Commenting on the issues and subsequent trauma experienced by some Foundation trainees following the recent GPhC examination, RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said:
“We remain deeply concerned about the situation experienced by some candidates taking the exam in July and urge the GPhC to offer a resit opportunity for candidates well before November 2022. This would be fair to all and limits the impact on candidates’ progression to full registration.
“It is disappointing that the GPhC is having to resort to provisional registration, designed for use in an emergency pandemic situation, to address avoidable operational issues. We recognise, however, that the experience of some candidates in this series has been exceptional and so support its use as an interim solution on this occasion. We call on the GPhC to liaise with the Home Office to ensure that any affected candidates working under a visa are fully supported with their continued right to work.
“We’re fully aware of the additional supervisory burden provisional registration will place on pharmacy teams already under considerable stress. We’re also concerned by the precedent this may set for future sittings. We therefore also call for the GPhC to issue clear criteria for the future use of provisional registration in such circumstances, so that candidates and employers have clarity.
“It is essential that any appeals process for those who experienced issues, but who are not eligible for automatic provisional registration, is simple and that outcomes are determined quickly and consistently. We must not place additional administrative burden and stress on candidates at this challenging time.
“Most importantly, candidates must be able to approach the next assessment with confidence. To ensure this, we call on the GPhC to publish the findings of the independent review in full, including a robust mitigation plan to minimise the impact of any future issues. This must include the provision of paper copies of the assessment to all centres and the development of a spare set of assessment papers for use in emergency situations. We seek to work collaboratively with the GPhC to support the successful future delivery of this important assessment for the profession.
“To support candidates RPS will be offering all those who do not pass the June assessment, or who chose to abandon their attempt on the day, an extension of their associate membership until December 2022, at no additional cost. We will also be issuing a new Ontrack 30 day free access code for those who would find additional revision support helpful.”