The PQS forms part of the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework (CPCF).

It supports delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan and rewards community pharmacy contractors that achieve quality criteria in the three domains of healthcare quality:

  • clinical effectiveness
  • patient safety
  • patient experience

Details of the PQS are outlined in Part VIIA of the Drug Tariff.

Gateway criteria 

To qualify for the PQS 2023/24 payment, you must meet all the gateway criteria in Table 1 by the end of 31 Decmeber 2023. You must claim payment for the PQS 2023/24 during the declaration period. This is between 09:00 on 5 February 2024 and 23:59 on 1 March 2024.

Meeting the gateway criteria will not, in and of itself, earn a PQS payment. These payments are also subject to the payment conditions relating to the domains, which are made up of the quality criteria set out in section 2.


Pharmacy contractors who have evidence demonstrating that they’ve met all of the gateway criteria by the end of December 2023, which must be made between 09:00 on 5 February 2024 and 23:59 on 1 March 2024 will receive a PQS payment. This is providing they declared as having met and also have evidence demonstrating meeting one or more of the domains in Table 2.

Contractors must meet all the quality criteria in each domain to be eligible for a PQS payment in respect of that domain. More information can be found in Table 2.

The overall level of the PQS payment will depend on how many of the domains the pharmacy contractor declares it meets.

View the Gateway criteria and Domains in Part VIIA of the Drug Tariff.

Aspiration payment

You'll be able to claim an aspiration payment. The aspiration payment is optional for pharmacy contractors. Not claiming it will not impact on your ability to claim payment for PQS 2023/24.

You'll need to make a declaration on MYS and indicate which domains you intend to achieve before the end of the declaration. The aspiration payment must be claimed between 09:00 on 4 September 2023 to 23:59 on 29 September 2023.

View details about the Aspiration payment in Part VIIA of the Drug Tariff

Claiming payment

Pharmacy contractors will need to make a declaration to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) using the Manage Your Service (MYS) application.

The declaration window will be between 09:00 on 5 February 2024 and 23:59 on 1 March 2024. No late submissions will be accepted. 

Payment for the PQS will show on your schedule of payments under ‘Details of other amounts authorised’.