61pc of candidates pass first UK-wide registration exam

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61pc of candidates pass first UK-wide registration exam

There was an overall pass rate of 61 per cent in the first registration exam sat by candidates in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain, regulators have revealed.

The November 16 exam was the first to be sat in all four parts of the UK, after plans for a common assessment were delayed last year due to the pandemic. A total of 959 candidates took the exam, according to data published today by the General Pharmaceutical Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.

The overall pass rate of 61 per cent is similar to pre-Covid pass rates in Britain, but significantly lower than the 88 per cent pass rate seen in March this year when the first cohort of provisionally registered candidates set the exam, or the 82 per cent pass rate in July.

As in previous assessments, candidates in Northern Ireland – where there was no provisional register – were more likely to pass, with the NI pass rate of 83.3 per cent comparing to 71.4 per cent in Scotland, 66.7 per cent in Wales and 59.7 per cent in England.

Thirty per cent of candidates had been on the provisional register, down from 77 per cent in March.

GPhC chief Duncan Rudkin said: “We have worked closely with the Pharmaceutical Society NI to hold the first joint common registration assessment for trainee pharmacists in all four countries of the UK. Each assessment had to be carried out simultaneously across the United Kingdom to ensure a fair and robust process.

“We would like to congratulate the successful candidates and thank them for all their hard work and dedication in what continues to be a challenging time for health professionals.

“There will be candidates who unfortunately did not pass, and we understand they will be disappointed by this news. We hope that they will use the guidance we have produced to help them with their next steps and understand their options.”

PSNI chief Trevor Patterson added: “We are delighted that the four-country Common Registration Assessment, held jointly with the GPhC , has been successfully and safely delivered during the ongoing pandemic and we are grateful to colleagues in the GPhC for their support and assistance in Northern Ireland.

“We congratulate all those candidates who have been successful and wish them every success in their future careers as much needed additions to the healthcare workforce."

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