The pass rate for the first-ever online General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration assessment was 88.2%, it was announced in April.
The University of Nottingham registered a first-attempt pass rate of 99.4% – the highest of all schools of pharmacies whose candidates sat the exam in March, according to GPhC council papers published ahead of its meeting this week (June 10).
The University College London reported the second-highest first-attempt pass rate at 98.1%.
Meanwhile, the University of Central Lancashire and Kingston University reported first-attempt pass rates lower than 80%. The University of Central Lancashire’s pass rate was the lowest at 52% – which is, however, 5.3 percentage points higher than its June 2019 exam results – while Kingston University’s pass rate was 79.8%.
No comparisons with previous years
The GPhC said in its council papers that “comparisons with previous pass rates cannot be made” as the March sitting was “atypical due to the pandemic”.
“Alongside resitting candidates, some candidates have been pre-registration trainees for six to eight months longer than usual and others have been working as provisional registrants,” the GPhC wrote. “There is no objective way of quantifying the impact of either condition on the pass rate.”
Lowest pass rates
There were 277 candidates who had selected their ethnicity as “Black or Black British: African” and attempted the registration assessment for the first time, according to GPhC data.
Candidates that identified as this ethnicity were found to have the lowest pass rate, at 80.51%. The pass rate was slightly higher for the 149 candidates who identified as "Asian or Asian British: Other", at 80,54%. Meanwhile, the pass rate for the 559 candidates who said their background was “White: British” was 96.6%.
Candidates who completed their pre-registration training in a community pharmacy or were working in the same sector as provisionally registered pharmacists were reported to have the lowest pass rate at 85.8%, while the pass rate among those completing a hospital/GP training programme hit 100%.
Commenting on the high pass rate of the University of Nottingham MPharm graduates, head of school of pharmacy Clive Roberts told C+D today (June 8) that “it’s been an enormously challenging year for all graduates working in healthcare”.
“We are of course very proud of our graduates achieving such a high pass rate of 99.43% and wish them comparable success in their future pharmacy careers,” Professor Roberts said.
“We are particularly thankful in this assessment achievement to our dedicated expert staff team led by Mr Gautam Paul, who supports student preparation for foundation and provides continued support beyond graduation,” Professor Roberts added.
University of Central Lancashire: Last cohort from old course
Colin Davidson, head of the University of Central Lancashire’s School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, told C+D today that the university is disappointed in the latest results, “although the average mark and pass rate have increased on the previous assessment”.
He said that this was the last cohort of sitters from the old MPharm course, “which was accredited in 2010”.
The graduates who enrolled on the MPharm course accredited in 2016 will sit the next assessment in July, said Professor Davidson, who added that the university expects “an improved performance in future registration assessments”.
“The new MPharm programme is substantially different to the 2010 programme, reflecting the changing nature of the pharmacy profession. [It] provides more experiential learning through patient [and] public engagement and interprofessional education,” Professor Davidson added.
Full breakdown by pharmacy school:
*This article was updated on June 9 to include the pass rates for candidates of Asian or Asian British: Other background