International PSA Certification

International medical schools and NHS Trusts can now purchase the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) for their medical students and overseas foundation doctors.

 

The PSA is a mandatory professional qualification for all UK foundation doctors. Now, international medical students and foundation doctors seeking to practise in the UK will be able to demonstrate the same level of competency in prescribing by passing the PSA exam. Pass certificates issued as part of the International PSA are equivalent to their UK counterparts and will be accepted by the UK Foundation Programme.

 

  • UK-standard summative assessment to demonstrate prescribing competencies
  • 8 question styles cover all major aspects of the clinical activity undertaken by prescribers
  • Written, reviewed and standard set by UK experts
  • Aligned to the British National Formulary
  • Delivered through our online platform and now available all over the world

Certified UK Assessment

The Prescribing Safety Assessment tests eight distinct prescribing sections across a range of clinical contexts: prescription writing; prescription review; planning management; providing information about medicines; calculation skills; adverse drug reactions; drug monitoring; and data interpretation. The questions are written, reviewed and standard set by UK experts and aligned to the British National Formulary. 

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The PSA has seen positive responses from around the world as a powerful way of enhancing patient safety – with the goal of contributing towards achieving the World Health Organisation’s global patient safety action plan. Candidates who have prepared for and sat the PSA also consistently report greater confidence in prescribing medicines. 

 

We are pleased to be able to respond to the persistent call from international medical students and foundation doctors looking for the opportunity to sit and pass this summative exam by expanding access to the PSA internationally. Note that candidates can only take this exam through their medical school or trust; it is not available to take independently.

The Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) is a test of prescribing knowledge for graduating medical students. It aims to assess the competencies set out by the General Medical Council, outcomes for graduates, to best prepare medical students for practice as a foundation doctor. It is mandatory in the UK, meaning that all new Foundation Year 1 doctors are required to pass the PSA to progress onto Foundation Year 2.

The PSA is delivered by the British Pharmacological Society and the UK Medical Schools Council.

This new offer to international students supports our work to drive improvement in medication safety worldwide, through knowledge, assessment and learning.

 

The PSA has seen positive responses from around the world as a powerful way of enhancing patient safety – with the goal of contributing towards achieving the World Health Organisation’s global patient safety action plan. Candidates who have prepared for and sat the PSA also consistently report greater confidence in prescribing medicines. 

 

We are pleased to be able to respond to the persistent call from international medical students and foundation doctors looking for the opportunity to sit and pass this summative exam by expanding access to the PSA internationally. Demonstrating the same level of competency in prescribing through passing the exam will benefit any candidates seeking to practise in the UK. Pass certificates issued as part of the international PSA are equivalent to their UK counterparts and will be accepted by the UK Foundation Programme.

Accordion ContentThe Prescribing Safety Assessment tests eight distinct prescribing sections across a range of clinical contexts: prescription writing; prescription review; planning management; providing information about medicines; calculation skills; adverse drug reactions; drug monitoring; and data interpretation. The questions are written, reviewed and standard set by UK experts and aligned to the BNF.

The assessment comprises eight sections, each containing a specific item style. Each item style provides a percentage of the final score;  Prescribing (80 marks), Prescription Review (32 marks), Planning Management (16 marks), Providing Information (12 marks), Calculation Skills (16 marks), Adverse Drug Reactions (16 marks), Drug Monitoring (16 marks) and Data Interpretation (12 marks). The assessment offers a total of 200 marks and candidates are expected to complete it within a total of two hours of examination time. For more detailed information on the structure of the PSA, please refer to the 2020 PSA Blueprint.

We can’t offer remote sittings of the assessment at this time – candidates need to be invigilated in person at their medical school to ensure the security of the question items. To discuss options please get in touch.

Yes, all students who pass the International Prescribing Safety Assessment will receive certification from the British Pharmacological Society and MSC Assessment, in order to keep a record for their future portfolio. All certificates are accepted by the UK Foundation Programme.

Assessments take place several times throughout each academic year (please contact us for more information and specific dates).

 

Note that in order to maintain the security and integrity of the question items, we can only offer 1 Prescribing Safety Assessment sitting per year to international candidates. So, if a candidate fails their sitting, they would need to wait until the following year to be eligible to sit the PSA exam again.

The Prescribing Safety Assessment itself is a summative assessment, but BPS Assessment can offer up to 4 practice papers which support and assess the same 8 question item styles found within the UK PSA. These can be purchased via the Prescribing Skills Assessment.

If you are already a Prescribing Skills Assessment customer, you will be offered preferential rates on the International Prescribing Safety Assessment. We can also tailor your existing subscription so that you can access UK centric papers aligned to the British National Formulary to mirror the final UK PSA exam, rather than localised assessments for your region’s drug database.

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