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‘Possible cheating’ during June registration assessment, GPhC reveals

There were five allegations of cheating during this June’s registration assessment, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has revealed. 

All five of the misconduct allegations raised over this June’s registration exam “related to possible cheating”, the GPhC revealed in its October board meeting minutes published earlier this week (November 6).

The regulator stressed that none of the five allegations of misconduct had “arisen as a result of unclear communication with candidates”, such as “using a calculator in the wrong paper”.

It comes after last year’s June registration assessment was also followed by cheating allegations.


Rise in misconduct allegations


The regulator yesterday (November 8) told C+D that “the number of misconduct allegations” – which “includes…but is not limited to allegations of cheating” – “fluctuates each sitting”.

It revealed that there were two misconduct cases last June and no cases in November 2022.

However, it was unable to confirm the number of allegations that related to cheating it received last year. 

The regulator told C+D that this June, “five allegations of misconduct were investigated” and stressed that despite the increase compared to last year, it was “not an unusual number”.

“Where misconduct is found to have taken place, a candidate’s results are withheld and a fail is recorded,” it added.

The document also revealed that “an increasing number of candidates” requested reasonable adjustments, “particularly sole-occupancy rooms”.

Due to this increase, it said that “for some, a balance had to be struck between allocating them to a test centre that was convenient for them and one that could meet their requirements”.

It added that “further information” would be provided after the November sitting of the exam, which took place last week (November 2).


Exam chaos


Last year, assessment chaos led candidates to stage a historic protest outside the GPhC’s Canary Wharf offices in July 2022.

Trainees issued a list of four demands to the GPhC after some reported “loud, distracting noises” in the exam halls, exam halls that reportedly allowed easy cheating, and incompetent invigilators, among other complaints.

The regulator ultimately acceded to two of the trainee’s four demands, agreeing to a 12-month extension on the time limit to sit and pass the registration exam after beginning pharmacist training for all who experienced exam “delays or disruption” as well as offering a refund to affected students.

This June, GPhC director of education and standards Mark Voce said that the regulator had visited all the “non-permanent” exam centres “to make sure they are up-to-scratch” and stressed that all preparations were “on track” for this year.

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