Practice Review


The PSI Council at its meeting of 25 January 2024 took the decision to suspend the Practice Review Events scheduled for 13 and 14 April, and 19 and 20 October 2024. Further information is available in these FAQs.

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2015 (S.I.No. 553 of 2015) set out the CPD obligations for pharmacists and this includes the requirement for pharmacists in a patient-facing role to participate in Practice Review.

What is Practice Review?

The CPD Rules states that Practice Review is the “direct evaluation … of the knowledge, skills and judgement of the pharmacist, against a standard established in consultation with peer pharmacists practising in patient-facing roles, having regard to the Core Competency Framework for Pharmacists, with particular reference to those competencies dealing with patient care, including clinical knowledge, the ability to gather and interpret appropriately information from and about patients, patient management and education and communication (including counselling) skills.”

Practice Reviews are conducted by the IIOP and consist of the following two components:

1. Clinical Knowledge Review (CKR)

Pharmacists are presented with 18 patient-based cases and are asked to answer 3 multiple choice questions (MCQs) on each case (resulting in a total of 54 MCQs).

2. Standardised Pharmacy Interactions (SPIs)

A series of Standardised Pharmacy Interactions (SPIs) form the second component of Practice Review. Each SPI is designed to be reflective of situations with which pharmacists practising in patient-facing roles would be expected to be capable of dealing, such as counselling a patient on a prescription medication, providing advice to someone on the treatment of a minor ailment or dealing with an enquiry from a healthcare professional. Pharmacists undertake seven SPIs, in addition to an initial trial run SPI which does not contribute to the review results.

Who is eligible for selection for Practice Review?

All pharmacists practising in a patient facing role who have been called for ePortfolio Review in a previous year are eligible for selection for Practice Review. Notification that a pharmacist has been selected for Practice Review is sent from the PSI to the email address a pharmacist has previously provided to the PSI. This email address can be updated in the PSI Registration Portal. Once notified, selected pharmacists can then expect to receive communications via email directly from the IIOP. Pharmacists must ensure they have provided their current email address to the IIOP. This can be updated within the 'My Profile' section when logged in to the IIOP website. 

What do we mean by patient-facing?

A patient-facing role includes any pharmacist providing care directly to a patient and/or any pharmacist whose work has an impact on patient care, irrespective of setting or the number of hours of practice per week, month or year.  Although not exhaustive, the following gives examples of roles which are considered as patient-facing:

  • Pharmacists working on a fulltime, occasional or casual basis in community pharmacy
  • Hospital Pharmacists working on a fulltime, occasional or casual basis
  • Superintendent Pharmacists
  • Supervising Pharmacists
  • Locum Pharmacists

Part 5, Rule 12 (7) of the PSI (Continuing Professional Development) Rules 2015 states

….practising in a “patient-facing role” means carrying out the role of a pharmacist in the delivery, or the oversight of the delivery, of care and services to members of the public, including patients, whether in a retail pharmacy business or in a pharmacy department of a hospital, or any other relevant location including on a casual or occasional basis, and includes the role carried out by a superintendent pharmacist, a supervising pharmacist and any other registered pharmacist engaged or employed in a retail pharmacy business or in the pharmacy department of a hospital.

The guidelines that support Practice Review are set out in the Practice Review Policy. The IIOP conducts the Practice Review events and more details and resources on Practice Review can be found on the IIOP website.

Applying for an Exemption from Participation in Practice Review 

Pharmacists who have been selected for Practice Review and feel that they have reason to be exempt should review the extenuating circumstances policy. If, having reviewed the policy, you wish to submit an application, you can do so by filling out this online form. You will also need to email copies of supporting documentation to The types of documents required are outlined in the policy. Applications will be managed on a case-by-case basis in strictest confidence. 

Further details about the process, including the dates by which applications for an exemption must be submitted, are included in the email sent by the PSI notifying you of your selection.