GMU PharmD students complete Prescribing Skills Assessment


We are pleased to share this press release from Gulf Medical University.

Gulf Medical University PharmD students undertake Prescribing Skills training and assessment in pursuit of “Patient Safety”

Pharmacy professionals play a vital role in delivering care and helping patients maintain and improve their health, safety and wellbeing. Patients and the public have a right to be prescribed safe and effective medications. Historically, pharmacist contribution to medication safety was focused on dispensing, Now, their roles have expanded as medication therapy has increased in complexity. While pharmacists have contributed to patient safety over the years as part of their many job-related responsibilities, they now recognize and embrace their unique training, which positions them to greatly impact patient safety through the global evaluation and improvement of medication safety processes.

For the first time in the Middle East region, GMU pharmacy students are undergoing training to enhance medication safety at the individual patient level through medication management skills, monitor outcomes and initiate efforts to mitigate drug-related outcomes that may cause harm. They participated in a yearlong training program during their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) and completed a prescribing skills assessment. This was enabled by an academic collaboration between the British Pharmacological Society Assessment and GMU which resulted in a benchmarking exercise for GMU pharmacy education outcomes including prescribing skills against international standards. 

Dr. Sherief Khalifa, Vice Chancellor for Quality & Global Engagement and Dean College of Pharmacy commented:

“We are proud of our partnership with the British Pharmacological Society Assessment. Through this partnership, our pharmacy graduates are enhancing their prescribing skills which reflects directly on patient medication safety.”

Dr. Sherief Khalifa

Contact the BPS Assessment team for more information on running the Prescribing Skills Assessment within your own institution.

UNSW Medicine delivers successful PSA remote sitting

unsw medicine

We’ve been working with institutions all over the world throughout to help them deliver important education to their medical and pharmacy students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, one institution shares their experience of delivering the PSA remotely.

The University of South Wales in Sydney, Australia have been running the Prescribing Skills Assessment as a formative and mandatory assessment for their final year medical students since 2017. This year, the assessment was successfully conducted remotely, with over 280 students completing the exam using their own devices at home or an alternative suitable venue.

“Thank you to the team BPS Assessment Team and UNSW Medicine for enabling medical students to have the opportunity to sit the PSA exam remotely and safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UNSW Medicine

Read more about the success of their remote sittings below, or contact us for more information on running the Prescribing Skills Assessment in your own institution.

Pioneering UK learning system adopted by Canadian medics to support medication safety

BPS Assessment is providing vital support to physicians in Canada, with the introduction of its pioneering learning technology aimed at ensuring safer prescribing techniques.

The agreement between BPS Assessment, the online learning arm of the British Pharmacological Society, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College), aims to address the risk of medication errors and therefore improve public health. The World Health Organization estimates the annual cost of such errors to be over $42 billion USD worldwide.

The new assessment and learning technology offered by BPS Assessment will provide prescribing skills modules for Royal College Fellows, and give them the chance to sit an exam based on the principles of the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA)*, which is already taken by UK medical undergraduates. The program, which will start in early 2019, following a substantial trial between the Royal College and BPS Assessment.

As part of the partnership, physicians will have access to online prescribing skills modules in Canada’s official languages (English and French), tailored for the needs of the Canadian healthcare context.

“These modules align with our priorities to provide our Fellows with engaging, relevant content to keep up to date on skills needed for treating patients in the 21st century,” said Dr Andrew Padmos, Royal College CEO. “We’re proud to be partnering with BPS Assessment to create solutions to this complex problem.”

Further, Royal College Fellows will be offered the opportunity to contribute to the question-writing process for the modules, which will help to customise the platform for the Canadian medical community.

“It’s timely that we’re launching this tool during Canadian Patient Safety Week. It’s a subject that resonates with physicians across all specialties and we’re pleased to provide this tool to help with their lifelong learning,” said Dr Susan Brien, Director of Research, Innovation and Scholarship at the Royal College.

By supporting prescribers with a rich online learning environment, the Royal College and BPS Assessment together aim to reduce the human and financial risks caused by incorrect prescriptions and by errors in guidance given to patients.

Jonathan Brüün, Managing Director of BPS Assessment, arrived in Ottawa during Canadian Patient Safety Week to sign the five-year deal. He commented:

“We’re delighted that the Royal College in Canada is joining counterparts in the UK, Asia and Australia in adopting our unique assessments. We believe this collaboration will provide a significant boost to improving standards in the safe administration of medicines, which we understand to be at the forefront of every prescriber’s mind. BPS Assessment is committed to improving public health and patient safety, and to helping physicians maintain their skills and standards. Our online training offers a unique contribution to those objectives. We can’t wait to get started.”

For more information please contact:

David Adams

Senior Manager, Marketing & Communications, British Pharmacological Society
Work: +44 20 7239 0180
+44 7786 552498

Melissa Nisbett

Senior communications specialist, Communications and External Relations
T: 613-730-8177 ext. 426
Cell: 613-218-9570


* The Prescribing Safety Assessment is the competency-based assessment to support safe and effective prescribing sat by UK medical graduates. It is delivered in partnership with MSC Assessment.

BPS Assessment Ltd is the assessment and elearning business of the British Pharmacological Society. Its mission is to drive improvement in medication safety worldwide through knowledge assessment and learning. It announced its initial pilot with the Royal College in May 2017.

The British Pharmacological Society is a charity with a mission to promote and advance the whole spectrum of pharmacology. Founded in 1931, it is now a global community at the heart of pharmacology, with around 4,000 members from more than 60 countries worldwide. The Society leads the way in the research and application of pharmacology around the world through its scientific meetings, educational resources and peer-reviewed journals.

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 50,000+ Fellows and affiliates, and supporting health system innovations nationwide. To find out more, please visit

New UK-China partnership to deliver prescribing skills training

London, UK & Beijing, China

A new prescribing skills partnership has been agreed between BPS Assessment Ltd (BPSA) and a Chinese training charity.

BPSA, the assessment and learning business of the British Pharmacological Society, and the Beijing Huatong Guokang Foundation (BHGF), a charity that supports Chinese organisations to organise overseas training, will be delivering a Prescribing Skills Workshop at Jesus College, University of Cambridge, on 16 August 2018. This will form part of the BHGF’s week-long Pharmacy Education Program in the UK.

The background to the workshop is the worldwide challenge of medication errors. The World Health Organization estimates the annual cost of medication errors to be over 42 billion USD, affecting every health system around the world. In the UK, the costs are estimated to be close to £100 million and 1,700 lives lost each year.

Among a number of areas covered by the workshop will be medication errors, adverse drug reactions, polypharmacy, and managing cost pressures. Delegates will sit a short online assessment to test their prescribing skills and receive certification. The workshop will be presented by BPS Assessment’s Medical Director, Professor Simon Maxwell MD PhD FRCP FRCPE FBPhS FHEA.

Ms Chen Ran, Chairwoman of Beijing Huatong Guokang Public Foundation and Director of the International Emergency Management Society Emergency Medical Committee (TEMC), said:

“This is a very timely collaboration given the great need for improved prescribing competency worldwide. Patients’ needs have become more complex and so have the prescribing decisions healthcare professionals face. An exchange of experience and knowledge between Chinese and UK healthcare leaders is to be greatly welcomed.”

Jonathan Brüün, Chief Executive of the British Pharmacological Society and Managing Director of BPS Assessment, said:

“We believe that by improving the knowledge and capabilities of prescribers we can make a significant contribution to reducing risk and improving patient safety. This workshop and its supporting online resources are our contribution to that aim.”