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November registration exam pass rate drops to 56%

Just 56% of candidates passed the November 2022 online registration assessment, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have announced.

The overall pass rate saw a five percentage point drop from the November 2021 exam, which was 61%.

A total of 937 candidates sat the registration assessment in four countries on November 3, with just over half candidates (525) passing the assessment, the GPhC and PSNI announced today (December 6).

It marks the lowest November pass rate since PSNI and the GPhC started holding a “common” registration exam last year, with candidates from all four UK nations sitting the same assessment for the first time.

It is also the lowest autumn pass rate since 2016, when a record low of just 41% of candidates were successful.



GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin congratulated the assessment’s “the successful candidates” and wished them “all the best in their future careers”.

“We look forward to them joining our register and continuing to the next stage of their career,” he added.

Read more: Plain sailing for November registration exam after ‘considerable changes

He urged unsuccessful candidates to refer to the GPhC’s guide outlining options available to them.

“There are also links to organisations and resources that can provide support with mental health and wellbeing,” Mr Rudkin advised.


Candidate breakdown


GPhC candidates made up the bulk of this year’s autumn assessment candidates, while just 3% (31) were PSNI candidates.

Meanwhile, 59% of all candidates sitting the November 2022 assessment were first-time sitters, with 106 already provisionally registered.

Thirty percent of candidates were second time sitters, while 8% sat the exam for the third time.

In comparison, for the June sitting 89% of candidates were sitting for the first time, 7% were sitting for the second time and 4% were sitting for the third time, the regulators noted.


Regulators “worked closely” with online exam provider


After the June 2022 registration assessment was plagued by delays and IT glitches, the GPhC took several steps to try and minimise disruption to its November exam.

Read more: Five things the GPhC is doing to prevent registration exam chaos in November

Mr Rudkin said the regulator had “worked closely with the PSNI and [the exam] provider, BTL, to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible on the day of the assessment”.

“We hope the candidates taking it were able to focus all of their efforts on completing the assessment successfully,” he added.

He acknowledged “how important the assessment was for candidates as they came to the end of five years of initial education and training”.

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