Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF)

The Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework was developed by NHS Primary Care Commissioning as a toolkit to assist Primary Care Trusts in assessing compliance and quality under the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF). The first toolkit was published in September 2005 as the CPAF and updated versions were produced by PCC, working with PSNC, over the subsequent years.

CPAF is made up of two parts – a pre-visit questionnaire which is completed by the pharmacy contractor before the monitoring visit and a section used by the commissioner during a monitoring visit.


The process for this Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework process 2017/18 has been agreed with PSNC. Essentially NHS England are looking to follow the same process as last year with the initial screening questionnaire being available for completion by contractors between the 12th June and 9th July. Please see a letter attached below from Deborah Jaines, Director Primary Care Policy and Contracts, outlining the arrangements for 2017/18:

20170607 CPAF Letter

CPAF screening process begins

The 2017/18 Community Pharmacy Assurance Framework (CPAF) screening questionnaire will be available for completion for four weeks from Monday 12 June 2017 until Sunday 9 July 2017.

Now in its third year, the process asks all NHS community pharmacy contractors to complete a short screening questionnaire consisting of 10 questions; NHS England will then select a small number of pharmacies for a monitoring visit and / or to complete the full CPAF questionnaire.

Level 2 is the minimum standard expected to demonstrate compliance with the terms of service. Last year’s CPAF screening process revealed that the prescription-based interventions and signposting questions on the screening questionnaire may have been misunderstood by some contractors. It is important that these questions are properly understood as the pharmacy contract does not require that records are made of all prescription-linked, signposting and self-care interventions, but that records are made ‘as appropriate’.

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) carries out the administration of CPAF at a national level on behalf of NHS England and this has been facilitated by a secure on-line portal for contractors to complete their screening questionnaires. Contractors should have already received an email from NHS England informing them of the CPAF process. If you have not yet received an email, please contact NHSBSA at:

On 12 June 2017, contractors will be sent a link to the screening questionnaire and asked to complete it. Please remember to complete the screening questionnaire accurately, because once it has been submitted, you will not be able to make any amendments. If you do not receive this second email by 13 June 2017, you should contact the NHSBSA at the same email address.

More than 96% of pharmacies completed the screening questionnaire in 2015/16 and 2016/17, but it is hoped that this could be improved upon in 2017/18 which should help contractors avoid facing unnecessary monitoring visits.

For further information, please visit PSNC’s contract monitoring page.