Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who is the prescribing competency framework for?

The prescribing competency framework is for any prescriber regardless of their professional background. Doctors, pharmacists, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, optometrists, radiographers, podiatrists and dieticians are all able to prescribe and the framework is directly relevant to all of them.


Is the framework for supplementary prescribers?

Yes, the framework applies equally to supplementary prescribers however the competencies need to be contextualised to reflect the structures imposed by entering into a supplementary prescribing relationship.


How can the framework be used?

The competency framework is a generic framework that can be used to support prescribers in a range of ways that include:

  1. Inform the design and delivery of education programmes, for example through validation of educational sessions (including rationale for need), and as a framework to structure learning and assessment.
  2. Help healthcare professionals prepare to prescribe and provide the basis for on-going education and development programmes, continuous professional development and revalidation processes. For example, use as a framework for a portfolio to demonstrate competency in prescribing.
  3. Help prescribers identify strengths and areas for development through self-assessment, appraisal and as a way of structuring feedback from colleagues.
  4. Inform the development of education curricula and relevant accreditation of prescribing programmes for all prescribing professions.
  5. Provide professional organisations or specialist groups with a basis for the development of levels of prescribing competency, for example, from recently qualified prescriber through to advanced prescriber.
  6. Stimulate discussions around prescribing competencies and multidisciplinary skill mix at an organisational level.
  7. Inform organisational recruitment processes to help frame questions and benchmark candidates prescribing experience.
  8. Inform the development of organisational systems and processes that support safe effective prescribing, for example, local clinical governance frameworks.

Are there any examples of where the competency framework is being used?

Examples of where the competency framework is being used can be viewed here.


Why is RPS updating and maintaining a framework previously published by NICE?

RPS was asked by NICE and HEE to facilitate the updating process on behalf of all the prescribing professions and to ensure that the framework had a UK wide applicability.


How was the framework updated?

The framework was updated using the same methodology as the previous frameworks. You can read more about the process in Appendix 1 of the framework.


How will RPS be supporting uptake of the framework once it is launched?

RPS will work with the pharmacy profession to encourage uptake of the framework in practice.

We will liaise with the professional bodies and organisations of the other prescribing professions and would expect them to work with their stakeholders to encourage uptake.

Where opportunity for joint working across the professions arises we will contribute.


When will the framework next be updated?

The framework will be reviewed in July 2020.


I have comments on the framework or I want to share how I am using it - who do I contact?

Please contact us by emailing [email protected].

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