GPhC responds to registration assessment concerns

The GPhC has responded to issues and concerns raised by candidates and reminded candidates of their options if they feel they experienced significant issues.

We are continuing to carefully review and investigate the feedback provided by candidates who sat the assessment on 29 June. Candidates in some test centres that were not affected by significant delays have told us that they also experienced some issues during their sitting which they feel may have adversely affected their performance.

We are following up with BTL and their test centre providers on any reports of significant issues experienced by candidates (such as computers freezing while sitting a paper and allegations of cheating by some candidates) which will be thoroughly investigated.  

We have also responded to the main issues being raised by candidates in the feedback received so far (including concerns about cheating and noise disruptions) and explained the actions we are taking in response on the June 2022 registration assessment webpage.

Options for candidates

We understand candidates who feel that their performance was significantly affected during their sitting will want to know what their options might be.

We would encourage these candidates to carefully consider the options to nullify or to appeal a sitting as soon as possible, as the deadline for nullification requests is tomorrow, Wednesday 6 July

We are advising candidates who feel they were significantly affected by a procedural issue relating to how the assessment was held, such as a delay or other technical issue, to wait for their results and then appeal, if they were unsuccessful in this sitting.

These options for nullification or appeal are explained on our webpage on sitting the registration assessment in June 2022 and were also explained in the emails candidates received in advance of the assessment.

1. Appealing a result

Candidates who do not pass the assessment can appeal against their result if they have procedural grounds. That is where a procedure was not correctly applied during the registration assessment by the GPhC or the providers involved in delivering the assessment.

Procedural grounds would include (but are not limited to) experiencing delays in sitting Paper 1 or Paper 2, or having a major technical issue with their individual computer that significantly affected their ability to complete a paper.

The GPhC has already confirmed that the severe delays experienced by some candidates will be automatically accepted as grounds for appeal if they do not pass.

Candidates can also appeal where there are exceptional circumstances unique to a candidate that may have affected a candidate’s performance during a sitting but were not known and could not have been known to a candidate before or during a sitting.

If the appeal is upheld, the Registrar may nullify their assessment result, and their assessment will not count as one of their available attempts.

Further information about how to appeal an unsuccessful result will be included in the guide we will publish for candidates who are unsuccessful, shortly before the results are released.

2. Nullifying your attempt

Candidates who experienced a problem or incident during either paper, which was not relating to a procedure not being properly applied by the GPhC or the assessment providers, but which significantly affected their performance during the assessment (for example being taken ill), can apply to the Board of Assessors for a nullification of their sitting. 

If their nullification request is upheld by the Board of Assessors, they will not receive their results and their assessment attempt will not count towards their three attempts to pass the exam. Candidates must submit a nullification request form by tomorrow, Wednesday 6 July 2022 if they want to nullify their results. 

The deadline of 6 July for nullification requests is so that we are able to process each request, including checking that supporting information has been provided and anonymising information before each request is considered by the Board. The decision on nullification requests needs to be taken promptly by the Board of Assessors so that the candidates’ results can be taken out of the marking process.

Sources of further information and advice

Candidates who are members of the Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) or the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) may want to contact these organisations for further information and advice.

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