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GPhC must ‘do more’ to support pre-regs, says student body

The BPSA has urged the GPhC to provide clarity about the upcoming pre-reg exam.
The BPSA has urged the GPhC to provide clarity about the upcoming pre-reg exam.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) “needs to do more” to support pre-regs ahead of their postponed exam, the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) has said.

In light of the postponed pre-registration exam – due to take place sometime in the first three months of 2021 –  the BPSA has called on the GPhC to provide “further details regarding the exam” in an open letter to the regulator posted on Twitter on Monday (October 5).

The letter, signed by BPSA president Regan McCahill on behalf of the students' body, said it is becoming “increasingly difficult to accept the lack of clarity and information after such a lengthy period, especially as this had a significant detrimental impact on members' mental health and wellbeing”.

It asked the GPhC to “increase the frequency of updates, provide more clarity regarding the assessment [and] resit opportunities, and to further encourage employers to support all those awaiting the registration assessment”.

The GPhC declined to comment.

Pre-registration assessments postponed due to COVID-19

The GPhC announced its decision to postpone the 2020 registration assessments due to COVID-19on March 26. In May, it told C+D that the pandemic had accelerated existing plans to move to an online registration assessment.

Last month (September 21), the regulator said it could not “confirm an exact date” for the online registration assessment until a provider had ben appointed.

In an update at the end of the month (September 30), the GPhC announced that it had identified a “preferred supplier” and that the postponed exam would be held in the first quarter of next year – avoiding the first two weeks of January. The regulator was not able to give an exact date for the rescheduled exam but said candidates can expect further updates in October.

The BPSA has asked the GPhC to provide an exact exam date and resit date, and to share the exam rubric by the end of November.

It has also asked that the regulator “facilitate a mini-mock online exam to mimic the online exam conditions”and provide “clarification on if the exam will count towards one of three sits”.

What do you make of the BPSA's letter?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

GPhC must ‘do more’. No, nothing else to add to that, just that. Do more. Be better. They have a fantastically poor reputation with their registrants, infamous for their decision making, and least trusted organisations around with repeated failings to uphold and improve the profession.

C A, Community pharmacist

It's not the GPhC's job to support pre-regs, it's their job to protect the public *duh*


In before expected GPhC response

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Frankly, I think getting bugger all support from the GPhC is one of the best preparations they could get for their career as a pharmacist, cos they certainly won't get any once they're qualified.

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