Prescribing medications is a complex task and a fundamental competency for all prescribers. To effectively and safely prescribe medicines throughout their career, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada recognizes the need for physicians to maintain and further develop their prescribing skills.
The Royal College’s Prescribing Safely Canada (PSC) initiative builds on the established success in the United Kingdom where a validated Competency Framework for all prescribers as well as an online assessment tool called the Prescribing Skills Assessment (PSA) was developed and used by the Medical Schools Council and the British Pharmacological Society (BPS).
The competencies evaluated in these assessments 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 BPS has worked to develop a prescribing assessment that is fair, valid, reliable, of high quality and relevant to the work of a prescriber. Pilot assessments run over recent years and have helped to provide evidence of the validity and reliability of the PSA using psychometric analysis of performance data.
A team of Canadian experts from different specialties collaborated with the BPS to update the questions to ensure that the clinical scenarios are relevant to the Canadian context and simulate situations that you might encounter in your career. We hope that, like those who have previously participated in this activity, you will find it to be an interesting, and informative self-assessment to refresh your knowledge and skills.
- Each assessment consists of 30 case-based questions that focus on a full range of prescribing competencies.
- Participants are provided an overall score of their performance, plus a breakdown of performance relating to each question type featured in the assessment
- It is estimated that assessments can be completed in 1-2 hours
- They have been customized for Canadian physicians and focus on general areas of practice.
- Participants can complete the online assessment at a time of their choosing, and may exit and return at their convenience.
- All assessments are available in English and French. Participants can choose to have access to both languages at the time of purchase.
- Participants receive a certificate of completion, and can claim a maximum of 2 hours of MOC Section 3 credits or up to 2 Mainpro+ credits.
This activity is an Accredited Self-Assessment Program (Section 3) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by Royal College Continuing Professional Development Unit. You may claim a maximum of 2 hours per program (credits are automatically calculated).
Prescribing Safely Canada (ID-186950) assessment program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 2 Mainpro+ credits.
Prescribing Safely Canada’s overall learning objectives are to:
- Prescribe effectively and safely for patients presenting with some conditions commonly encountered in internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics;
- Review a list of current prescribed medicines and make appropriate amendments based on presenting symptoms, examination findings and investigations;
- Plan for the management of some conditions commonly encountered in internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics;
- Identify important information that should be communicated regarding commonly prescribed medicines;
- Make accurate calculations to ensure that correct doses of medicines are prescribed and administered;
- Identity common adverse drug reactions and likely causative medicines, spot important potential drug interactions and manage the adverse effects of medicines;
- Identify the most appropriate way of monitoring for the beneficial and adverse effects of commonly prescribed medicines; and
- Make appropriate adjustments in prescribing in response to relevant data.
This online assessment further covers the following eight knowledge areas related to prescribing skills: Prescribing, Prescription Review, Planning Management, Communicating Information, Calculation Skills, Adverse Drug Reactions, Drug Monitoring, and Data Interpretation.