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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

General News

IG 2012/13: Business Continuity Planning Exemption Agreed

All NHS providers, including community pharmacies, need to provide information governance assurances to the NHS on an annual basis. This is done through the online Information Governance Toolkit. The deadline for contractors to submit their 2012/13 return is the 31st March 2013.

The Department of Health have confirmed that a global exemption has again been applied to requirement 319 for community pharmacies whilst the Department of Health and PSNC complete their discussions on business continuity planning. The exemption is applied during an overnight process and has also been applied to version 10 assessments that have already been published.

Requirement 319 will need to completed in the 2013/14 version of the Toolkit (scheduled release date June 2013) and the PSNC will shortly be publishing business continuity materials to assist pharmacies to comply with the business continuity planning requirement by 31 March 2014.

Other key points to note about this year's submission:

  • Pharmacies are expected to attain Level 2 compliance against each of the pharmacy information governance requirements (with the exception of 319). Whilst optional, it is not mandatory for pharmacies to have evidence to comply with the Level 3 requirements.
  • It is important to make some comments to support entered scores, this could be by making some comments in the comments box or ticking the relevant evidence obtained boxes but it is not mandatory to complete the optional fields to record where each piece of evidence is located or to upload evidence such as policies and procedures. Note some evidence will include commercially sensitive information and would therefore be inappropriate to upload.
  • Any scores, evidence and comments entered into a pharmacy's 2011/12 assessment will automatically be rolled over to the 2012/13 assessment. However, there is still a need to tick to confirm that scores, evidence and comments have been reviewed and to update the information entered where necessary.
  • Head office staff members can centrally view the submissions of individual stores through a central log-in. To access this functionality, Head office staff should contact the Exeter Helpdesk (0845 3713671).
  • Forgotten passwords? Technical support in using the NHS Information Governance Toolkit, including requests for access right changes and password re-sets can be obtained from the Exeter Helpdesk ( or 0845 3713671).

Detailed guidance on the information governance requirements including templates to support meeting each requirement can be found in the dedicated Information Governance section of this website.


Q. Do I need to login on two occasions to complete the assessment (i.e. initial login and then on the following day, publishing the submission once the exemption to 319 has technically been applied)?

A. This is not necessary. It is possible to complete the assessment in one session - if it is your first time logging in to version 10 of the Toolkit (2012/13) and you would like to submit the assessment on the same day, then there is a need to give a score for requirement 319 to allow submission of the assessment  - however, regardless of what score is given for requirement 319, this requirement will be changed to 'exempt' after submission during the overnight update process.

Posted 22 February 2013

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