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Transatlantic partnership commits to improving prescribing skills

Published: 08 May 2017 in Society news

The British Pharmacological Society and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) today announced an ambitious new collaboration to support safer prescribing by doctors in Canada.
Representing a significant commitment by both organisations, the partnership will bring together experts over the coming year to raise the profile of prescribing competency and to promote its importance through joint development of education and assessment resources in this field.
“This partnership opportunity comes at a time when practitioners are addressing immense challenges such as management of chronic pain with opioids and reduction of antimicrobial resistance. This program will provide our Fellows with skills and tools to improve their performance against recognized standards and improve patient safety and outcomes,” said Royal College CEO Dr. Andrew Padmos, MD, FRCPC.
The Prescribing Skills Assessment will form part of the Prescribing Safely Canada initiative, and will incorporate:

  • A new competency framework for all Canadian prescribers, which will be mapped to the national (CanMEDS) framework
  • New online learning modules on prescribing
  • A new online prescribing assessment for RCPSC members
 Professor David Webb, President of the British Pharmacological Society, said: “The Society has developed a valid and reliable online test of prescribing competency, based on its track record of championing improved prescribing worldwide. Early pilots using the Prescribing Skills Assessment have been successfully delivered in India and Australia as well as Canada. This exciting partnership with RCPSC is at the forefront of these activities, and demonstrates our shared ambition to enhance prescribing skills and, ultimately, improve patient care.”
The announcement follows a successful pilot of the Prescribing Skills Assessment, the online education and prescribing assessment tool owned by the British Pharmacological Society, which was completed in Canada in August 2016. Feedback from Royal College Fellows and educators who participated reported that this innovative approach would be of value to Canadian doctors.

For further information and interviews, please contact:
Kat Steer
Head of Communications & Membership
British Pharmacological Society
+44 20 7239 0184
+44 7557 400 327
Melissa Nisbett
Senior Communications Specialist
Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons Canada
+1 613 730 8177 ext. 426
+1 613 218 9570
Notes to Editors
About the British Pharmacological Society
The British Pharmacological Society is a charity with a mission to promote and advance pharmacology, including clinical pharmacology. Clinical pharmacology is the medical specialty dedicated to promoting safe and effective use of medicines for patient benefit.
Founded in 1931, the Society is now a global community at the heart of pharmacology, with around 4,000 members from more than 60 countries worldwide. It leads the way in the research and application of pharmacology around the world through scientific meetings, peer-reviewed journals and educational initiatives such as the Prescribing Skills Assessment. For further information, please visit
About the Royal College
The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada is the home of specialty medicine in Canada, setting the standards for postgraduate medical education, supporting the continuing professional development of over 50,000 Fellows and affiliates, and supporting health system innovations nationwide. To find out more, please visit
About the Prescribing Skills Assessment
The Prescribing Skills Assessment is a valid and reliable test of prescribing competency, delivered by the British Pharmacological Society in partnership with local teaching professionals around the world:
  • The assessment is delivered online as a formative or summative assessment, or as continual medical/professional development.
  • It enables healthcare professionals to demonstrate their prescribing skills - across medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and other professions.
  • It consists of 8 sections, containing question styles covering different aspects of the clinical activity undertaken by prescribers.