Hundreds of provisional pharmacists could be removed from GPhC register

Provisional registrants who have not joined the main register by 31 January 2022 will no longer be able to practise as pharmacists.
general pharmaceutical council

More than 300 pharmacists remain on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC’s) provisional register, with less than one month to go before the register closes.

GPhC data show that 315 individuals were provisionally registered as of 6 January 2022. These registrants only have until 31 January 2022, when the provisional register closes, to join the main register.

Those who have not joined the main register by 31 January 2022 will no longer be able to practice as pharmacists.

A spokesperson for the GPhC told The Pharmaceutical Journal on 6 January 2022 that “just over a third” of those on the provisional register had passed the preregistration assessment, but that the regulator had yet to receive their application to join the main register.

Just under a third had not yet sat an assessment, which means they cannot apply for full registration, the spokesperson added.

The GPhC were not able to confirm the status of the remaining third on the provisional register, but the spokesperson added that “anyone who failed the assessment is no longer on the provisional register”.

Trainee pharmacists can apply to register as a provisional pharmacist as long as they have completed 52 weeks of preregistration training and have not previously failed the preregistration assessment.

The provisional register was introduced in August 2020, after the summer 2020 preregistration assessment was postponed owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Provisional registrants can undertake all the duties and responsibilities associated with being a registered pharmacist, including acting as a Responsible Pharmacist: although they cannot work as locums.

The provisional register was originally due to close in July 2021, but was extended until January 2022 so that preregistration trainees from the 2020–2021 cohort had the opportunity to join.

Of the 2,281 provisionally registered pharmacists who sat the March 2021 registration assessment, 2,063 (90%) passed.

In the July 2021 assessments, 259 provisional registrants sat the assessment, of whom 172 (66%) passed. And, in November 2021 — the first time that the assessment had been held jointly by the GPhC and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland — 283 provisional registrants sat the exam, of whom 176 (62%) passed.

Speaking in a personal capacity, Aamer Safdar, a council member at the GPhC and honorary lecturer at University College London, said: “[It is] really important that those trainees who have passed the registration assessment must now register as pharmacists on the GPhC register.

Aimed at those on the register, he added: “Given the circumstances of provisional registration, and the time and effort you have put into preparing for the assessment and passing it, it would be a real shame if you don’t register in time.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, January 2022, Vol 308, No 7957;308(7957)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.122641

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