Quality Payments – Safeguarding

Quality Payments – Safeguarding

The Quality Payments Scheme has now ended for 2017/18. The review points have now passed and contractors can no longer claim payment for the scheme. 

No decisions have been made by the Department of Health and NHS England on the future of the Quality Payments Scheme beyond 2017/18. 

Community pharmacy contractors passing the gateway criteria will receive a Quality Payment if they meet one or more of the quality criteria. The Department of Health has weighted these based on an assessment of the difficulty of achieving them and the benefit to patients for doing so, with each criterion being designated a number of points.

One of the quality criteria is:

‘On the day of the review 80% of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years.’


Click on a heading below for more information.

NHS England guidance

NHS England has published new guidance ahead of the November review point of the Quality Payments Scheme:

  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Guidance for the November 2017 declaration (published 2nd October 2017)

The November guidance, should be read in conjunction with NHS England’s gateway criteria guidance and the quality criteria guidance which was issued ahead of the April review point:

  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Gateway Criteria Guidance (published 23rd December 2016); and
  • NHS England – Pharmacy Quality Payments Quality Criteria Guidance (published 27th February 2017).

All three documents are available on the NHS England website.

PSNC strongly encourages all contractors to read the new NHS England guidance, as well as the previous guidance, to ensure they are fully briefed on the requirements of the Quality Payments Scheme ahead of the November review point.

Quality criterion points and value

The value of this quality criterion is as follows:

Number of review points at which it can be claimed Two
Points at any one review point 5
Total points over the two review points 10
Value of total points £640

Aim/rationale for this quality criterion

The aim of the quality criterion is to ensure that all pharmacy professionals are fully aware of their role in safeguarding vulnerable adults and children and that they are confident in what to look out for and what action to take should safeguarding concerns arise.

While the target for achievement of this criterion is set at 80/% of registered pharmacy professionals, best practice is that all staff should undergo safeguarding training. Non-registered pharmacy professionals may wish to consider undertaking level 1 training (which is available as online training from the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE)).

How to achieve this quality criterion (includes PSNC resources)

Safeguarding training is a staff training requirement for many locally commissioned services, such as emergency hormonal contraception. The General Pharmaceutical Council has also stated that pharmacy professionals and the pharmacy team working in community pharmacies are well placed to identify people who may be vulnerable, including children; it is important that all pharmacy professionals and the wider pharmacy team are aware of, and understand, possible signs of abuse, neglect or exploitation and how to manage these.

Registered pharmacy professionals

Registered pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians (this excludes pre-registration graduates, although it is good practice that they are trained in safeguarding). Locums are registered pharmacy professionals so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and assessment.

Each registered pharmacy professional working in the pharmacy on the day of the review (24th November 2017) count as one, regardless of how many hours they have worked.

For example, a pharmacy with five registered pharmacy professionals working in the pharmacy on 24th November 2017 will need to ensure that at least four of them have completed a level 2 safeguarding course and have the certification to demonstrate this.

Safeguarding training

Level 2 safeguarding training may be available to pharmacy staff via local training sessions organised by Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS England, local authorities or other providers, including in-house training. Alternatively, the CPPE Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults e-learning and e-assessment meets the level 2 requirements.

Staff should retain proof that they have completed the training (such as a certificate of completion). Where no suitable evidence is provided, staff could complete the CPPE e-assessment in order to obtain evidence of having acquired the necessary knowledge to meet the level 2 requirements. Contractors should ensure that evidence of this training is kept within the pharmacy; the certificates do not need to be submitted to NHS England.

Training must have been completed within two years of the review date, so for the November review point on 24th November 2017 this means from 25th November 2015 to 24th November 2017.

Staff who have completed the previous version of the CPPE e-learning (or learning via another route), before 25th November 2015 for the November review point, will need to successfully compete an assessment to obtain evidence that their knowledge is up to date. This could be the CPPE e-assessment and it may be necessary for them to undertake additional training in order to refresh their knowledge.

Record sheet

PSNC has created a record sheet which contractors can choose to use to keep a record of their pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, that have undertaken level 2 safeguarding training. Contractors should keep a copy of any certificates that staff receive once they have completed the training and assessment as evidence of compliance with this quality criterion.

Safeguarding record sheet (Word)

Safeguarding record sheet (PDF)

The declaration process

Contractors will be required to confirm through the NHS BSA online declaration page that 80% of staff working on the review date have achieved the Level 2 safeguarding.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Who is a registered pharmacy professional?
Registered pharmacy professionals are pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Q. Are part-time staff included in the safeguarding quality criterion?
Yes. This quality criterion applies to all pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy. The number of hours a member of staff is employed for is not relevant for this quality criterion.

Q. The safeguarding quality criterion states that 80% of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years; does this include locums?
Yes. This includes locums, so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists, to undertake the training and assessment.

Q. Are pre-registration students covered by the description ‘registered pharmacy professional’, in regards to the level 2 safeguarding requirement?
No. It is, however, sensible for pre-registration students to undertake safeguarding training.

Q. I have completed the previous version of the CPPE Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults e-learning and e-assessment. Do I also need to complete the new CPPE e-learning and e-assessment?
The quality criterion states that ‘On the day of the review 80% of registered pharmacy professionals working at the pharmacy have achieved level 2 safeguarding status for children and vulnerable adults in the last two years.’ Therefore, if pharmacy professionals have completed the previous version of the CPPE e-learning and e-assessment in the last two years this is acceptable to meet the quality criterion.

However, pharmacy professionals may wish to complete the new e-learning programme to update their knowledge in areas not covered by the old programme, such as the Care Act 2014, child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and radicalisation.

Completion of the e-assessment will also allow pharmacy professionals to prove their ongoing competence in this important area of practice and provide them with the self-assurance that their knowledge is up to date and in line with current legislation.

Q. Is it necessary to complete and pass the associated e-assessment for CPPE’s Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme to become Level 2 accredited through CPPE?
Completing and passing the e-assessment is the only way that CPPE can provide pharmacy professionals with evidence of completion of the Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults programme and therefore confirm that they are Level 2 accredited.

The CPPE system records access to the e-learning programme, not completion and even if it did record completion this would still not necessarily show that there had been any learning.

Therefore, it is recommended to complete and pass the e-assessment so pharmacy professionals have evidence to show they have achieved safeguarding children and vulnerable adults level 2.

Q. Is attendance at face-to-face level 2 safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children training required to meet the quality criterion or is e-learning sufficient, for example, is the CPPE e-learning level 2 e-course and e-assessment sufficient to meet the quality criterion?
The requirements to achieve level 2 safeguarding for vulnerable adults and children will depend on the training provider that the pharmacy professional has decided to use and how their course has been designed to meet the level 2 requirements. Therefore, depending on the course provider, face-to-face training may be required as part of their course. However, it is not a requirement for pharmacy professionals to attend face-to-face training to meet the quality criterion and completion of the CPPE course and e-assessment would therefore be sufficient to meet the quality criterion.

More frequently asked questions (FAQs) on Quality Payments can be found on the Quality Payments – FAQs page of the PSNC website.

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