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COVID-19: GPhC to allow pre-regs to provisionally join register

Some pre-reg trainees will be eligible to provisionally join the register in August this year

Current pre-registration pharmacists who meet “certain criteria” will soon have the option to provisionally join the GPhC register, the regulator has said.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is “working on the basis” that pre-reg trainees who are eligible “would be able to join the register at the same time as they usually would, in August this year", chief executive Duncan Rudkin said in a letter to trainees and tutors on Monday (April 27).

Trainees joining the register provisionally will need “structured support to manage the transition into practice as a pharmacist,” Mr Rudkin added.

The GPhC is proposing that time spent provisionally registered would count towards both the two years of practice required to become an independent prescriber and “any foundation training that provisionally-registered pharmacists may undertake,” he added.

The proposals come after the regulator’s decision in March to postpone this year’s June and September assessments following the COVID-19 outbreak.

The regulator confirmed to C+D yesterday (April 28) that pre-reg pharmacists who join the register provisionally will still have to sit their assessment at a later date.

Mr Rudkin said the GPhC is “continuing to consider a range of different options for the postponed registration assessments”.

“This includes looking at the format of the assessment, and whether a move to an online sitting would be possible” he explained.

The GPhC will be “sharing further details as soon as possible”, he added.

Will you apply to provisionally join the register?

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Provisional Phamacist salary - £15k

Provisional Locum Pharmacist rate - £10/hr

Rudkin and his employers/friends/B*@ts should be happy.


This will drag down salary/rates for everybody else. Even better news for Rudkin and his allies. The profession goes from strength to strength.

anti-depressed Pharmacist, Manager

Now who's profiteering Rudkin.

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

The pre reg year ends in August , what are they all supposed to do untill the exam comes out in Sept, Nov, Dec ? Most firms have already a new Pre reg booked in and will not be willing to have two, so unemployment is the only option.My solution this year is to do it the old fashion way and scrap the exam completely and allow your tutor to sign you off, it worked in my generation.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

Worked quite well back in my day.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I agree that our pre-exam generation are every bit as good as the post-exam cohort but do they even have an allocated tutor nowadays? I'm a bit out of touch with how pre-reg works now.

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

There isn't a shortage of pharmacists!!! Thanks to the Gphc and their interference the big multiples have decided to close pharmacies rather than pay for locum cover. The chains are not negotiating on rates and if anything have lowered their rates so much to avoid pharmacist uptake. 


C A, Community pharmacist

If the staff turn up but the company haven't sorted a locum, and close the shop, wouldn't the employees be entitled to their regular wages?

C A, Community pharmacist

If it were up to me I would be making plans to hold the pre-reg exams in September*... just saying, we may be in recovery by then. If you have to delay so be it, but the good old GPhC failing to plan is just planning to fail.

*given there are already countries talking about lifting lockdowns in June

NQ Pharmacist , Primary Care Nurse

Absolute shambles!! How can you possibly give provisional registrations then you have to sit the exam on a later date! Surely common sense suggests just sit the exam on a later date than normal! And then go onto the  register! This provisional register is just going to lead to dangerous and non competent pharmacists which  could cause errors ones which may KILL patients! GPHC once again showing they are a joke and all they care about is MONEY to line their pockets Good job RUNKIN if only you was a practising pharmacist yourself!!!



Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

I never sat an exam and neither did anyone of my generation and yet I don't think we are responsible for any more deaths because of that. A competent pharmacist is a competent pharmacist regardless of what an exam states. We just need a different way of assessing their competency, that's all. I have worked with pre-reg students who were utterly useless and yet still passed the exam but I would not trust them with a prescription as far as I could spit.

dave de cat, Community pharmacist

agree 100%, sadly, common sense is lacking at the gphc

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