Data Security and Protection Toolkit: new PSNC guidance docs now available


PSNC has published a suite of new guidance to assist community pharmacy contractors with completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit for 2020/21. The Toolkit, used to make a pharmacy’s information governance (IG) declaration, must be completed by 30th June 2021 but it is recommended to be done as soon as possible.

The deadline for the 2020/21 Toolkit submission has been extended from the usual 31st March cut-off as part of measures designed to address contractor workload pressures during the COVID-19 pandemic. PSNC has collaborated with NHS Digital and PMR suppliers to keep the workload manageable but the data security protections appropriate. Key differences this year include:

  • Some new mandatory questions;
  • Improvements to the wording for the questions;
  • Some of last year’s questions have been simplified/combined following recommendations from PSNC and others; and
  • The Toolkit displays the answers submitted by the pharmacy in the previous submission for many questions, allowing the contractor to simply check the information is still accurate and adjust.

The Headquarters (HQ) batch submission feature has also been improved to enable contractors (that own three or more pharmacies) to complete a single submission for all their premises.

Many contractors will have access to information to help them answer around 19 technical questions and, any contractor that has reviewed their templates in PSNC’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Workbook, can simply confirm on the Toolkit’s Organisation Profile webpage that the GDPR Workbook has been reviewed to auto-complete around half of the questions.

PSNC has made its guidance materials available as soon as was practicable and strongly encourages contractors to consider this annual requirement in their workload planning for the next few months.

Contractors with three or more pharmacies are recommended to check that the list of pharmacies associated with their HQ code is correct now so that any issues can be rectified as soon as possible. See Batch submission guidance below.

PSNC’s data security hub and collection of templates and policies have also been updated to align with the new toolkit and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

PSNC guidance

Next steps

PSNC recommends that contractors log in to the Toolkit now, look through our guidance documents – starting with the Toolkit completion: Overview: Five steps guide and, time allowing, begin to fill in the Toolkit.

Please note that all questions marked as mandatory must be completed to meet the minimum IG requirements as part of a pharmacy’s NHS Terms of Service.

PMR suppliers may soon provide new guidance for the updated technical questions.


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