Declaration of Competence (DoC)

Declaration of Competence: A Self Assessment Process to document your readiness to deliver Pharmacy Services


Pharmacy professionals are responsible and accountable for maintaining and improving the quality of their practice by keeping their knowledge and skills up-to-date and relevant to their role and the services they offer (GPhC Standards of conduct, ethics and performance). This self-assessment process provides pharmacy professionals with a framework to demonstrate to themselves, their employers and the service commissioners that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver a particular pharmacy service, which may include the supply of a prescription only medicine (POM) by pharmacists using a patient group direction (PGD).The framework includes details of available learning mapped to a range of core competencies which include the clinical, ethical, cultural and legal aspects of delivering this service. In addition to this it is expected that pharmacy professionals:

  • Practice within the GPhC Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance
    • Meets the GPhC Standards for Registered Premises
    • Meet the Practice Standards for Consultation skills in pharmacy practice as determined by Health Education England
    • Are aware of their safeguarding responsibilities.

This concept is built on the successful approach to harmonisation of accreditation for service delivery. Although initially developed in the North West this framework presents a national solution for the Declaration of Competence for the delivery of community pharmacy services.


Frequently asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What is the Declaration of Competence (DoC)

A: This is a new type of accreditation process. It is a system designed to treat you as a professional, it reduces the need to send paper certificates and await letters of accreditation. Rather it asks the pharmacy professional to sign the declaration to say that they have reflected on the process and are suitably trained to provide the service.

Q: Why are commissioners switching to using the DoC?

A: This system simplifies the accreditation process, it treats pharmacists as professionals and asks them to self-certify that they have done the relevant training to provide a service. The commissioner can still stipulate certain training via the Service Level Agreement (SLA) but you are no longer required to post certificates to them for them to store.

Q: The DoC is not specific to our PGDs, am I looking at the correct document?

A: Yes, it is the minor ailments DOC – this is a generic document and if you look closely you will see that on the front page it mentions it may include supply of POM via PGD.  You may not feel some of the suggested programmes are relevant for a PGD service  and there is no requirement for you to do everything on the list.

For our Minor Ailments scheme:

To demonstrate how you meet the criteria in the DoC you will need to complete the local requirements along with any other training you consider to be appropriate.  For example, you may wish to consider training on communication skills, on PGDs and on responding to symptoms as well as general training on minor ailments (see suggestions in the DoC).  It is up to you as a pharmacist to assess which you feel is relevant to you with regard to delivering this service and document it in the DoC.

The declaration itself is on Pages 4 and 5 and you would be filling that in for the minor ailments uti and impetigo service so would tailor your answers to that service.  Page 4 is for non PGD supply. Our service is via PGD so the relevant declaration is on pages 5 & 6  (Pharmacist only Level 2)

Q: What happens if I sign a DoC and have not done the relevant training?

A: As a pharmacy professional registered with GPhC, when you sign the DoC it is a professional responsibility to do this honestly and accurately. If it comes to light that the pharmacist is not suitably qualified to deliver the particular service, the responsibility lies with the pharmacist and not with the commissioner of the service.

Q: Will other services use the DoC?

A: You will find that it is used in the future for substance misuse services and eventually for EHC.

Q: What about service delivery in other areas?

A: It is eventually hoped that as the DoC is adopted across the country it will ease cross accreditation for service deliver between areas. You will of course have to check local requirements and be familiar with the SLA and PGDs for each area as the terms of supply may vary where services are commissioned by e.g. neighbouring Local Authorities. In other words, your accreditation may be accepted but remember the actual services may vary slightly. Check with local LPCs or commissioners before starting to supply in a new area.

Q: Where can I find out more about the DoC?

A: More information can be found on the CPPE website here