Top 8 Tips for passing your Accuracy Checking final assessment

13 Feb 2020

Janita Patel, an NPA L&D pharmacist, sets out eight top tips to help students pass their final assessment.

NPA ACT final assessment


Janita Patel, the NPA’s Learning and Development pharmacist responsible for its Accuracy checking courses sets out eight top tips below to help students to pass their final assessment. These tips have been compiled based on Janita’s experience of running the NPA final assessments in recent years and feedback provided by students.

    1. In advance of the final assessment, we strongly recommend that you ask your supervisor to set up at least one mock exam so you can practise accuracy checking of prescriptions in a quiet environment and under timed conditions – more details are available in your tutor and trainee guides.
    2. On the day of the final assessment once you have checked a prescription and moved on to another, if you feel you have made a mistake and/or remember something you didn’t note, you are not allowed to go back.
    3. You are not required to do any legal checks – assume these have already been done. This means, do not worry about the date on the Rx or if it is signed.
    4. You do not have to check that the correct cautionary labels are in place, assume this has been done for you.
    5. Do not worry about clinical checking – this is the Pharmacist’s role – not that of the accuracy checking technician (ACT).
    6. Do write all errors that you find clearly on your answer sheet. If your writing is unclear, your answer may be misinterpreted and may result in you losing marks.ACT final assessment answer sheet
      – Example 1
      Picking error – THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. This is not an error – it is a reason for the error. By providing a vague answer like this, it is unclear if the drug was incorrect or the form.
      Correct answers
      Either number each product in the order it appears on the Rx or simply write the name of the product and the error, e.g.
      a) Wrong drug
      b) Expired product– Example 2
      Just writing ‘Wrong label’, if in fact the labels were transposed. If you have failed to pick up that both items in the basket had wrong labels, you will have lost a mark – as in practice, you may have corrected one label but not the other. So either write ‘transposed labels for item 1 and 2’ or ‘Item 1 – wrong label’ and ‘Item 2 – wrong label’.
      Correct answers
      a) Amlodipine – wrong drug
      b) Simvastatin – expired product
    7. Do not stop checking if the product has expired, there could be more than one error. In practice, if your thoughts are to leave that product to one side because it has expired and pick a non-expired product, you may have transferred a label with an error still on it onto the new product.
    8. Pace yourself well. Often candidates go very slowly on the first ten prescriptions and then have to rush for the last five, which is where they miss errors.

By observing the eight tips above, we’re confident that you’ll be on the right track to pass your final assessment. Good Luck!