Are you taking the PSA next year? Here’s what you need to know

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Are you a medical student or foundation doctor gearing up for the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) in 2024? Then, understanding the critical role this assessment plays in ensuring patient safety and your readiness to prescribe medications is crucial. Our free PSA preparation resource is designed to help you excel in this significant exam.

Key Topics Covered in the PSA

The PSA evaluates your prescribing knowledge and skills, focusing on safe and effective practices. It covers a comprehensive range of topics, including prescription writing, review, planning management, communication, calculations, adverse drug reactions, drug monitoring, and data interpretation.

Free PSA Prep Resource

To facilitate your PSA exam preparation, we’re offering PSA Prep, a set of eLearning sessions with the following features:

Detailed Explanations

Access in-depth explanations for each question item found in the PSA, aiding your understanding of correct answers and underlying concepts.

Expert Insights

Benefit from sessions authored by UK prescribing experts, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of information.

Accessible Anytime, Anywhere

PSA Prep is available online, providing flexibility for your study schedule.

Get Started with PSA Prep

Follow these easy steps to kickstart your PSA preparation with our free resource:

Visit Our Website

Navigate to the PSA Prep section on our website. Add all PSA Prep sessions to your basket – they’re completely free!

Register For Free

Complete checkout by entering your details. This creates an account on the BPS Assessment platform, giving you access to all resources. Verify your email and set a password.

Start Preparing

Embark on your PSA preparation journey by working through each eLearning session. Gain insights on approaching exam questions effectively. Good Luck!

The Prescribing Safety Assessment is a pivotal exam ensuring you possess the knowledge and skills needed to prescribe medications safely. Our free PSA Prep resources are designed to support you on this journey. By utilising PSA Prep, boost your confidence, enhance prescribing abilities, and increase your chances of passing the PSA with flying colours. Start your PSA preparation with us today – because patient safety is paramount, and passing the PSA is a significant step toward becoming a responsible and competent healthcare professional. Don’t wait! Sign up today to start your preparation journey!

Advancing Antimicrobial Stewardship: An Practice Assessment for Prescribers

While the challenges of prescribing antimicrobials are well known, healthcare professionals can take further steps to ensure they are able to prescribe these medicines effectively. As we approach AMR Awareness Week this November, it’s an excellent opportunity to highlight our Antimicrobial Knowledge Check. This resource is designed to improve physicians’ prescribing skills and antimicrobial stewardship.

What can you expect from the Antimicrobial Knowledge Check

Our Antimicrobial Knowledge Check is a cutting-edge tool designed specifically for healthcare professionals involved in prescribing antibiotics. This assessment aims to evaluate and enhance the knowledge base of physicians, ensuring they are equipped with the latest information and best practices in antimicrobial stewardship.

Key Features of the Antimicrobial Knowledge Check

Comprehensive Content

The assessment covers the principles of antimicrobial stewardship, particularly the importance of appropriate and proper use of antimicrobials to combat the evolution of resistance. By addressing these areas, we aim to empower healthcare professionals with an understanding of antimicrobial management. 

Each question has been reviewed by members of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) to ensure quality and accuracy. 

Real-world Scenarios

The assessment incorporates real-world case studies and scenarios, allowing healthcare professionals to apply their knowledge in practical situations. This hands-on approach fosters critical thinking and decision-making skills, essential for effective antibiotic prescribing.

Our Commitment to Improving Prescribing Skills

We are committed to being a driving force in the advancement of prescribing skills which of course extends to antibiotic stewardship. By providing clinicians with tools like the Antimicrobial Knowledge Check, we aim to contribute to the global efforts in mitigating the impact of antimicrobial resistance.

As AMR Awareness Week approaches, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the crucial role that healthcare professionals play in combating antimicrobial resistance. Our Antimicrobial Knowledge Check stands to improve antibiotic stewardship, empowering physicians with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions in the battle against AMR. Together, as a global healthcare community, we can pave the way for a future where antibiotics remain a cornerstone of effective medical treatment.

Get access to our Antimicrobial Knowledge Check, simply sign up for free!

Prepare for the PSA with our free resources

As we count down to the end of 2023, you might already be thinking about the Prescribing Safety Assessment and how you can prepare. Well, we’ve got you covered with PSA Prep.

But before diving into the details of PSA Prep, it’s essential to understand the significance of the Prescribing Safety Assessment.

The PSA is an online examination that assesses your ability to prescribe medications safely and effectively. It evaluates your knowledge of various aspects of prescribing, such as drug interactions, dosages, and calculations. All UK and Irish medical schools take the PSA. Those who don’t pass the exam at medical school must do so if they wish to progress their training in the NHS. Success in the PSA is not only important for progressing from FY1 to FY2 but also for ensuring patient safety in your future clinical practice.

PSA Prep from BPS Assessment

As a trusted name in medical assessment and training, we offer a valuable resource for individuals preparing for the PSA – PSA Prep. This set of eLearning sessions is designed to provide candidates with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in the PSA. Here’s what you can expect from PSA Prep:

Comprehensive Coverage

PSA Prep comprises nine eLearning sessions – one introduction and eight question style sessions. Each session is tailored to address the specific competencies being tested, as well as the approximate time required to answer each question. This comprehensive approach means you are equipped with the necessary knowledge to ace the exam.

Self-directed Learning

PSA Prep is a self-directed course, allowing you to study at your own convenience. We know studying medicine is no easy task so we’ve made sure you can access the resources when it suits your schedule.

Free Access

Perhaps the most significant advantage of PSA Prep is that it offers free access to all its resources. This means you can prepare for the PSA without having to purchase yet more study materials.

How to Get Started with PSA Prep

Getting started with PSA Prep from BPS Assessment is easy:

  1. Visit the BPS Assessment website and navigate to the PSA Prep section.
  2. Add all 9 sessions to your basket (don’t worry they’re completely free)
  3. Complete checkout to sign up for an account, and verify your email address.
  4. Login and access the introductory session to get a clear understanding of what you might expect when sitting the PSA exam.
  5. Explore the eight eLearning sessions, covering each individual question style found in the PSA.

Preparing for the Prescribing Safety Assessment is a crucial step in your journey to becoming a competent healthcare professional. With our PSA Prep course, you have access to a wealth of free resources that can significantly enhance your preparation.

PSA Prep offers everything you need to excel in this essential examination. Don’t miss out on this valuable opportunity to boost your PSA performance and ensure the safety of your future patients. Get started with PSA Prep today and take a confident step towards success in the PSA.

The Dacre Review: What does this mean for students sitting the Prescribing Safety Assessment

As a medical student or foundation doctor, you’re well aware of the critical role prescribing medications plays in your future profession and you’ll want to ensure that you have the competence to prescribe safely and effectively. That’s where the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) steps in – it evaluates your ability to make informed and safe prescription decisions, a crucial skill as you progress through your training.

In 2022 an Independent Review into the PSA and its future was commissioned. This review investigated the PSA’s structure, content and overall impact.

Exploring the Dacre Review: Why It Matters to You

In 2022, the British Pharmacological Society and the Medical Schools Council initiated a comprehensive review of the PSA. The aim? To assess the exam’s effectiveness and chart its future course. This review involved key figures from across the NHS and the UK’s medical education landscape, under the leadership of Professor Dame Jane Dacre.

Key Takeaways from the Dacre Review

Let’s delve into the findings of the Dacre Review, with a focus on the medical student angle:

Support for the Prescribing Safety Assessment

Widespread support for the PSA means it’s unlikely to be going anywhere. It’s clear from the findings of the review that prescribing educators and stakeholders understand that prescribing has changed and will continue to change with the introduction of new medications. This coupled with advancements in technology, prescribing in an ageing population and changes in attitude, mean junior doctors need to overcome increasing complex challenges. This is where the exam not only presents an opportunity for candidates to assess their prescribing skills but also build their knowledge and confidence in prescribing before advancing in their careers.

Impact of the Prescribing Safety Assessment

The review highlighted a hugely positive impact on patient safety within the healthcare sector. Since the PSA was mandated in 2017, there has been a consistent reduction in the percentage of medication-related patient safety incidents year after year. This notable trend underlines the effectiveness of the PSA in equipping healthcare professionals with the necessary knowledge and skills to make safer medication decisions.

While the review does not explicitly delve into the direct impact on students sitting the PSA, many have voiced their support for it. Feedback has attested that the exam and the preparation for it, has significantly bolstered confidence among students, demonstrating the invaluable role this assessment plays in enhancing the competence and preparedness of future healthcare practitioners.

The Future of the Prescribing Safety Assessment

The recommendations from the oversight group focus on the need for sustained and equitable funding, better regulation and a more robust governance structure to enhance transparency and accountability.

These recommendations paint a promising picture of the PSA’s future as a fair, quality-focused, and sustainable assessment tool. It’s poised to become an even more effective and reliable part of the medical education curriculum, equipping medical students with the skills to tackle the challenges of modern medicine with confidence.

This independent review reinforces the Prescribing Safety Assessment’s significance in your journey as a medical student. It provides invaluable support, enhances your prescribing skills, and contributes to the safety of future patients. With these recommendations, the PSA is on track to evolve into a vital tool that better prepares you for your role as a healthcare professional in today’s ever-changing medical landscape.

Enhancing Safe Prescribing: Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Assessment

Prescribing for a patient who is pregnant or breastfeeding is complex; ensuring the safety and well-being of both mothers and infants is of paramount importance.  BPS Assessment has partnered with the MHRA Safer Medicines in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Consortium to develop an online assessment resource aimed at supporting healthcare professionals test their knowledge in key areas of safe prescribing during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What to Expect from the Assessment

Practical Case Studies

Each of the 12 case studies is written and reviewed by experts in the field and presented in an easy-to-follow layout giving healthcare professionals the chance to engage with scenarios that reflect real-world challenges. 

Immediate Feedback

The resource provides immediate feedback on each question, facilitating continuous learning and understanding. This feedback is a valuable tool for reinforcing and building knowledge of how to approach particular clinical presentations.

Access to Further Reading

To support in-depth learning, the assessment offers links to additional reading materials and relevant guidelines supported by MHRA. This ensures that healthcare professionals have access to the most up-to-date information.

Developed by Leading Experts

The material within this assessment has been authored and reviewed by content specialists from the MHRA consortium. It encompasses key topics, including those highlighted by the MHRA in recent patient safety alerts, ensuring that healthcare professionals are well-prepared to navigate the complexities of prescribing during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Who Should Take the Assessment?

This comprehensive assessment is aimed at anyone looking to enhance their knowledge of safe prescribing during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Whether you are a nurse, pharmacist, or physician, this resource equips you with the necessary tools to provide optimal care and make informed medication choices for your patients.

A Familiar Platform

For those familiar with the UK Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA), you’ll find this resource to be delivered using the same technology and layout. With thousands of medical students taking the PSA annually, this established platform ensures a user-friendly and efficient learning experience.

Our Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Assessment is a game-changing resource for healthcare professionals. It equips you with the knowledge and tools to make safe and informed prescribing decisions during pregnancy and breastfeeding, ultimately contributing to the well-being of mothers and their infants. Stay ahead in your field and enhance patient safety by exploring this invaluable resource today. Safe prescribing during these critical life stages is within your grasp.

Empowering Women’s Health: BPS Assessment’s Free Menopause Assessment for World Menopause Month

October is World Menopause Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness and promoting understanding of menopause, a crucial phase in women’s lives. At BPS Assessment, we believe that knowledge is key to providing better healthcare, which is why we are excited to offer a free Menopause Assessment for students and healthcare professionals. In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of understanding menopause and how our assessment can contribute to better women’s health.

Understanding Menopause

Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It typically occurs in the late 40s to early 50s, but the age can vary. During menopause, hormonal changes lead to various physical and emotional symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and changes in bone density. It’s a phase that affects a significant portion of the female population and can have a profound impact on their quality of life.

Why Understanding Menopause Matters

Empathy and Support

For healthcare professionals, having a deep understanding of menopause is essential to provide empathetic and effective care to women going through this transition. Patients need to feel heard, supported, and informed about their options for managing symptoms.


Students studying healthcare professions, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and more, must be well-versed in women’s health issues, including menopause. A thorough understanding of menopause ensures that future healthcare providers can offer accurate guidance and treatment.

Improved Quality of Life

Menopause can be challenging for many women, but with proper education and support, they can navigate this phase with fewer disruptions to their daily lives. Education can empower women to make informed decisions about their health and get the help they need to manage their symptoms.

BPS Assessment’s Free Menopause Assessment

To mark World Menopause Month, why not try our free Menopause Assessment, designed to enhance your knowledge and understanding of menopause. This assessment covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Common symptoms and their management
  • Chronic and acute conditions seen during menopause
  • Common adverse effects of selected medicines in menopause 
  • This assessment is suitable for both students and healthcare professionals, whether you’re looking to deepen your understanding of women’s health issues or seeking to refine your patient care skills.

How to Access the Assessment

Getting started with our free Menopause Assessment is easy:

  • Visit the BPS Assessment website and navigate to our free resources section.
  • Add the Menopause assessment to your basket and checkout (it’s free).
  • Sign up for an account or log in if you already have one.
  • Complete the assessment at your own pace, and receive immediate feedback on your knowledge.

This World Menopause Month, let’s come together to empower women and healthcare professionals with knowledge about menopause. Our free Menopause Assessment is a valuable tool that can help you better understand women’s health issues, provide better patient care, and improve the quality of life for women going through this important life transition. Take advantage of this opportunity to become a more informed and compassionate healthcare provider. Together, we can make a difference in women’s health!

Are you preparing to take the PSA next year? Try our free PSA Prep!

If you’re a medical student or foundation doctor preparing for the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA), you’re likely aware of its significance in ensuring patient safety and your readiness to prescribe medications. The PSA is a crucial assessment designed to evaluate your ability to make safe and effective prescribing decisions. To excel in this assessment, you need comprehensive preparation. That’s why we’re excited to offer you a free PSA preparation resource that can help you ace this crucial exam.

Understanding the Importance of the PSA

The PSA is a written assessment that assesses your prescribing knowledge and skills, focusing on safe and effective prescribing practices. It is mandated by the foundation programme in the UK to ensure that medical graduates are competent in prescribing medications before they begin practising as doctors. The PSA is a vital step in safeguarding patient well-being and maintaining high standards of healthcare.

What Does the PSA Cover?

The PSA assesses a wide range of topics related to prescribing, including:

  • Prescription writing 
  • Prescription review 
  • Planning management 
  • Communication 
  • Calculations 
  • Adverse drug reactions 
  • Drug monitoring 
  • Data interpretation 

Introducing Our Free PSA Prep

To assist you in your PSA exam preparation, we are thrilled to offer a free, comprehensive resource – PSA Prep. This set of eLearning sessions include the following features:

Detailed Explanations

Receive in-depth explanations on each question item, helping you understand not just the correct answers but the underlying concepts.

Expert Insights

Each session is written by UK prescribing experts, so you can be sure you’ve got the most accurate information. 

Accessible Anytime, Anywhere

PSA Prep is available online, so you can study whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you.

How to Get Started with PSA Prep

Getting started with our free PSA Prep eLearning is easy:

Visit Our Website

Go to our website and navigate to the PSA Prep section. Click the button to add all the PSA Prep sessions to your basket, don’t worry they’re completely free! 


Complete checkout by entering your details, this will automatically create an account on the BPS Assessment platform so you can access all the resources. Don’t forget to verify your email and set a password! 

Start Preparing 

Begin your PSA preparation journey by working through each eLearning session. Get all the tips and tricks on how to approach each question in the exam. Good Luck! 


The Prescribing Safety Assessment is a critical exam that ensures you are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to prescribe medications safely. Proper preparation is essential, and our free PSA Prep resources are here to support you on this journey. 


By using PSA Prep, you can boost your confidence, enhance your prescribing abilities, and increase your chances of passing the PSA with flying colours. Remember, patient safety is paramount, and passing the PSA is a significant step toward becoming a responsible and competent healthcare professional. Don’t wait; start your PSA preparation with us today!

The Best Free PSA Resources To Help You Pass Your Mock Exam

The Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) assesses a medical student’s ability to prescribe medications safely and effectively. As part of your PSA preparation you should utilise high-quality resources to maximise your chances of success. In this blog, we will explore some of the best free PSA resources available, including the official practice papers and the PSA Prep from BPS Assessment, which provides comprehensive insights into different question types.

PSA Official Practice Papers

The official practice papers for the Prescribing Safety Assessment are an invaluable resource provided directly by those who write and review the PSA. They are written to the same blueprint as the final exam, allowing you to familiarise yourself with the question types and expectations. Working through these practice papers can help you understand the style of questions, time management, and the level of knowledge required. We suggest running through at least one of the papers in one hour, to simulate exam conditions. You can then clear your answers and have another go at your own pace.

PSA Prep from BPS Assessment

PSA Prep from BPS Assessment, provides information and guidance on the various question types you’ll encounter in the Prescribing Safety Assessment. This set of eLearning sessions break down each question type, providing explanations, examples, and strategies to approach them effectively. Here’s what’s included in PSA Prep:

  • Introduction to the PSA and it’s questions
  • Prescribing (PWS) question items
  • Prescription Review (REV) question items
  • Planning Management (MAN) question items
  • Providing Information (COM) question items
  • Calculation Skills (CAL) question items
  • Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) question items
  • Drug Monitoring (TDM) question items
  • Data Interpretation (DAT) question items

Additional Online Resources

In addition to the official practice papers and PSA Prep, several online platforms and websites provide valuable resources to enhance your PSA preparation. These resources include:

The PSA Website

In addition to the practice papers, the official PSA website offers FAQs and guidelines on what to expect during the exam. Check their FAQ and resources section to learn more about the questions styles, registering your account and the question writing process.

Medical Forums and Discussion Boards

It could be useful to engage in online forums and discussion boards where medical students and foundation doctors share their PSA preparation experiences, strategies, and recommended resources. This can provide you with valuable insights and support.

Preparing for the Prescribing Safety Assessment is a critical step in your journey to becoming a safe and effective prescriber. Utilising the best free resources, such as the official practice papers and PSA Prep from BPS Assessment, can greatly enhance your chances of success. By mastering different question types, understanding clinical scenarios, and honing your prescribing skills, you’ll be well-equipped to confidently approach your PSA mock exam and excel on the actual assessment. Remember, consistent practice, thorough understanding, and a strategic approach will pave the way for your success in the PSA and your future medical practice.

Top tips for resitting the PSA

If you find yourself in the situation where you didn’t pass the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) on your first attempt, don’t worry! Many candidates face the same challenge, and there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success during your resit.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of our top tips for preparing yourself for your PSA resit:

Understand the exam requirements

To tackle the PSA exam effectively, it’s crucial to know what’s expected of you in each section. Read up about the PSA questions and the blueprint used to structure the exam. Visit the official PSA website and view the FAQs.

Go one step further and access the free PSA Prep sessions available on the BPS Assessment portal, specially designed by a team of experts. These sessions address common challenges faced in the exam and provide valuable insights into the marking process. By understanding the expectations for each of the eight question styles, you’ll gain the confidence needed to approach the PSA questions during your resit.

Familiarise yourself with the question weightings

Knowing the weightings of different questions allows you to manage your time efficiently during the exam. You don’t want to spend too much time on low-weighted questions and neglect those that carry more marks. Here’s an approximate breakdown of time allocation for each section of the exam:

Prescribing (PWS) – 80 marks = 48 minutes
Prescription Review (REV) – 32 marks = 19 minutes 12 seconds
Planning Management (MAN) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Providing Information (COM) – 12 marks = 7 minutes 12 seconds
Calculation Skills (CAL) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Drug Monitoring (TDM) – 16 marks = 9 minutes 36 seconds
Data Interpretation (DAT) – 12 marks = 7 minutes 12 seconds

While this is a starting point, remember to allow time for breaks and unforeseen challenges. For a more comprehensive understanding, consider watching the free PSA Prep sessions, where each section is thoroughly explained.

Get proficient with both BNFs

Time pressure is a factor that many candidates struggle with during the exam, but this time pressure helps by simulating real-life clinical situations. Making sure you’re familiar with the Medicines Complete and the NICE British National Formulary (BNF) will ensure you can use them efficiently during the exam. Pay special attention to the ‘treatment summaries’ section of the BNF, which may contain critical information that’s not immediately apparent, such as where to find specific topics. Being proficient with these resources can save you precious exam time.

Identify weak areas and revisit them

Practice is key to improving exam technique. Identify your weak spots and work on them diligently. Take advantage of all the free resources available to you including practice papers and eLearning resources.

Check out the free resources available on the BPS Assessment portal! Each assessment has been written by a team of experts and mirrors the format of the PSA exam, allowing you to learn from mistakes and understand optimal approaches. Remember, practice makes perfect

Ready for Your PSA Resit?

By following these four steps, you’ll be well-prepared for your PSA resit. Don’t lose confidence; you’ve got this!

Take a closer look at the resources available to you and approach your resit with determination and a positive mindset. Good luck!

Using the BNF in your PSA exam

The Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) is an essential exam that measures the ability to prescribe medications safely and effectively. As an open book exam, students and foundation doctors who sit the PSA have access to the BNF to reference their answers. But with only 120 minutes to answer 60 questions, how do you avoid using up your time to search for answers? In this blog, we explore how to utilise the BNF efficiently without eating up your time.

The Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA)

The PSA is a two-hour exam that assesses the prescribing skills of early-career doctors. It is a mandatory exam in the UK, meaning foundation doctors must pass in order to progress on to FY2. The exam contains 8 different question styles with varying marks for each. The marks awarded indicate how much time to spend on each question.

What resources are available during the PSA?

As we’ve established above, the PSA is an open-book exam, which means that you will have access to at least one resource to reference your answers. For those sitting the exam in the UK, you will have access to the Medicines Complete BNF, Medicines Complete BNF for Children and the NICE BNF to check your answers.

For students sitting the exam in Ireland or overseas, you will only have access to the NICE BNF, unless your institution has otherwise purchased their own license if the Medicines Complete BNF and Medicines Complete BNF for Children.

How to use the BNF in the PSA

The BNF is a comprehensive guide to prescribing medication in the UK and can be accessed online.

To use the BNF effectively during the PSA, it’s important to understand how it’s organised. The BNF is arranged by drug class, and each drug has a corresponding monograph that provides information on its indications, contraindications, dosages, and potential side effects.

When answering PSA questions, it’s recommended to start by identifying the relevant drug class and then look up the specific drug in the BNF. It’s important to pay attention to any contraindications or warnings that may be relevant to the question at hand and make note of the recommended dosages and administration guidelines.

Additionally, the BNF includes a section on prescribing in special populations, such as elderly patients or those with renal impairment, which can provide useful information for answering questions about medication safety.

The best way to use your time is to confirm answers using the BNF instead of searching for uncertain ones. When revising, you should familiarise yourself with all versions, to ensure you can use either Medicines Complete or NICE to look up your answers.

How can you prepare for the PSA

You can practice using the BNF to reference your answers by making sure to take full advantage of the practice papers available on your official PSA account.

You can also get more information on the exam and how to use the BNF with our free eLearning sessions, PSA Prep, available on the BPS Assessment Learner’s Portal. Or take your revision one step further with our practice papers. For just £40 take our full 60 time paper and two 30-item practice papers!