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GPhC announces new online registration exam provider

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has chosen the BTL Group – a global provider of assessment technology services – to run its registration assessment for the next three years, it has announced.

The common registration assessment – which the GPhC holds jointly with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland – will be held online, and candidates will be able to sit it one of the BTL Group test centres across Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the GPhC said in a statement this afternoon (January 12).

The regulator also confirmed that it will go back to running two exam sittings per year – as was the case before the COVID-19 pandemic – with the next sitting to be held in June.

Details on exam dates and assessment centres will be shared in the coming weeks, the GPhC added.


Contract with Pearson Vue came to an end


BTL Group’s appointment follows a tender process, which saw the GPhC publish a contract notice in August 2021 inviting bidders to submit their applications for a deal valued at £2,083,000.

GPhC CEO Duncan Rudkin said the appointment of the new provider “follows our earlier time-limited contract with Pearson Vue, with whom we successfully delivered our first online assessments during 2021”.

The GPhC selected Pearson Vue online registration assessment provider in 2020.

However, some registration exam candidates flagged issues with Pearson Vue last year. Some experienced issues with the company’s booking system ahead of the March 2021 sittings, while four candidates were not able to complete the exam in July due to a “system failure”.

C+D has asked the GPhC whether its decision to change supplier follows the reported teething issues with Pearson Vue.


“Assurance” BTL Group can support “ fair and robust” assessment


Mr Rudkin added that the information obtained by the GPhC during the tender process “has given us the necessary assurance that [BTL Group] can support us in continuing to deliver a fair and robust assessment that tests candidates’ ability to register as a pharmacist”.

“We will now work closely with BTL on arrangements for the sittings in 2022, to make sure we can provide a positive experience for candidates,” he added.

The group will provide its award-winning computer-based testing platform, Surpass, in test centres across the UK, the GPhC added.

BTL managing director Sonya Whitworth said: “Prestigious medical testing organisations all over the world trust the innovative item and test development functionality in Surpass, and we look forward to sharing our experience and that of the Surpass community with the experts at the GPhC.”


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