PQS & CPCS; a locum’s guide

At Pharmaseekers, we’re always working to keep ourselves informed of the latest trends in service delivery within Community Pharmacy. By staying informed we can assure our customers we’re working to support their needs. It also allows us to provide our locums with the information they need to continue being the most sought-after professionals. Since the Pharmacy funding negotiations in July, two main changes in services have come about within Community Pharmacy. First, the introduction of the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) and second, the rejuvenated Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS), formerly known as Quality Payments Scheme.

We’ve put together a guide for our locums on what each service is about and what is required as a locum to support the delivery of these services.


Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS); What is it?

The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS) service will replace the successful NUMSAS and DMIRS pilots. It went live on the 29th October 2019.

The CPCS takes referrals to community pharmacy from NHS 111. There are plans for referrals to be taken from other parts of the NHS in the future.

How does it affect me?

The contract that contractors must sign to provide the service states that it must be offered 100% of a branch’s opening hours. That means that any branch contracted to provide the service must always have an accredited professional on site, as a locum, this would be you. We are encouraging our locums to complete the following learning and actions. Please make sure we have your certificates and screenshots.

  1. Engage fully with the CPCS service specification to ensure you’re aware of the what it entails and how to deliver it.
  2. Complete the CPCS Self-Assessment framework to identify any gaps in knowledge and plan how and when to address them to improve future delivery of the service. (Please upload a completed copy of the framework to your account with us; we use this to reassure our customers that you have engaged with the service spec and can deliver the service)
  3. Ensure you have Summary Care Records Access on your Smartcard. It would be most efficient to have SCR access against the locum 5F code on your Smartcard. This would mean you don’t have to get the branch ODS code on your card and then re-apply for SCR every time you book a new store. Your local Registration Authority should be able to help you with guidance on achieving the 5F locum code and subsequently applying for SCR.


Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS); What is it?

The Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) is the new realisation of the previous Quality Payments scheme. The PQS has come about following the Pharmacy funding negotiations in July 2019.

How does it affect me?

Part of the criteria requires pharmacies to demonstrate that staff on site have certain accreditations. This means that all pharmacies looking to qualify for PQS funding also want locums who work in their store to have these accreditations. We are encouraging our locums to complete the following learning and actions. Please make sure we have your certificates and screenshots.


  • Risk Management:
  1. CPPE Risk Management e-assessment
  • Sepsis:
  1. CPPE Sepsis Case Studies of the PQS scheme e-learning (We want to see one of the certificates from one of the 6 studies you need to complete)
  2. CPPE Sepsis e-assessment (completed after first working through case studies training)
  • Reducing look-alike, sound-alike errors:
  1. CPPE Reducing look-alike, sound-alike errors e-learning
  2. CPPE Reducing look-alike, sound-alike errors e-assessment
  • Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults (Level 2):
  1. CPPE Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults (level 2) e-assessment
  • Dementia Friend:
  1. Screenshot of your account on the Dementia Friends website (we must be able to see your name)



  • Where can I read more about the Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) and Community Pharmacist Consultation Service (CPCS)?
    • As always, the PSNC have a lot of useful information to read here and here.
  • PQS; Is the e-assessment not enough evidence for Sepsis and LASA?
    • We do need to see the e-learning. The guidance is quite explicit about completing both the e-learning and assessment in order for the pharmacy to qualify. You can read about the Sepsis criteria here and the LASA criteria here.
  • PQS; Is it really important for me to do this as a locum?
    • Yes, unlike before, the declaration day can now be any day between 3rd February 2020 and the 28th February 2020. So, for any bookings between those two dates, pharmacies looking to declare will only want to book locums who are PQS accredited. Our system will only show our customers that you are accredited if you have uploaded 7 pieces of evidence outlined above.
  • I don’t live in England, do I need to do this?
    • Anyone intending to provide locum services in England will need to be PQS and CPCS accredited. So if you don’t live in England but work across the border, then we encourage you to complete the documents.




Just to remember…

Both the PQS scheme and CPCS service forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF) and sets out criteria that our pharmacy customers must meet to be able to claim funding.  You can understand why they are keen for the locums that we send to have them!


Contact us if you have any questions or queries and we’ll be happy to help.