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UPDATED: GPhC registration exam booking portal taken down after system ‘issues’

The new provider of the GPhC registration assessment has taken down its booking portal while it resolves “issues” experienced by several trainees trying to secure a spot for the June sitting, the regulator has confirmed.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) announced on Twitter this morning (May 19) that trainees would be able to start booking their place for the second common registration assessment in June from 10am today.

However, just minutes after bookings opened, trainees and pharmacists started reporting that several candidates were unable to access the booking system.


Booking portal closed and GPhC contacting candidates 


Following confirmation from the GPhC this morning of the ongoing issues, the regulator has confirmed that its new provider – BTL Group – has taken down the booking system.

“We are sending an email to all candidates with more information shortly and will contact candidates again to give them sufficient advance notice of when the system will reopen for bookings, once BTL confirms to us that the issues have been resolved,” the regulator tweeted.

C+D has asked whether any bookings secured this morning will be cancelled once the system reopens.

Earlier this year, the GPhC announced it had selected the BTL Group – a global provider of assessment technology services – to run its registration assessment for the next three years.

Meanwhile, the GPhC had to cancel a number of bookings yesterday after some candidates managed to book a slot before the scheduled opening time of the booking platform – set for today at 10am.


Stress and anxiety


Some pharmacy trainees reported feeling stressed and anxious while trying to secure a place for upcoming exam.

The Professional Standards Authority (PSA) – which oversees 10 statutory bodies that regulate health and social care professionals in the UK – told C+D last year that it had received a number of complaints on the GPhC’s handling of its first-ever online registration assessment.

In June, the GPhC vowed to improve the exam-booking experience and send out more regular updates to trainees, after several candidates reported issues with the previous exam provider Pearson Vue.

The PSA concluded earlier this year (February 22) that it had no concerns “about the GPhC’s accreditation activities during the pandemic, because it adapted them in a reasonable and proportionate way”.

The headline and standfirst for this story was updated as and when further information came in from the GPhC.

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