Provisionally-registered pharmacists and pharmacy owners thanked ahead of closure of provisional register

A total number of 4,799 provisionally-registered pharmacists have been on the provisional register since it opened in July 2020. The General Pharmaceutical Council wishes to thank them, as well as their employers, for working together to support NHS services and provide patient care when it was most needed. 

Provisional registration was introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the ability of trainees completing the pharmacist pre-registration scheme in 2020 to finish their training as planned, and to sit the registration assessment as originally scheduled. The register enabled people who had completed their training to support NHS services and provide patient care effectively as provisionally-registered pharmacists, while they waited to sit the registration assessment. 

The provisional register will close on 31 January 2022, as provisionally-registered pharmacists have now had three potential opportunities to sit the registration assessment – in March, July and November 2021. Anyone still on the provisional register must have joined the main register by 1 February, otherwise they cannot work as a pharmacist after this date.  

The GPhC is urging employers to ask any provisionally registered trainees that they employ if they’ve applied for full registration and encourage those who haven’t, to do so straight away. Currently (18 January 2022) there are 63 people who are yet to submit an application despite being eligible to register as a pharmacist. 

Provisionally-registered pharmacists who have already submitted a complete application should be able to join the pharmacist register by 1 February and continue to work without interruption.

The GPhC has been sending regular communications to provisionally-registered pharmacists and employers since October 2021, to make them aware of the closure of the provisional register and to urge those who have passed the registration assessment to apply for registration as a pharmacist at the earliest opportunity.

Chief Executive of the GPhC, Duncan Rudkin, said: 

“As the provisional register closes, we would like to thank all those involved in helping pre-registration trainees and provisionally-registered pharmacists to meet the considerable challenges of completing their training and sitting the registration assessment during the pandemic. 

“We are grateful to professional leadership and representative bodies, education and training organisations and employers, for everything they have done to support provisionally-registered pharmacists and help them provide safe and effective care to patients. And we particularly want to acknowledge the considerable contribution to health services that provisionally-registered pharmacists have made during this time. 

“The vast majority of provisionally-registered pharmacists have now successfully applied to join the pharmacist register. We have contacted the small number of people still on the provisional register on a regular basis to confirm that they will need to join the main register to continue working as a pharmacist and also shared that message with employers and other stakeholders. Those who have not yet sat the registration assessment will have the chance to do so in June.

“We are prioritising applications for the pharmacist register and we will do our best to ensure any further applications are dealt with as quickly as possible and these pharmacists can continue their excellent work.”

Breakdown of people on the provisional register (18 January 2022)

Currently there are 237 provisionally-registered pharmacists still on the provisional register. Of these:

  • 84 have begun an application to join the pharmacist register or the application is in process
  • 63 are eligible to apply to join the pharmacist register, but have not yet started their application
  • 90 have not sat an assessment and are therefore not yet eligible to apply. They will not be able to work as provisionally-registered pharmacists after 31 January. 

Note - Numbers change daily as applications are received and processed.