Clinical audit

Published on: 22nd September 2014 | Updated on: 24th April 2024

Pharmacy owners must undertake a clinical audit each year, the topic of which they choose.

In addition to this pharmacy owner-chosen clinical audit, they must also complete an audit on a topic that has been determined by NHS England.

The NHS England audit for 2024/25 has not yet been agreed between NHS England and Community Pharmacy England. This page will be updated and we will alert pharmacy owners through our normal communication channels when this has been agreed.

Click on a heading below for more information.

Previous nationally determined audits

Since the introduction of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework in 2005, community pharmacies have been required to carry out an annual audit where the topic of the audit was determined locally by the Primary Care Trust or latterly by the local NHS England team. It was agreed that in 2014/15, rather than audit topics being chosen by local NHS England teams, one nationally agreed audit would be undertaken by all pharmacies.

Financial year Audit topic
2023/24 Since the reduced Pharmacy Quality Scheme (PQS) 2023/24 contained a clinical audit, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England agreed to Community Pharmacy England’s request to remove the clinical governance requirement for pharmacy owners to undertake a pharmacy owner-chosen and an NHS England determined clinical audit in 2023/24.
2022/23 National clinical audit on valproate
2021/22 Recognising the challenges that were experienced by pharmacies and the contribution of the pharmacy workforce during the pandemic and to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, Community Pharmacy England reached agreement with NHS England and DHSC that the requirement for pharmacy teams to complete an NHS England national audit during 2019/20 to 2021/22 would be waived.
2018/19 National clinical audit on flu vaccination for people with diabetes
2014/15 National clinical audit on emergency supply

Pharmacy chosen audit

The annual clinical audit, the topic of which is chosen by the pharmacy, can focus on an appropriate topic of relevance to the practice of the individual pharmacy team. Guidance on undertaking clinical audits can be found via the link below, alongside template audits developed for use by pharmacy teams.

It is not a requirement in the terms of service to send your pharmacy chosen clinical audit results to NHS England. However, pharmacy owners should be prepared to demonstrate they have carried out a clinical audit at the time of any contract monitoring visit carried out by NHS England.

A guide to clinical audit

Valproate medicines safety (Company Chemists’ Association)

Community Pharmacy England audit on LABA as monotherapy for the treatment of asthma without ICS preventer treatment

Hydration messages to prevent acute kidney injury clinical audit (on PharmOutcomes)

NSAID clinical audit (on PharmOutcomes)

RPS audit hub, including templates

For more information on this topic please email

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