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GPhC announces 88% pass rate for first online registration exam

GPhC: A total of 2,063 (90.4%) of prov-regs who sat the registration exam passed
GPhC: A total of 2,063 (90.4%) of prov-regs who sat the registration exam passed

The pass rate for the first online GPhC registration assessment has risen to 88.2%, the highest since June 2016, the regulator has announced.

The pass rate announced by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) this morning (April 29) is 15.9 percentage points up on the 2019 June pass rate of 72.3%, which was the lowest since the GPhC took over responsibility for the assessment in 2011.

No registration exams were held in 2020, as the regulator postponed them due to COVID-19.

A total of 2,666 candidates sat the first-ever online registration assessment on March 17-18, the GPhC announced today. Of these, 1,310 candidates sat the assessment on 17 March, with a pass rate of 90.2% while the remaining 1,356 sat the assessment on March 18, with a pass rate of 86.4%.

A total of 2,352 candidates successfully passed the March registration assessment.

Of these, 2,063 provisionally registered pharmacists successfully passed the registration exam and will be allowed to remain on the provisional register until they complete the application to join the register as a pharmacist.

The 218 prov-regs who were unsuccessful will not be able to continue to work in this capacity, according to the GPhC.

Of the candidates who sat the exam, 2,398 did so for the first time, 142 for the second time and 126 for the third time.

In February, the GPhC “conservatively” estimated that it would record a 60% pass rate in its March exam, the first to be held in an online format. However, it is predicting a higher pass rate of 71% for this summer’s registration assessment, which will take place over three days on July 27, 28 and 29.

"Relatively high pass rate"

Commenting on the results shared today, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said that “a number of factors that may have contributed to this relatively high pass rate”, but it is not possible to determine “which factors would have had the most significant impact”.

“We are confident that we have maintained the overall standard required to pass both sittings and that all successful candidates have suitably demonstrated the knowledge, skills and experience needed to practise safely and effectively. We wish the successful candidates all the best in their future careers,” Mr Rudkin added.

He congratulated those who passed, pointing out that “this truly is a great achievement, particularly given the challenges these candidates faced”.

How does the March 2021 pass rate compare with past June rates?

Listen to C+D's latest podcast below for advice on what to do upon receiving your registration exam results. Alternatively, follow C+D's podcasts by searching “Chemist+Druggist podcast” on your preferred app or on Soundcloud.

How did you do in the registration exam?

If you passed, congratulations! What are your top tips for candidates planning to sit the assessment in July or November?

If you were unsuccessful this time, don’t worry. Not only were you among the first to sit a brand-new GPhC exam format, but you also did that in the middle of a pandemic, which is unprecedented. Head to the C+D Community for support and guidance on what to do next.

How did you find the first online registration exam?

R A, Community pharmacist

New pharmacists I salute you!

Welcome officially to the mad world of pharmacy where yes wage has been going down and workload going up.  

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Let's look at this objectively.  I am surprised that an on-line and therefore open-book exam did not reach a 100% pass rate! Don't fool yourself that this years students are any better than in recent years.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Congrats to all those who passed. It must have been tough all round for the students. Sadly it all helps to push down wages for all which of course was always the plan. My advice is keep studying. Medicine, dentistry, law, finance, engineering are much more viable avenues for a balanced and happy life.

Dave Downham, Manager

You could at least have given those who have passed just 1 day to celebrate before you p1ssed on their strawberries.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Why keep lying to them when they've been lied to already for at least the last 5 years ? 

Conor M, Community pharmacist

I passed today so thanks!
I did realise the downhill trajectory a few years ago but felt that I was too far in to throw away what I had achieved. 
If I could have my time again, engineering would be the one I would consider. 

Pill Popper, Superintendent Pharmacist

Congratulations Conor!

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