GPhC announces results for the July 2021 online registration assessment

A total of 2907 candidates sat the registration assessment across three sittings on 27, 28 and 29 July 2021, with 2371 candidates passing the assessment; an overall pass rate of 82%.

Since 2011, pass rates for the registration assessment have ranged from 72% to 95%.

The full analysis from the July 2021 registration assessment will be discussed by the GPhC Council in October.

GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:

“We would like to congratulate the successful candidates who have demonstrated they have the knowledge and skills needed to practise safely and effectively. This is a significant achievement, particularly given the challenges with completing their training during the pandemic. We look forward to these candidates joining the register at the earliest possible opportunity.
“We also want to thank the tutors, education and training providers and employers who supported candidates throughout their training.

“We know that candidates who haven’t passed this sitting will be very disappointed. We hope the guidance we have developed will help them understand their options for next steps and are grateful to all of the organisations and individuals across pharmacy who will also provide them with support and advice.”

Further information and statistics

July 2021 summary statistics

Candidates Number % of total
Total number of candidates 2907 100%
Number of first time sitters 2625 90.0%
(of which were provisionally registered) (259) (9%)
Number of second time sitters 224 8%
Number of third time sitters 58 2%
Candidate performance - pass rates     
First sitting candidates - pass 2189 75%
(of which were provisionally registered - pass) (172) (6%)
Second time sitters - pass 143 5%
Third time sitters - pass 39 1%
Individual sitting performance    
27 July - pass  856 85%
28 July - pass 883 85%
29 July - pass 632 74%
Overall pass  2371 82%
Overall fail 356 18%

Registration assessment results March 2021

Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
March 2021 2666 2353 88%

Registration assessment results 2011-2019 (June sittings)

Pass rates are rounded to the nearest whole number

Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
2019 2942 2128 72%
2018 2942 2318 79%
2017 2823 2208 78%
2016 2804 2672 95%
2015 2811 2077 74%
2014 2552 2175 85%
2013 2579 1999 78%
2012 2475 2342 95%
2011 2357 2015 86%

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.

The sittings on 27, 28 and 29 July were reviewed and marked separately from each other. The pass marks and pass rates for the registration assessments held on each day were not compared against each other and then adjusted. Separate sets of candidates sat each of these assessments. While pass rates might vary between the cohorts through differing individual performance, the standard to pass remains the same for both cohorts.

Further information on how papers are created and marked can be found on the registration assessment pages of our website.

For more detailed statistcs on the result, see our statistical breakdown [PDF 143KB]