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GPhC exam protest: Council will discuss trainees’ requests ‘this week’

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will discuss the three requests put forward by trainee pharmacists who protested over the handling of the registration assessment with its council “this week”, it has told C+D.

Pharmacist and tutor Marvin Munzu – who organised the protest – met the GPhC’s CEO Duncan Rudkin and director of education Mark Voce at 10.15am yesterday (July 13), along with a delegation of three trainees.


The meeting was followed by a peaceful protest just outside the regulator’s office in Canary Wharf, east London, the aim of which was to draw further attention to the three requests that had been put forward to the GPhC during the meeting.


The trainee pharmacists' requests are:

  1. “For any trainee who fails the June 29 sitting, the sitting should not count towards their total number of failed attempts.

  2. “Issues raised by trainees other than ‘severe delays’ which affected their performance should be accepted as grounds of appeal if the results of the investigations confirm these issues.

  3. “Trainees should only repeat the specific paper they failed for the June exam.”


Mr Rudkin told C+D today (July 14) that the council – which is due to meet this afternoon – will discuss these requests, “and will be in touch with the delegation to update them on our response”.


“We are planning to provide a further update to all candidates next week,” he said.


A spokesperson added that the three requests will also be discussed at a council workshop, which will be held in private.


“Extremely valuable” accounts


Sharing his thoughts on yesterday’s meeting, Mr Rudkin said: “We very much appreciate a delegation of candidates who took part in the protest, led by Marvin Munzu, coming into the GPhC to meet with the director of education, Mark Voce, and myself.”

During the meeting, the delegates shared “dignified and powerful first-hand accounts” of the issues they had experienced when sitting the exam on June 29, Mr Rudkin added.

“These accounts are extremely valuable in helping us continue to build our understanding of candidates’ experiences and appreciating the impact these are having.

“We felt the meeting was constructive, with the delegation clearly setting out their requests on behalf of all candidates taking part in the protest,” Mr Rudkin said.

Following the protest, Mr Munzu confirmed to C+D that the meeting with the GPhC was “positive”.

“In the meeting, I had three other trainee delegates and [the GPhC] invited them to express how they performed in the exam and all the issues they had. So that was very good.

“We had a conversation with them and then we also had a list of requests and we presented those to them. They gave us good answers, they were quite receptive, it was a very positive meeting and now we’re just going to wait for the outcome,” he said.


Watch C+D's full interview with Mr Munzu below



The GPhC is currently investigating the issues identified with its exam provider, the BTL group – such as computers freezing while sitting a paper and allegations of cheating.

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