A “small number of candidates” experienced technical issues that prevented them from sitting the first online registration exam, the General Pharmaceutical Council has said.
In a statement following the exam, which was held on March 17-18 and was sat by 2,670 individuals, the GPhC said some candidates attempting the exam at home had been unable to sit it “with initial analysis suggesting this was due to internet connection issues”.
Additionally, a small number of candidates faced technical issues in test centres, though these were “largely resolved” by test centre staff. The regulator said it is following up directly with affected candidates.
The GPhC also commented on rumours that the papers on each sitting “were the same or very similar,” saying the “majority of the questions were different, with some questions appearing similar but having appropriately different answers”.
“Although a number of questions were the same, this is standard assessment practice in high-stakes assessments to ensure consistency, fairness and reliability across the two sittings.
“There is a robust, thorough and evidence-based process for setting and moderating the papers and ensuring that fairness and an appropriate standard are maintained across papers,” said the GPhC.
Candidates will receive their results on April 29.
GPhC chief Duncan Rudkin commented: “I would like to congratulate everyone who has now completed the assessment. And thank you to candidates for your patience and professionalism while waiting to sit the assessment, and during the assessment itself. We know many of you have faced significant difficulties during a very stressful year. Our thanks also go to all those colleagues, family members and friends who have supported candidates through this process.
“The Board of Assessors will be carefully reviewing the reports from each sitting and taking forward a thorough and evidence-based standard-setting process to set the standard across the sittings and papers, to make sure the outcomes are fair and robust. We would like to wish every candidate the best of luck for their results.”