Designing and evaluating a mandatory prescribing safety assessment for GPs in training

Our research found that GPs in training made errors in 9% of prescriptions, double that of experienced GPs.

As a result, we worked with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to co-design an intervention where GPs in training review 50-60 consecutive prescriptions. A standardised approach is used to identify and learn from their own examples of medication error and where they could improve their prescribing.

Following a successful national pilot in 2018, which we supported and evaluated, the GMC mandated the assessment for all GPs in training from 2019.

Our evaluation showed that over 90% of GPs in training agreed that completing the assessment had resulted in a change in their prescribing practice.

A report to assess the suitability of the prescribing assessment for GPs in training was presented to the GMC by the RCGP’s Workplace Based Assessment Group.

In July 2020, the prescribing assessment was approved by the GMC and was rolled out as a formal prescribing assessment for the 2020/21 cohort of over 3,000 final-year GP trainees in England.

Relevant publications