Medical Schools Council and British Pharmacological Society welcome the completion of the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) independent review

The Medical Schools Council (MSC) and British Pharmacological Society (BPS) welcome the completion of an independent review of the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA). The PSA is a prescribing exam taken by final year medical students and UK Foundation Year One doctors. The independent review was commissioned jointly by MSC and BPS and chaired by Professor Dame Jane Dacre. The purpose of the review was to understand how the assessment has impacted prescribing education and practice for candidates, and how best practice could be applied to the PSA’s governance and sustainability models.

On the completion of the review, Professor Patrick Maxwell, Chair of the Medical Schools Council, said:

“Medical schools are pleased that the independent review has completed its report and look forward to taking time to study it carefully. We should like to thank Professor Dacre for her excellent chairing of the review, the Oversight Group for offering up their expertise and the hundreds of respondents to the consultation for sharing their feedback.

“Our psychometric data have consistently shown that the PSA is a robust and reliable assessment of prescribing competencies, and it is encouraging to learn that there is broad support across the sector of the exam as a valuable and useful addition to medical education. Safe prescribing is an essential skill for doctors and we are committed to ensuring that our graduates meet the requirements expected of them by the regulator, their employers and patients. We hope to reflect on the findings of the review and explore with stakeholders how its recommendations could be taken forward.”

Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, President-Elect of the British Pharmacological Society, said:
“The British Pharmacological Society is delighted to see the Independent Review of the Prescribing Safety Assessment come to fruition; we thank Professor Dame Jane Dacre for Chairing the review. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the test, its many benefits, and areas for improvement and evolution.

“Patient safety achieved through safe prescribing is of the utmost importance to the BPS, the PSA improves prescribing competence and education and, in the future, as recommended the PSA should be a summative exam taken by all final year medical students.

“We look forward to discussing the report’s recommendations and continuing to strive for prescribing education that has patient safety at its heart.”

Read the full report.


Visit the Prescribing Safety Assessment website.
Visit the Medical School Council website.

Published: 15 Aug 2023 in Society news