GPhC announces results of September registration assessment


The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is pleased to announce the names of the 234 pre-registration trainee pharmacists who passed their registration assessment in September. A 58.2 per cent pass rate of the 402 candidates who sat the assessment in total.

The registration applications of the successful candidates are being processed so that they can join the register as soon as possible.


Candidates must complete a four year MPharm degree, successfully complete their pre-registration training year and pass the registration assessment before being eligible for registration.


The GPhC’s Board of Assessors, an independent body made up of 11 pharmacists and a lay member, has overall responsibility for setting and moderating the assessment. Each assessment is carefully set so that only the candidates who demonstrate the required knowledge and understanding can pass and be eligible for registration. Assessments are benchmarked against previous years to make sure outcomes are fair and consistent.


The Board of Assessors has reviewed the September results including an analysis of the performance of all questions. The Board noted that the pass mark for the September sitting was lower when compared to previous assessments and considered potential factors that may have contributed towards the lower pass rate.


The Board acknowledged that the analysis received showed a high proportion of candidates were resitting the assessment for the second or third time.

The analysis also indicated that there was a high proportion of candidates in this assessment who had started their pre-registration training late, for reasons including failing the first sitting of their MPharm finals. Candidates can now only start their pre-registration training once they have passed the MPharm degree or OSPAP.  This means that candidates who start their pre-registration training later than usual, because they have to resit their university finals or for other reasons, usually have to sit the registration assessment in September.

Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:


“Patient safety is our number one priority. One of the key ways we protect patients is to make sure that pharmacy professionals are suitably qualified before they can join the register. The assessment is set so that only candidates with the knowledge and understanding to practise safely can pass and be eligible for registration”. 


The GPhC holds two registration assessments each year in June and September, with the majority of candidates sitting the assessment in June.  Candidates sit the assessment in September for a variety of reasons, including because they are resitting after failing the assessment in June, or having failed it twice before. The decisions taken by the Board of Assessors in setting and moderating the exam are made independently of the GPhC.  The Board of Assessors provides regular reports to the GPhC Council and their primary duty is to protect the public by helping to ensure only those who are fit to practise are entered onto the GPhC’s register.

The September assessment included 31 per cent of candidates sitting the assessment for the second time, and six per cent sitting it for the third time. Three attempts at sitting the assessment are allowed.