Changes to vaccination skills assessment

The National Minimum Standards and Core Curriculum for Immunisation Training for Registered Healthcare Practitioners (Standards) was updated in February, which means the vaccination skills assessment has changed.

The key points from the standards are:

  • Any registered healthcare practitioner who advises on and/or administers immunisations must have received speci c relevant foundation training and have been assessed as competent by a registered practitioner who is experienced, up to date and competent in immunisation. They should only administer or advice on immunisations if they feel competent to do so.
  • New immunisers should also have a period of supervised practice and support with a registered healthcare practitioner who is experienced, up to date and competent in immunisation.
  • Both knowledge and clinical competence should be assessed before new immunisers start to give and/or advise about vaccines.

What does this mean in practice?

  1. Vaccinators must be assessed as competent in a ‘live’ environment under the updated standards. However, the updated standards do not specify a minimum number of supervised vaccinations to be administered for the vaccinators to be assessed as competent.
  2. For the 2017/18 service speci cation and declaration of competence for the Community Pharmacy NHS u service, pharmacists undertaking the NHS u service were required to meet and be compliant with the standards. While the service speci cation for the 2018/19 NHS u service has not yet been released, it is possible it will re ect the new vaccination skills assessment recommendations from the updated standards. If so, you will need to ensure you, and other pharmacists within your pharmacy team who provide vaccination services, are compliant with the updated vaccination skills assessment criteria as described above.

How can you ensure compliance?

To support you to meet the ‘live’ vaccination skills assessment criteria, the NPA has the following options:

  1. Vaccination skills assessment form The NPA, in conjunction with our PGD and training provider, will provide a generic assessment form to assess pharmacist competency in a ‘live’ environment. There are many pharmacists already trained in vaccination skills; those in the same pharmacy can potentially act as supervisors and assessors for new vaccinators in their pharmacy as well as in other nearby pharmacies. The NPA will provide the generic form free of charge to those signing up to the NPA PGD services and/or vaccination training.
  2. Train the trainer workshops Over the coming months, depending on demand, the NPA may organise a ‘train the trainer’ workshop (cost to be advised) where we can train a group of pharmacists who can supervise/assess and sign-off new vaccinators. If you are part of a group of pharmacies, you could nominate an individual to attend this event who could then supervise/assess the rest of your pharmacists.
  3. Vaccination skills assessment by a nurse trainer The NPA can arrange a nurse trainer to visit your pharmacy to supervise the administration of vaccines, and assess vaccination skills for you/your pharmacists. The charge per pharmacy/visit (per pharmacy premises) for a nurse trainer to supervise and assess vaccination skills is £595 + VAT. Each visit is conducted over half a day (4 hours).

Kind regards,

Leyla Hannbeck MSc, MRPharmS, MBA

NPA Director of Pharmacy

For further information please contact the NPA on 01727 891800 or email pharmacyservices@npa.co.uk.

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