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PDA call on employers to support exam candidates once results are announced

The GPhC have confirmed that provisionally registered pharmacists who do not pass their assessment will be removed from the register at 09:00am on Thursday 29th April 2021.

Sun 18th April 2021 The PDA

Candidates who sat the GPhC’s first online assessments, held on 17th & 18th March, will receive their results via email before 09:00 on Thursday 29th April 2021.

Exam candidates that will receive the results include those who are not yet in practice, and resitters. As happens each year, those that pass the assessment will be able to apply to join the register and begin their career as a pharmacist, while those who are not successful will face a set back to their career plans and may need to consider their options to resit the assessment.

However, the pandemic year’s exam process also creates a further set of unprecedented situations as candidates include those already practicing as provisionally registered pharmacists. Unlike in previous years, the sector will see provisionally registered pharmacists that have passed their assessment able to continue roles in which they are already employed.  The change of registration status to “pharmacist” will mean that the current limitations on their practice will end, such as being able to work as a locum in future.

For those provisionally registered pharmacists that do not pass the assessment they will cease to be able to practice as a provisional registrant from 09:00 am on the day results are announced. This means they will face the end of their current employed role and of their professional relationship as the pharmacist with colleagues and patients, along with the associated implications for their immediate financial situation. This is not something that has happened in previous years.

Employers should treat those who do not pass fairly and with dignity

The PDA have already urged employers to have early conversations with those provisionally registered who sat the March 2021 assessment and other colleagues in pharmacy teams to explore their options following the result announcements and we hope employers will retain the skills of this individuals within pharmacy teams.

The PDA also welcomes the regulator’s comments to employers encouraging them to allow those awaiting results to book the 29th April off as leave, and the PDA would also encourage employers to ensure this most important day of leave is paid leave.

The whole cohort and the wider profession will see how employers treat these vulnerable employees at this time. The PDA reiterate the request that employers take every effort to treat all those who do not pass fairly, sensitively and with dignity. Not just because that is the decent thing for employers to do, but at a time that the role of pharmacists is now on the shortage occupation list, employers should be extremely mindful of the impact their actions will have on their reputation with potential future employees.

PDA Union Executive member for student and pre-reg members

Jasraj Mathura, Provisional Registered Pharmacist and PDA Union Executive Committee member said,

The past 12 months have been extremely challenging for pre-registration pharmacists. Following the GPhC postponement of the initial ‘paper based’ assessment last year there were some of us who took on the new role of provisional registered pharmacist, at the height of the pandemic, and others who were unable to register provisionally, many of whom have supported pharmacy teams across the different sectors. More than two thousand individuals have spent hours revising and sat the GPhC online assessment last month.

I understand how daunting it can be waiting for the results of the assessment. I wish all PDA members, my friends and colleagues the best of luck with their results. Whatever the outcome, please know that the PDA are here to support you on your journey as you look towards the future as a pharmacist, or plan for the next phase towards being a pharmacist in the summer when a further opportunity to sit the assessment is available.

Whilst the results to be published on the 29th of April are yet unknown, there is something we all know, including the PDA, pharmacy profession and the regulator; the cohort of 2019/20 and all those whose registration has been affected by the pandemic have shown resilience, professionalism and have been a credit to their profession. The support you’ve provided to your patients, pharmacy, healthcare and your communities will never be forgotten.

I am proud to represent you as your PDAU xecutive Committee member I will ensure that you have a voice within the PDA and that you are supported throughout your career at whatever stage you find yourself.”

PDA support

The PDA will continue to support all members, including student, pre-registration, provisionally registered and pharmacist members, and any potential pharmacists who have not yet passed the assessment but are eligible to sit the assessment in future.

The PDA will be providing advice about the appeals processes for those who wish to consider a challenge to their exam result. The PDA encourage all those who did not pass to review that advice once the exam results are known. Further information will follow shortly.

PDA members that are concerned with how they are treated by their employer, whether or not they passed the assessment, will have rights at work and as the pharmacist trade union the PDA are the right people to contact for advice and support.

The PDA are also critically aware that the organisation’s support does not cover every possible consequence from the assessment results.  In particular, the PDA are mindful of the possible mental health and financial impact on those who have not passed the assessment.  Pharmacist Support, is critical source of support to the profession and can be contacted here. Other general sources of support may also be useful, such as the Samaritans.  In any event, the PDA advise anyone, with concerns about what the consequences of their exam results may mean, to seek the support that is available.

Continued PDA membership

All those who did not pass the assessment exam can continue with their current PDA membership and renew as a potential pharmacist at their normal renewal date. They will once again have free access to the PDA education support for those planning to take the exam on a future date. These resources are already available to the “forgotten cohort” of 2020-21 trainees who have undertaken their entire pre-reg year during the pandemic and are expected to sit the assessment this summer.

Those already working as provisional pharmacists will need to upgrade to full pharmacist membership on their next renewal, whereas those who will begin practice after passing the assessment, but are currently on a pre-reg membership, will need to upgrade their membership to ensure they have the cover they need as they join the register.


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The GPhC announcd the assessment exam dates in November 2020

PDA calls on employers to support prov-reg pharmacists with the study and revision leave they need

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Don’t miss the deadline for registering for reasonable adjustments for the March 2021 assessment

PDA urge the GPhC to ensure there is a fair assessment process

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