CPAF: Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework

NHS England’s local teams monitor:

  • the provision of Essential and Advanced Services

  • pharmacy contractors’ compliance, using the CPAF with the terms of the community pharmacy contractual framework (CPCF)

Arrangements for monitoring locally commissioned services may be set out in local contracts or Service Level Agreements.


The process

Pharmacies must complete The CPAF every year. This is a demonstration of compliance with the Community Pharmacy Contract.

The process includes a short questionnaire, consisting of 10 questions. Information collected from this questionnaire helps to identify whether a pharmacy needs visiting.

If a pharmacy is considered for a visit, the full, comprehensive CPAF pre-visit questionnaire will be intiated. This is the second part of the process.


Further information and guidance 


1 Key Resources

2 Self Care Resources

Self Care Resources

3 Healthier lifestyle leaflets and material

4 NRLS reporting 

Near miss log monthly and annual report is required for NHSE contractual visits and the Quality Payment (you need to keep copies as evidence)

The written safety report should be specific to each individual pharmacy and should be a summary that reflects the events taking place in that pharmacy. Contractors are encouraged to work with other pharmacies to share their learning.

In order to meet this quality criterion, contractors should:

    • collate incidents and near misses from an ongoing log;
    • analyse these and look for patterns;
    • reflect on the learning from these;
    • take actions to minimise future risk from repeated errors; and
    • share their learning (both locally and nationally).

This should then be documented in a written patient safety report. Incidents to be included in the report should include errors or near misses that involve medication that have caused patient harm or had the potential to do so. Errors picked up early in the dispensing process or documentation errors would therefore not be included.

The report must also include evidence of specific actions taken by the pharmacy in response to local errors and national patient safety alerts issued by the Central Alerting System.

You can find out more about Patient Safety Alerts on the NHS England and NHS Improvement websites.

Template reports

PSNC, the Pharmacy Voice Patient Safety Group and NHS Improvement have created the below templates, which contractors may choose to use to create their report; these templates are also included in Annex 1 of the NHS England guidance on the quality criteria.

A template to collate and review patient safety incidents each month:

A template to complete the annual written patient safety report: 

5 Practice Leaflet requirements and templates to use PSNC website

This is the link to the template and explanation for the practice leaflet if you need it ( above)

For services provided on behalf of you need to put “NHS England, (Central Midlands) Fosse House, 6 Smith Way, Grove Park, Enderby, Leicestershire, LE19 1SX” 0116 206 0185

Instead of PALS you need to put the NHS England Contact Centre in Redditch – as below.

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
General Post (including complaints): NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

You are correct in that ICAS ceased in 2013, the commissioning of the advocacy service now sits with individual local authorities. I have just done a quick search on google and it states that for Leicestershire it is POhWER 0300 456 2370, however I do know that other pharmacies have included the contact details for Healthwatch instead: ,

Healthwatch Leicestershire, 9 Newark Street, Leicester LE1 5SN, Telephone: 0116 2574 999, email:

6 Healthy Lifestyle Resources 

NHS England communication:

To ensure that patients and members of the public receive safe, effective and high quality pharmaceutical services, NHS England has processes in place to monitor compliance by pharmacy contractors, who are included in one of NHS England’s pharmaceutical lists, with the terms of service set out in the NHS (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013 (the 2013 regulations).

One of these processes is the use of the community pharmacy assurance framework (CPAF). A new process was introduced in 2015/16 which was conducted in two parts.

Firstly all pharmacy contractors were invited to complete a short screening questionnaire consisting of ten questions to assure themselves and NHS England that they are compliant with the terms of service.

The data collected from this questionnaire along with other information held by NHS England was used to shortlist pharmacies who were being considered for a contract monitoring visit. Only these pharmacies were asked to complete a full CPAF questionnaire.

This new approach means that the majority of contractors do not need to complete the full CPAF questionnaire. However, both PSNC and NHS England recommend that all pharmacy contractors make use of the full CPAF questionnaire to assure themselves that they are compliant with the terms of service.

The NHS Business Services Authority (BSA) will carry out the administration of both the screening questionnaire and the full CPAF at a national level on our behalf and this is facilitated through a secure on-line mechanism to allow pharmacy contractors to complete their returns.

You will have four weeks to complete the screening questionnaire

The questionnaire should only take around 20 minutes to complete and you will receive information and instructions on how to access and complete the questionnaire from the BSA in advance of the availability date.

Once you have submitted the completed questionnaire you will have the facility to save, print or access your responses for further reference.

The BSA will contact you shortly with instructions on how to access and complete the CPAF questionnaire.

Primary Care Support