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Pharmacist appointed new chair of GPhC board of assessors

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has appointed Dr Mat Smith as its new board of assessors’ chair. 

The GPhC has replaced the chair of its board of assessors – which sets and moderates question papers for the registration exam - for the first time in eight years, it announced last week (February 28).

The board makes “all decisions about questions, papers, candidates and pass marks”, the pharmacy regulator said.

Dr Mat Smith has taken the role over with immediate effect from Professor Andrew Husband, who served as board chair since 2016, it added.

Read more: Community pharmacist among five new GPhC council members

The GPhC said that the new chair is a pharmacist and Cardiff University’s school of pharmacy director of learning and education.

Dr Smith “has been a member of the board of assessors since 2016 and was appointed as chair following a competitive application process”, it added.


“Exciting time for pharmacy education”


GPhC chair Gisela Abbam congratulated Dr Smith on the appointment and said she looked forward to working with him “as he leads the board to deliver the registration assessments in June and November” and considers how the exam will develop in the future.

“I would also like to give my thanks to Professor Andrew Husband for all his work in chairing the board over the last eight years,” she added.

Dr Smith said he was “honoured” to chair the board “in this next phase of development to address the 2021 initial education and training of pharmacist standards”.

Read more: Five things to know about the foundation training reform

He stressed that he was starting the position at “an exciting time for pharmacy education and practice”. 

The new standards mean that from 2025/26, all pharmacy students must complete independent prescriber qualifications, while multi-sector training will become mandatory from 2026/27.  

Other changes include a funding uplift for pharmacies who train students and the option to organise placements in-person being scrapped, as all applications must be made through the National Recruitment Scheme (Oriel).

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