GPhC and PSNI announce results for November 2022 online registration assessment

937 candidates sat the registration assessment on 3 November, 525 candidates passed: an overall pass rate of 56%.

The results of the common registration assessment for pharmacists, held jointly by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), have been published.

This autumn’s pass rate of 56% compares with a 61% pass rate for the Autumn 2021 registration assessment.

In November 2022, 59% candidates sat for the first time, 30% for the second time and 8% for the third time*. In comparison, for the June sitting 89% of candidates were sitting for the first time, 7% were sitting for the second time and 4% were sitting for the third time.

All marking is anonymous, and the Board of Assessors does not know where any candidate sat or what attempt they were undertaking during the mark awarding process. The pass mark is based on the difficulty of papers to ensure the standard across different years is the same.

GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:

“We would like to congratulate the successful candidates and we look forward to them joining our register and continuing to the next stage of their career.

“We know how important the assessment was for candidates as they came to the end of five years of initial education and training. We worked closely with the PSNI and our provider, BTL, to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible on the day of the assessment, and we hope the candidates taking it were able to focus all of their efforts on completing the assessment successfully.

“For those who did not pass, there is a guide outlining all the options that may be available. There are also links to organisations and resources that can provide support with mental health and wellbeing.

“We wish the successful candidates all the best in their future careers and encourage those who were unsuccessful to make full use of our guide to help them with their next steps towards future registration and success in the profession.”

Further information and statistics

Table 1: Autumn 2022 summary statistics
Candidates Number % of total
Total number of candidates 937 100%
GPhC candidates 906 97%
PSNI candidates 31 3%
Number of first time sitters/ of which were provisionally registered 551 / 106 59 / 19%
Number of second time sitters 277 30%
Number of third time sitters 78 8%
Candidate performance - pass rates -- --
First sitting candidates - pass 309 56%
Second sitting candidates - pass 157 57%
Third sitting candidates - pass 44 56%
Overall pass 525 56%
Overall fail 412 4%
Table 2: 2021 Sittings
Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
June 2021 2666 2353 88%
November 2021 959 584 61%
Table 3: Registration assessment results for previous 5 years (autumn sittings)
Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
2021 959 584 61%
2019 1057 731 69%
2018 834 544 65%
2017 825 481 58%
2016 660 269 41%

Quality assuring the registration assessment

The registration assessment papers are developed by experienced pharmacists and assessment experts. Questions are written by practising pharmacists, then the standard of each question is set by standards setters, all of whom are practising pharmacists with current knowledge of pre-registration trainees and/or recently registered pharmacists.

Papers are then set by an appointed body of pharmacists and assessment experts, the Board of Assessors. All questions and papers are mapped on to the GPhC’s registration assessment framework to ensure they reflect the practice of a day one pharmacist.

After a sitting, the performance of all questions and papers as a whole in that particular sitting are analysed and, using statistical methods applied across health professional examinations, the pass mark for each paper is confirmed and candidates are awarded passes or fails. Candidates who pass both papers pass overall.

The Board of Assessors set the passing standard, not the percentage of candidates who pass the assessment. This means that candidates are not being measured against each other or selected to pass or fail according to where they sit in the cohort of all candidates.

All marking is anonymous, and the Board of Assessors does not know where any candidate sat or what attempt they were undertaking during the mark awarding process.

*This excludes the 31 PSNI candidates for which sitting attempt data is not available

Published on