Applying to sit the registration assessment

All you need to know to apply for and to sit the registration assessment in March 2021

Sitting dates

The sitting will take place on:

  • Wednesday 17 March 2021
  • Thursday 18 March 2021

Sitting details

The registration assessment regulations [PDF 291 KB] set out key information and rules that cover this sitting of the assessment. The appendix to the regulations [PDF 213 KB] applies to remote sittings.

The registration assessment specification [PDF 239 KB] sets out how the assessment will be run and will help you decide if you need to request a reasonable adjustment.

The registration assessment framework [PDF 209 KB] sets out the outcomes that will be tested and gives an idea of some of the topics this sitting of the assessment may cover.

Eligibility to sit

To sit the March 2021 assessment, we must have received a record of either your:

a)    week 39 progress report completed as satisfactory, or
b)    successful application to join the provisional register 

Applying to sit the assessment

If you meet the criteria above, you can now apply using the application form available on myGPhC. If you are not able to the view the application form, but think you may be eligible to apply, please contact us.

You must submit your application to sit through my GPhC by 5.00 pm on Tuesday 26 January 2021.

Button link to mygphc.org

Shortly after this deadline, if you are eligible to sit, we will confirm this by email. You will also receive an email with information to set up your Pearson VUE account. You will need to book your assessment sitting using this account.

Important: This confirmation letter you receive from us does not mean that you will automatically be entered to sit the assessment, even if you are eligible to do so. If you intend to sit, you must book a place through Pearson VUE.

If you are not currently living in the UK

Please make sure your postal address on myGPhC is up to date and shows your current location. Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, for this sitting only we will contact those with a non-UK address by email in January, to give you more details about the options for sitting the assessment.

If you have not updated your postal address on myGPhC by 4 January 2021, you may not be contacted about what the next steps are to sit the assessment outside the UK.

Sitting locations

You will sit the assessment at a Pearson Vue test centre, using the Pearson online system. There are over 200 centres across the UK.

As there is a limited capacity at each test centre, we recommend that you consider a range of centres in case your first choice is not available, and that you choose and book a test centre as soon as possible. You will be able to choose from slots on both days, subject to availability.

If you believe you are not able to sit the assessment at a test centre due to a particular health condition, for example, you can request to sit remotely as a reasonable adjustment.

Requesting a reasonable adjustment

If you have a specific need which you feel could disadvantage you when sitting the registration assessment, you can request a ‘reasonable adjustment’. You will need to identify your condition, provide evidence of your diagnosis from a suitably qualified professional, and tell us what adjustment you consider would mitigate your disadvantage.

The deadline for requesting a reasonable adjustment was 12.00 midday on Monday 11 January 2021. There is no process for dealing with late adjustment requests for this sitting.

As the way the assessment will take place has changed, we will not be carrying over any requests previously granted- you will need to apply again, although you may be able to use your medical evidence again. Please read the guidance for more information.

See the reasonable adjustments guidance and application form for more information

Are you fit to sit?

It is very important that you only sit the registration assessment if you are fit to do so. Being ‘fit to sit’ means that you do not know of any reason why your performance would be adversely affected on the day of the assessment.

If you are aware of anything that might affect your performance on the day, you should not sit the assessment – even if it is a difficult decision to make. You are eligible to withdraw from a sitting at any time up until the assessment begins.

If you decide to withdraw, you must use the withdrawal form to notify us. If you do not, this could lead to you forfeiting one of your attempts at the registration assessment. You can send us your withdrawal form up until five days after the sitting.

If your withdrawal is confirmed, you will receive a refund of your assessment application fee after the sitting has taken place.

Preparing to sit the assessment

You can find resources about the questions types, content of the exam and feedback from past sittings in section five of the pre-registration manual.

We will be hosting a webinar in the new year which will information on how the online assessment system will look, and work.

You will also be able to access a demonstration of the online system when you create you Pearson VUE account.

Calculators

You will be able to use calculators in part one of the registration assessment. You will need to bring your own calculator to the assessment. You must bring one of these models:

On the day

We will publish the On the day guidance  here in February 2021.

You will also receive information about this from Pearson VUE, and you may find the information on the Helpful resources for test-takers page of the Pearson website useful. This includes videos of what to expect at a test centre on the day of your assessment.

Some frequently asked questions 

Have a look at these questions and answers if you haven’t found the information you were looking for above.

I’m not currently living in the UK. Can I sit the assessment where I am?

We are currently exploring the available options for you to be able to sit the assessment from outside the UK with Pearson Vue.

Please make sure your postal address on myGPhC  is up to date and shows your current location. Due to the disruption caused by the pandemic, for this sitting only we will contact those with a non-UK address by email in January, to give you more details about the options for sitting the assessment.

I’m currently shielding. Do I have to sit the assessment in a test centre?

Anyone who is shielding, or who has concerns about sitting the assessment in a test centre for any other reasons relating to their health or the health of the people they live with, can apply for a reasonable adjustment to sit the online assessment remotely.

Will the assessments be the same on both days?

No. As each day is a separate sitting, the papers will be different on each day, just as they would be usually with June and September sittings.

Will I get a chance to see what the online assessment system looks like?

We will be hosting a webinar in the new year which will information on how the online assessment system will look, and work. You will also be able to access a demonstration of the online system when you create you Pearson VUE account.

What happens if I need to self-isolate on the day of the assessment?

If you need to self-isolate on the day of the assessment, you will not be able to sit the assessment in a test centre. You should contact us to discuss your options.

Why can't I use paper to make notes on at the Pearson Vue test centre?

The assessment specification [PDF 239 KB] and assessment regulations [PDF 291 KB] explain that standard pens/pencils and paper are not permitted during the assessment.  At the Pearson VUE test centre each candidate will be provided with a wipeable notepad and non-permanent pen for their own notes and workings out; a separate wipeable notepad will be provided for part 1 and part 2. The wipeable notepad will be large enough for you to write a number of calculations or notes at any one time. These items must be left in the test centre at the end of each part of the assessment.

The use of an erasable notepad is for secure invigilation during the assessment and it is standard practice across all Pearson Vue test centres. The notepad is wiped down at the end of the assessment so that the candidate cannot take this material away with them.

What happens if I need a drink during the assessment, and am sitting at a test centre?

You can take a drink with you to the test centre. It must be in a clear bottle, which has your name written clearly on it.  You will be directed to put the bottle on a table just outside of the test room. If you want to have a drink during the assessment sitting, you must raise your hand. A Test Administrator (TA) will then lock your computer terminal and you will be permitted to walk to the table, collect your bottle and have a drink. You will be monitored at all times both in person and via CCTV to make sure nothing happens which could affect the integrity of the assessment. When you have finished taking a drink, you can return to your computer terminal, which will be unlocked by the TA. The clock remains running throughout your drink break. 
If you need a drink but have not brought your own bottle, you must raise your hand.   A TA will then lock your computer terminal and you will be permitted to leave test room. Once outside, you will need ask the TA for a drink, who will arrange a cup of water for you.

Will the assessments go ahead?

As it currently stands, Pearson VUE have confirmed to us that their test centres will remain open during the pandemic for health regulation examinations, including under national lockdowns. Pearson VUE test centres have remained open for these key assessments throughout the pandemic including during the first lockdown in March 2020. We continue to keep the situation under active review, so please check back regularly.