Practical advice for pre- and prov-regs after your GPhC exam results
After a turbulent year, pre- and provisionally registered pharmacists have now received their GPhC exam results. Pharmacist* Thorrun Govind gives her advice on next steps to take
Firstly, thank you for giving your all, despite the pressures that have been placed on you this past year.
Welcome to the profession, and if, sadly, you aren’t joining us at the moment, please don’t be disheartened.
It has been a year like no other. As you process your results from the General Pharmaceutical Society (GPhC) registration exam please know that one extremely delayed exam, on a new platform, taken on one day in the middle of a global pandemic, does not define you as an individual.
So, what’s next?
Tips for successful candidates
You’ve done it!
If you have passed the registration exam, then the first thing to remember is that you must take steps to ensure full registration is complete so your name appears on the official register. Prov-regs who pass the GPhC assessment will remain on the provisional register until they complete their application to join the register as a pharmacist.
If you haven’t got your application sorted already, then that is likely to be one of your first jobs. It is important that you get documentation, such as a copy of your birth certificate, sooner rather than later.
One of the most important things to check is that you have indemnity insurance, which is a professional requirement. It is important that your insurance covers your role and before undertaking new roles, you should check with your insurance provider.
Revalidation is the other key professional requirement. The GPhC has made changes to revalidation requirements during the pandemic, so it is important that you complete the requisite requirements annually and ensure that you continually keep yourself up to date.
Prov-reg pharmacists have not been able to locum, so on joining the register as a pharmacist you may wish to embrace being a locum full-time or even locum alongside your employed role. A key consideration if you are employed is to check that your contract allows this.
You will also be thinking about the next steps in your career. Personally, I have found it really rewarding being a mentor for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). I would encourage you to use the platform to get connected with pharmacists in areas of work that you are interested. As a mentee you will be able to connect with others further ahead in their career and as a mentor you can also share your experiences and help future members of the profession.
There is no set career path in pharmacy, forge your path and don’t be afraid of doing something new.
Tips for unsuccessful candidates
If you are in the unfortunate position of having to resit the registration exam, then it is important that first you take a break and show yourself the compassion you would exhibit to your patients.
Then, use your time to reflect on your preparations for the exam and have an honest discussion with yourself.
You should consider:
- Did you race to cram at the end of the year, or have you viewed this year as a marathon of learning (rather than a sprint)?
- Did you fully consider all areas of the GPhC registration exam framework?
- Did you seek help with areas you were struggling with?
- Was it a particular type of calculation or a specific topic area that you struggled with?
- When is the next opportunity to take the exam and is taking it then the right decision for you?
In preparation for retaking the exam you might find the following beneficial:
- Familiarise yourself with the format of the exam and the layout of common resources such as a summary of product characteristics.
- Review the feedback from previous assessment sittings.
- Take on a part time role in a pharmacy to stay up to date.
- Familiarise yourself with the layout of common resources, such as a summary of product characteristics.
- Set up a peer group for support.
Some candidates may decide not to resit the exam and some may decide to appeal their results. In that case, you can contact the GPhC for further help and information on this process.
This can be a very stressful time and unsuccessful candidates can contact Pharmacist Support for confidential guidance and support after receiving their results.
Listen to our latest podcast below for more advice on what to do upon receiving your registration exam results. Alternatively, follow C+D's podcasts by searching “Chemist+Druggist podcast” on your preferred app or on Soundcloud.
Thorrun Govind is a pharmacist based in north-west England, and chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's English pharmacy board. This article represents her personal views alone.
*This article was written before Ms Govind was elected to the RPS