Assurance Framework

Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework

***Update March 2024***

Implementation of the CPAF process began in July 2016 as a way of providing an assurance that patients and members of the public receive safe, effective and high quality pharmaceutical services.  CPAF consists of an annual declaration completed by each community pharmacy contractor, and a short visit undertaken by SPPG staff on a three yearly basis. 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 SPPG 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 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 SPPG
  • A visit by SPPG staff on a three yearly basis

What do I need to submit to the SPPG?

The self-declaration form will be issued annually by SPPG 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 may also be requested for submission with the annual declaration.

What CPNI resources are available?

CPNI Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) Guidance

Business Continuity planning

CPNI Factsheet: Complaints in Pharmacy Practice

Template Complaint Recording Form

Complaints Flow Chart

HSC Complaints Leaflet Template

HSC Complaints Poster

SOP Template

CPNI Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD)

CPNI Practice Leaflet Template

When will I be selected for a visit?

SPPG has worked with CPNI to review, update and agree the visit protocol for reintroduction of the visits. Initially, priority will be given to pharmacies who have not received a visit as part of CPAF.  SPPG staff will contact contractors when they have been selected for an assurance visit to arrange a suitable date and time. Appropriate notice of the visit will be given.

What do I need to prepare for the HSCB visit?

A copy of the visit protocol will be sent to the pharmacy via email and this 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 approximately 45 minutes during which time the SPPG 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 SPPG pharmacist 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 issued to the contractor within 2 weeks of the visit 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 SPPG 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 SPPG 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-SPPG CPAF visit.

Previous Correspondence

SPPG Correspondence 9th November 2023

Need further assistance?

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

Tel: 028 9069 0444