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GPhC confirms provisional registration for some trainees hit by exam chaos

Eligible candidates who were affected by technical issues at the registration exam on June 29 will be granted provisional registration, the GPhC has confirmed.

Those who were “severely” impacted by these issues and for that reason could not pass this sitting will be granted provisional registration, providing they meet a set of criteria, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) wrote in an update this evening (July 1).

The eligibility criteria are yet to be defined but will be published “as soon as possible”, the GPhC added.

A GPhC spokesperson told C+D today that, in total, around 240 candidates were affected by delays at the different exam sites.

A total of 2,700 candidates sat the exam on June 29. Candidates in a test centre in Nottingham, one of 113 BTL Group centres the exam was held at across the UK, were particularly badly affected, being unable to start working on Paper 1 until late in the afternoon.


GPhC held emergency meeting


The regulator held an emergency meeting today, to agree on measures to support those who were impacted.

Provisional registration will be offered to those meeting certain criteria, but it is unclear at present how many candidates will be eligible for this.

“Candidates who were provisionally registered would be able to remain on the provisional register from August 1 until February 1” next year, so that they can sit the assessment again on November 3 to join the main register, the regulator proposed.

“This means that these candidates will be able to work as a provisionally registered pharmacist while they wait for the next sitting,” the regulator clarified.

The GPhC had already stipulated that those candidates hit by “severe delays” will get their exam fees reimbursed in full, while “severe delay will be automatically accepted as grounds for appeal if they do not pass”.


“Primary focus”: care for affected trainees


Commenting on this evening’s announcement, GPhC CEO Duncan Rudkin said that the regulator’s “primary focus” is to “support and care for those affected”.

“We share the sense of anger that many have expressed about the severe delays that some candidates sitting the registration assessment have experienced,” he added.

“We believe an offer of provisional registration to the candidates who were severely impacted by delays is the right thing to do in terms of standards and the public interest, as well as going a long way to allaying candidates’ concerns about employment and income,” Mr Rudkin said.

But he acknowledged that the GPhC needs to “get to the bottom of the root causes” to ensure future candidates do not face similar issues.

The GPhC’s announcement was met with anger on social media, with some users questioning the integrity of the assessment.

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