Like many pharmacists I found the variation in registration assessment pass rates between institutions interesting, especially in terms of year-on-year variations within institutions. Claire Anderson (
The Pharmaceutical Journal
2015;294:670) raised some important points around this topic, many of which would benefit from further discussion within the wider profession, not just by colleagues within academia. I echo Anderson’s mention of the services the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) offers pharmacy students, which include access to practice guidance, The
Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist, and ‘Medicines, ethics and practice’.
I would also like to highlight the services of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA), which has been supporting pharmacy students across Britain for more than 70 years. Each year, the BPSA provides around ten conferences, releases informative publications, and helps keep students abreast of the latest developments within the profession. Not only this, but it is the only student organisation offering events and services of high enough quality to be accredited by the RPS.
During my time in academia, I met many students who spoke highly of BPSA services that helped them contextualise university learning, gave them the opportunity to apply their knowledge to patient cases, broadened their horizons and inspired them to be the best they can be. I would encourage colleagues involved in the education and training of students, pre-registration trainees and foundation pharmacists to highlight the services of the BPSA, the RPS, and specialist organisations such as the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association. By informing others of what resources are available to them early in their careers, we can better equip them for independent learning; an important skill for passing the registration assessment and being a successful pharmacist.