Contractors can now begin submitting their online declarations of compliance with the gateway and quality criteria for the Quality Payments Scheme (QPS) on the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA) website.

The portal, which opened at 9am today (10 April) will remain open until Friday 12 May at 11:59pm.

The first QPS review date is on Friday 28 April. However, contractors can start adding data now and will be able to re-enter the portal to add information at a later date before the portal closes.

However, contractors must remember to re-enter the portal and submit the declaration before Friday 12th May 2017 11.59pm, otherwise they will not be entitled to a quality payment.

It is up to the contractor to decide if it is appropriate to submit their declaration before the review point.

If they know they will definitely meet the criteria they are claiming for before the review date but once it has been submitted, it cannot be changed.

Contractors must check their declarations thoroughly before submitting them, as once they have done so it cannot be altered, even if it was submitted in error.

When the declaration has been submitted the contractor will receive an email from NHS BSA confirming the details that have been declared.

The email should be retained by the pharmacy as proof that the declaration was submitted and the date of submission. The email will show how contractors have responded to each of the gateway and quality criteria.

Evidence does not need to be submitted during the declaration process. However, the declarations may be subject to spot checks by NHS England or NHS BSA as part of their usual monitoring process for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework.

It is not compulsory to complete the Quality Payments Scheme evaluation questions when submitting the declaration but NHS England is encouraging all contractors to complete the evaluation questions to support future developments in payments for quality.