The RPS told C+D earlier this month (July 5) that it had sent an email to “over 2,100” pre-registration students warning them that permission is required to “use any RPS material”, after some students shared its mock registration exam papers on file-sharing site Dropbox.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) was investigating the matter "upon the request of other training providers", the RPS said in its email.
Last week (July 14), the PDA posted its letter to the RPS on its own website, in which it said it was "extremely concerned" about the "strongly worded" email the RPS had sent to students.
The PDA acknowledged situations could arise in which RPS staff "involved in the preparation of mock exam materials may become upset if students circulate them".
However, it stressed that the tone and nature of the RPS’s warning to students was “wrong”, and implying that the matter could be subject to an investigation by the regulator was “neither warranted nor appropriate”, the PDA said.
GPhC reaction "unsurprising"
Since the RPS contacted students, the GPhC had clarified that it will not be investigating the matter further, which the PDA said was "unsurprising".
But some students are “frustrated” that the RPS appeared to “simply threaten them with regulatory activity to cause alarm, knowing there were no real grounds upon which this would proceed”, it said.
The PDA said it had reassured its student members that they would be given the union’s “full support” in the “unlikely event” that any regulatory activity should arise.
The RPS told C+D yesterday (July 18) that it had written to the PDA in response to the letter.
In its own letter, seen by C+D, the RPS accepted that the wording used in its email to students “could have been improved”. It apologised for any concern caused by the content of the email, and stressed that this was “not our intention”.
The RPS’s aim was to encourage pre-registration students to “check with training providers first before sharing materials, rather than assuming this was condoned”, it added.
The RPS “has not and will not” be contacting the regulator over the issue, it stressed.