Prescribing represents a high-risk healthcare intervention that requires successful integration of pharmacotherapeutic knowledge with a range of clinical skills and the application of these to a unique patient.
Errors associated with prescribing impact significantly on patient safety.
Currently, there is no agreement about the most effective, valid and reliable method(s) for assessing all elements of prescribing performance.
The Health Professionals Prescribing Project (HPPP) described five steps to safe and competent prescribing by health professionals and concluded that education providers must assume the responsibility for appropriate training and assessment of a health professional’s competency to prescribe.1 The HPPP recommends that the teaching and assessment of prescribing align with the National Prescribing Competencies Framework (PCF).2
Given the diversity of practice scope, environment and context in which different health professionals work, it is challenging, yet critical, to determine the most comprehensive method for assessing prescribing competence.
Despite differing practice scopes and contexts, a number of core prescribing competencies remain common to all prescribing professions.3