Core Competency Framework

Competencies refer to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that an individual develops through education, training and work experience. A competency framework is a blueprint that combines competencies and behaviours expected of a professional in their role. 

What is the Core Competency Framework for Pharmacists? 

The Core Competency Framework reflects the practice of pharmacists in the early stages of their career, i.e., 0-3 years registered. It can also be used to provide structure and guidance for pharmacists when reflecting on their continuing professional development (CPD) needs throughout their career. 

The first Core Competency Framework was published in 2013. Following a review, an updated Core Competency Framework was approved by the PSI Council in December 2022, to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose and relevant to the evolving role of pharmacists. 

Structure of the Core Competency Framework 

The framework is divided into five domains. Each domain is underpinned by several competencies and each competency contains indicative behaviours. These indicative behaviours describe some of the ways in which the competency may be demonstrated. However, competencies may also be demonstrated in other ways and pharmacists are encouraged to reflect on their practice and decide if the behaviours provided are relevant to them, or if there are other ways they meet a competency. 

What is the Core Competency Framework used for? 

The central purpose of the Core Competency Framework is to reflect the core competencies expected of pharmacists from 0-3 years of their career. 

It also has other important uses, including: 

  • Underpinning the education and training of pharmacy students 
  • Helping pharmacists identify their CPD needs by self-reflecting against the domains and competencies that are relevant to their role(s) 
  • Acting as a public statement for patients, other healthcare professionals, policymakers and others, of the key skills, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours associated with and expected of pharmacists 

Supports in using the Core Competency Framework 

The Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) is the body established by the PSI to oversee the management and delivery of the mandatory system of CPD for pharmacists in Ireland. 

The IIOP will be the main support for pharmacists as they engage with the Core Competency Framework to support their CPD. The IIOP website has a range of resources to help pharmacists in the use of the Core Competency Framework to support identification of their learning and development needs.