I have the privilege to visit schools of pharmacy regularly to discuss career opportunities and our profession. I am always impressed by the quality of these young undergraduates and preregistration trainees. The debates are of the highest quality and demonstrate a clear awareness of the important issues around our profession at this time.
I also attend the annual British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) conference, an event conducted in the most professional manner.
I am aware that the BPSA has justifiably raised concerns about the registration examination in recent years. The fact that the pass rate is even lower this year suggests to me a lack of alignment between the examination and the syllabus in some of the schools of pharmacy. There is clearly a disparity between training provision and the regulator’s expectations.
I urge the General Pharmaceutical Council and the schools of pharmacy to meet urgently with the BPSA to seek a solution. It is unacceptable that, after four years of intensive study, students could be denied registration.
I am confident that the future of our profession is safe in the hands of such motivated and exceptional individuals, many of whom will probably become Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty members through the foundation scheme.
Mike H Smith
Alliance Healthcare Ltd