The Prescribing Skills Assessment (PSA) is a cloud based knowledge platform offering a flexible learning and assessment environment for organisations looking to measure and improved prescribing safety and skill. With question items written by expert pharmacologists, pharmacists and clinicians, PSA offers an unparalleled ability to test the knowledge and skills of prescribers from trainees to seasoned consultants.
Our Practice assessments provide answers and feedback for the candidate on demand and allow for multiple retries. With our Formative assessments, once the candidate completes the test, answer data is stored for download by the educator. Feedback can be withheld and released at the time of choosing. Summative assessments are sat in exam conditions with strict security around the questions and where the feedback is never released.
Prescribing is a fundamental part of the work of Foundation Year 1 doctors, who write and review many prescriptions each day. It is a complex task requiring knowledge of medicines and the diseases they are used to treat, careful judgement of risks and benefits of treatment, and attention to detail.
If you are a medical or foundation school candidate expecting to take part in the forthcoming events (PSA 2018) instructions on how to register for the PSA online system would have been provided by your school. You must activate your account and then login before you can access the PSA system. You are advised to do this as soon as possible in order to gain access to practice papers and information pages on the PSASign Up
The BPS Assessment team has been working with various international stakeholders with the aim of developing prescribing assessments which are fair, valid, reliable, of high quality and relevant to various audiences: from medical students and trainee doctors as pass/fail assessment, to CPD formative assessments aimed at refreshing knowledge of specialist prescribing areas. In addition to medical prescribing, the assessment has been used with non-medical prescribing groups, including undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacists. Pilots have been run over recent years and have helped us to:
The assessments and the preparation needed for them will depend upon your institution and the assessments which have been tailored for you.
If you are already signed up, you should have received an email asking you to register. Please follow the links in this email to set up and then sign in using the button above. If you have not yet been given access, the ability to sign up and purchase individual assessments is coming very soon – please get in touch to register your interest.
All assessments which you have been granted access to will appear on the main login page, and any others which are available to buy in your region will also be visible.. Some assessments can only be taken at specific times in invigilated rooms, others are open for weeks or months and can be taken at your leisure. You may also have some practice assessments available to you.
Once an assessment is completed, results and feedback will be released immediately in some cases, or if your institution has requested it, they will be released at a later date. Practice events can be cleared and repeated as, other events may only be completed once.
Please note: The assessment interface is not compatible with Internet Explorer version 10 or below. Please use Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge or Internet Explorer 11 or above.
When you have completed the assessment and clicked 'Exit', in most cases you will be taken to a simple form that allows you to provide feedback on your experience of the PSA assessment. This should ideally be completed immediately - the information you provide as feedback is extremely valuable. Not all assessments ask for feedback, this depends upon the requirements of your institution.
Your performance feedback
Results may be available immediately, or may be released at a time set by your institution. Once results have been released, your performance feedback is available under the 'Assessment Feedback' tab in My Profile. Here you will find an overview of your performance broken down by item style. Clicking on the assessment name will take you back through the questions and give full feedback on your answers, including revealing the optimal answers and the justification for them. The option to get full feedback on the questions isn't always available, depending upon the type of assessment.
These assessments are based upon the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA). The PSA assesses prescribing skills based on the competencies identified by the General Medical Council outlined in Outcomes for graduates (originally published in Tomorrow's Doctors). These competencies include writing new prescriptions, reviewing existing prescriptions, calculating drug doses, identifying and avoiding both adverse drug reactions and medication errors and amending prescribing to suit individual patient circumstances. The example chart below gives the outline of a typical one-hour assessment.
The Prescribing Safety Assessment Blueprint identifies eight different question types, each of which may be set in seven different domains of clinical activity:
|Planning Management||Elderly Care|
|Adverse Drug Reactions||Obstetrics & Gynaecology|
|Drug Monitoring||General Practice|