Prescriber framework is released

A competency framework for all prescribers, regardless of profession, has been restructured, updated and re-released


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) published a new competency framework for all prescribers yesterday (14 July).

The updated and restricted document was produced following collaboration with the College of Optometrists and is suitable for all prescribing professions, including optometrists.

The competency framework outlines the key competencies that are required by all prescribers in order to be effective, regardless of their professional background. It will also “support healthcare professionals to be safe, effective prescribers,” the RPS highlighted.

The document is designed to be used by any prescriber to inform them of their professional responsibility, but also by regulators, education providers and professional organisations to inform on guidance and advice. It will also help patients and carers identify good prescribing practice.

The framework documents 10 competencies that are focused on the consultation process and prescribing governance. Within it, statements describe the activity or outcomes that all prescribers should be able to demonstrate.

President of the RPS, Ash Soni, said: “Both the number of medicines prescribed and the complexity of medicine regimes are increasing. The challenges associated with prescribing the right medicines and supporting patients to use them effectively should not be underestimated.

“There’s lots of evidence to show that much needs to be done to improve the way we prescribe and support patients in effective medicines use. This user-friendly guide will be invaluable and I’m delighted the RPS has co-ordinated the update.”

Reflecting on the framework, IP optometrist and clinical adviser to the AOP’s legal and regulatory team, Kevin Wallace, told OT: “The recognition that enhanced prescribing rights for a variety of professionals is of great benefit to patients is at the forefront of this document and this is very positive. The framework is practical and I'm sure will be a useful tool for optometrist prescribers."

Welcoming the new framework, president of the College of Optometrists, Dr Mary-Ann Sherratt, said: “The College is proud to have worked with organisations representing several professions to update this important framework. The resulting document gives very clear direction for safe and effective prescribing, and we would encourage independent prescriber optometrists to consult the framework to support their continuing professional development.”

Image credit: Flickr/Same Health