NPS launches prescribing competencies framework

25 May 2012

A new competency framework outlining the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for safe and effective prescribing is being launched today at the 2012 National Medicines Symposium in Sydney.
The project involved 12 months of broad consultation with health professionals and representative groups from around Australia to develop the framework.
NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes, who launched the framework, says that good prescribing involves a complex range of skills, and that all prescribers - regardless of professional background - should demonstrate adequate competency before they are able to prescribe.

"The competency framework will be able to be applied broadly to all health professionals, including new and existing prescribers," says Dr Weekes.
The competency framework incorporates seven competency areas, each describing an activity essential for prescribing. The competency areas include how a competent prescriber understands the patient’s social and clinical needs, assesses their treatment options, supports shared decision making and implements and communications a treatment plan.

A competent prescriber also communicates the treatment plan clearly to other health professionals and monitors and reviews the person's response to treatment.
In addition the competency framework identifies that a competent prescriber practises professionally and communicates and collaborates effectively with the person and other health professionals.
“We will be encouraging Australian registration, accreditation, professional and other organisations to adopt this framework as the benchmark for the training, credentialing, and ongoing professional development of prescribers," says Dr Weekes.

For more information about the prescribing competencies framework project, visit


Independent, evidence-based and not-for-profit, NPS enables better decisions about medicines and medical tests.We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.