PDA respond to RPS consultation on a Competency Framework for Designated Prescribing Practitioners

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) consulted from 21 June 2019 to 2 August 2019 on a competency framework for Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPP).

Wed 21st August 2019 The PDA

The framework covers the competencies required of a prescriber, in any profession, taking on the DPP role for trainees during the Period of Learning in Practice (PLP).

Overall, the PDA’s view is that the document is generally well-structured, and its content is appropriate. However, we have a number of recommendations on how the framework could be improved.

The proposed framework would require DPPs to be “an active prescriber with appropriate knowledge and experience of the trainee’s area of clinical practice” with “some experience or training in teaching and/or supervising in practice”. In order to maintain the appropriate standards and quality, we made recommendations to the effect that DPPs must have at least 3 years’ recent prescribing experience and significant experience or training in teaching and/or supervising in practice.

We also made further recommendations about the competencies and framework, including:

  • Under the “Professional Skills and Knowledge” section, the competency “Undertakes a self-assessment to evaluate his/her own clinical practice competency boundaries and ensures the NMP does the same” should be added.
  • In the section entitled ‘The Scope of the Designated Prescribing Practitioner Competency Framework’, it states: “Whilst the DPP is expected to ensure the environment in which they practice is appropriately resourced to facilitate the trainee to meet their learning needs and outcomes, elements of this may be outside their control.”

This statement implies that it is acceptable for the environment to be left without sufficient resources to facilitate the trainee or to meet their learning needs and outcomes. If the DPP is of the opinion that this would be the case, he or she should be required to raise concerns about it to the appropriate authorities and refuse to sign off the trainee as competent if their learning needs and outcomes have not been met. The document should state that explicitly.


thumbnail of RPS DPP Competency Framework Consultation Response FINAL 02-08-2019



We regularly respond to consultations on matters that affect pharmacists. Our previous consultation responses can be found here.

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