The CCA are fundamentally supportive of the declaration of competence document (DoC) system that has been adopted by Clinical Commissioning groups and Local Authorities to ensure the delivery of high quality pharmacy services across England. The DoC system is a significant step towards supporting the profession in delivering sustainable pharmacy services to patients within the evolving NHS commissioning landscape. We believe that the DoCs system allows a more flexible training platform for pharmacy professionals as an alternative to face-to-face training and allows them to reflect on their learning and training they have completed, and the practice experience they have gained, in relation to a specific service. This is a positive approach to empowering pharmacy professional to keeping their knowledge and skills up to date and aligns to the new revalidation process that is currently under consultation which is evidently more focused on reflective practice.
We believe that the DoC system guides pharmacy professionals through a structured approach of self-assessment, allowing them to identify any gaps in competence, which can then be addressed by working through elements of the learning and assessment pathway. Furthermore, we believe that this system encourages pharmacy professionals to be proactive in engaging with local commissioners to seek opportunities for novel and advanced community pharmacy services.
The recent incorporation of the DoC system to the ‘National Minimum Standards for Training in Immunisation’ which thereby removed the need for face-to-face training every year, is in our view a positive move, as it respects pharmacy professionals’ autonomy to assure themselves, commissioners and employers that they are competent and meet the requirements to provide this service and reduces barriers to service delivery to our patients and public.
Whilst NHS England are firm advocates of the DoC system, we believe this system should be adopted across Great Britain and N. Ireland to allow all pharmacy professionals to have the capacity and flexibility to consistently deliver pharmacy services across the whole community pharmacy network.