The British Pharmaceutical Student’s Association (BPSA) raised trainees’ concerns about the exam – including alleged “tight time limits” on the papers – when it met with the regulator’s chief executive Duncan Rudkin and head of education Damian Day last week, graduate officer Aron Berry told C+D.
C+D has received more than 20 emails from pre-reg trainees and tutors, alleging that last month’s assessment was far harder than the June sitting and the calculations were “unrealistic” in the time given.
The BPSA highlighted some of these concerns to the regulator, said Mr Berry, who acknowledged: “There is inevitably some stress among candidates after a year of training and preparation.”
The BPSA said it “routinely” collects feedback about each sitting of the exam and formally submitted information it has received about September’s exam last week.
The organisation “looks forward” to the response from the GPhC’s board of assessors, Mr Berry said.
BPSA general secretary Tom Byrne also told C+D: “We trust that the GPhC will acknowledge and accept our feedback and recommendations at the highest possible level.”
Students are encouraged to give any feedback about the pre-reg exam to the BPSA by emailing [email protected].
The GPhC has insisted to C+D that the difficulty level of the June and September assessments was the same, as were the time limits given for each paper.
BPSA had “no contact” with protest group
Earlier this month, students threatened to protest outside the GPhC’s central London headquarters over the perceived difficulty of the September exam.
One of the protest’s organisers told C+D last week that the group was waiting for the BPSA to give it the green light.
But Mr Byrne told C+D on Monday (October 17) – the proposed date of the protest – that the BPSA had not been contacted by the organisers and the BPSA was unsure if the demonstration was to go ahead.
September’s registration exam results will be released on October 28.
It remains to be seen how the results will fare compared with June’s 95% pass rate, although September sittings of the exam tend to have lower results due to the numbers of students taking the assessment for the second or third time.