The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has called on employers to offer provisionally registered pharmacists all possible support as they head towards the registration assessment.
In an open letter to employers, the RPS — alongside the Primary Care Pharmacy Association, British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association and Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists — said that the combined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination schedules and the usual winter pressures led them to “fear that the workload on our members who wait to sit the assessment is escalating, putting their study time at risk”.
The letter goes on to urge employers of provisionally registered pharmacists to provide “leave for revision, dedicated study time and any additional support deemed reasonably necessary”.
Provisionally registered pharmacists in England can register for a Health Education England-funded interim pharmacist foundation year, but this does not include protected time out of practice for training.
The joint letter also encourages employers to continue to support provisional registrants who may not pass the registration assessment first time, pointing out that failing the assessment could lead to financial hardship and that there are other capacities, besides working as a pharmacist, in which registrants could be employed.
After months of uncertainly, the dates for the delayed registration assessment were set for 17–18 March 2021, with candidates being required to travel to a test centre run by Pearson VUE.