Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Safeguarding

Pharmacy Quality Scheme – Safeguarding

To be eligible to collect the points necessary to claim a payment for the Pharmacy Quality Scheme, community pharmacy contractors must meet four gateway criteria, one of which is that on the day of the declaration:

‘80% of all pharmacy professionals 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 and NHS Improvement guidance

NHS England and NHS Improvement is planning to publish guidance on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme 2019/20. A publication date has not yet been confirmed; PSNC will alert community pharmacy contractors when this is published through their normal communication channels.

How to achieve this gateway criterion

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.

Pharmacy professionals

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 pharmacy professionals so contractors should encourage temporary staff, such as locum pharmacists and locum pharmacy technicians, to undertake the training and assessment.

Each pharmacy professional working in the pharmacy on the day of the declaration count as one, regardless of how many hours they have worked.

For example, a pharmacy with five pharmacy professionals working in the pharmacy on the day of the declaration 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 and NHS Improvement, 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 and NHS Improvement.

Training must have been completed within two years of the day of the declaration.

Staff who have completed the  CPPE e-learning (or learning via another route), more than two years prior to the day of the declaration, 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.

Non-registered pharmacy staff may also wish to consider undertaking the CPPE Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults: a guide for the pharmacy team e-learning and the CPPE Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults: Level 1 e-assessment.

Record sheet

PSNC has created a record sheet which contractors can choose to use to keep a record of the 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 gateway criterion.

Safeguarding record sheet (Word)

Safeguarding record sheet (PDF)

Frequently asked questions

FAQs on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme can be found on the Pharmacy Quality Scheme – FAQs page.

Return to the Pharmacy Quality Scheme hub page



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