Assurance Framework

Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework

***Update Jan 2022***

Implementation of the CPAF process began in July 2016 as a way of providing an assurance in relation to the quality and safety of community pharmacy services and the wider patient safety agenda.  CPAF consists of an annual declaration completed by each community pharmacy contractor, and a short visit undertaken by HSCB staff. The aim and purpose of the framework is to monitor compliance with Terms of Service, service specifications, related professional standards and best practice guidance

BSO Assurance Framework

How can CPNI help YOUR pharmacy prepare for the Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework?

CPNI is here to help support and guide you through the requirements to comply with the HSCB community pharmacy assurance framework (CPAF). We have developed a range of resources (see below) which are designed to encourage and support contractors to review and update current practice where necessary.

What is the CPAF?

The purpose of the HSCB assurance framework is to monitor compliance of community pharmacy contractors with Terms of Service, service specifications and related professional standards to ensure that patients and members of the public receive safe, effective and high-quality pharmaceutical services.

The CPAF consists of two components:

  • An annual declaration, to be completed and signed by all community pharmacy contractors and returned to the HSCB and
  • A visit by HSCB staff

What do I need to submit to the HSCB?

The self-declaration form will be issued annually by HSCB to all community pharmacy contractors to seek assurances on dispensing, Terms of Service and requirements for specific elective services. A copy of your practice leaflet and complaints SOP will also be requested for submission with the annual declaration.

What CPNI resources are available?

When will I be selected for a visit?

The basis of selection of pharmacies for visits will be random but priority will be given to pharmacies who failed to submit the declaration form.  HSCB staff will contact contractors when they have been selected for an assurance visit to arrange a suitable date and time, it will never be unannounced.

What do I need to prepare for the HSCB visit?

The visit protocol provides detail of the topics and questions that will be covered during the visit. Contractors can review this in preparation for the visit and ensure supporting documentation is readily available for discussion during the visit.

What happens at the visit?

The visit should last no longer than 1 hour during which time the HSCB pharmacist will discuss the questions on the visit protocol with the pharmacist. This will include a review of how processes work practically in the pharmacy and evidence or documents/records to support this may be requested.

In order to ensure the safe and effective delivery of pharmacy services during the visit funding will be available to cover locum costs for the day of the visit.

What happens next?

Any follow-up actions will be discussed by the HSCB Adviser, the pharmacist and contractor (if in attendance) and agreed where possible. A record of actions will be made on the visit protocol. Following the visit, a draft report will be sent to the contractor for review and comment. Once agreed, the final visit report will be issued along with an action plan, where appropriate.

When all actions identified in the visit have been completed or where there are none to complete, a letter of compliance with the requirements of the framework will be issued.

Where can I view the relevant CPAF paperwork?

Full details of the framework and the relevant documentation can also be accessed on the Pharmaceutical Section of the BSO website

What support is available with CPAF?

CPNI is available to visit to your pharmacy to provide practical support ranging from HSCB visit preparation, to finalising and implementing action plans. If you feel you would benefit from a support visit to facilitate the process and assist you in receiving the HSCB letter of compliance with CPAF, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Click here for feedback from contractors who benefited from CPNI support pre-HSCB CPAF visit.

Previous Correspondence

HSCB Correspondence 29th July 2019

Need further assistance?

If you require any clarification, advice or support from CPNI please contact our office.

Tel: 028 9069 0444