and nurses/midwives. It is also used within some of the face to face lectures. All competencies must be achieved and this achievement must be demonstrated within the portfolio.

University of Leeds

For further information email Mary-Claire Kennedy on: [email protected]

As individual programme leads and as a collaborative group, we have used the framework to inform NMP students in their professional development planning during the course and beyond.  As a group, we adopt a consistent approach across programmes and the framework has formed the basis of our practice assessment documentation. As such, nurses, pharmacists and AHPs undertaking a NMP programmes are familiar with the framework prior to qualification. The framework is also used to inform a range of sessions within programmes and to underpin programme development.

North West Non Medical Prescribing Education Group (NWNMPEG)

For further information email Dilyse Nuttall on: [email protected]


Non-medical prescribing courses in the North West region are all structured around the prescribing competency framework so prescribers are familiar with its contents prior to qualification. I expect every non-medical prescriber in my organisation to be familiar with the framework and I direct new prescribers and those new to the organisation to it at our first meeting. Personally I intend to use the framework to evidence how I have stayed up to date as a prescriber as part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council revalidation process.

Non-medical prescribing lead, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

I have been delivering continued professional development to registered non medical prescribers for 10 years.  One of the days that I deliver is called “Keep Calm and Carry on Prescribing”.  The content is generic for all NMPs and gives an opportunity to discuss in detail practical issues around the delivery of NMP including reference to regulatory standards and the legal frameworks.

There is a session during the day which explores how registered NMPs can self-assess their prescribing competency.  I use the RPS competency framework by initially introducing it and explaining its benefits to those attending.  We move on to small group work and I give each group a different piece of the framework to consider.  I ask them as a group to first read the statements that they have been given and then to consider a recent prescribing encounter which might demonstrate how they have met those listed competency statements.  I ask them to attempt just 5.  They have around 10 minutes to do this.  They then feedback group by group, explaining the prescribing encounter and how they evidence meeting the 5 chosen competency statements. 

What I find is that the majority of those attending, have heard of the framework but have only used it during their prescribing programme (if at all).  Very rarely do any of those attending, claim to use it as a tool in their daily practice.  My suggestion to them is to save a word version (I explain how) and to refer to it periodically or when they might have doubts about their competency / when they are extending their scope of practice.

You can view a few of the many slides that are used during the day here, as well as the flyer that is used.

Fiona Peniston-Bird, Medway School of Pharmacy Prescribing Programme Lead for Nurses.

For further information email Fiona Peniston-Bird on: [email protected]

Undertaken a reflection assignment on using the framework during the training to become a Health Visitor. For this we had to use the framework to structure the assignment and reflect on a recent prescribing experience. Some of the lectures that I have attended around prescribing have been based around the competency framework.

Health Visitor 

I am a qualified prescriber but have been out of my clinical role since 2003. I intend to use the revised framework to evidence how I have stayed up to date as a prescriber as part of the NMC revalidation process.

NMP Prescribing Lead