Provisional register extended until January 2022

The General Pharmaceutical Council has extended provisional registration to allow preregistration trainees from the 2020–2021 cohort to apply to join the register.
GPhC announcing that it is extending provisional registration

Provisional registration will be extended until January 2022, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced.

The register, which was originally due to close in July 2021, will be extended to allow preregistration trainees from the 2020–2021 cohort to apply to join the provisional register, subject to completion of their training.

In a statement published on 12 March 2021, the GPhC said that extending provisional registration means that this cohort can also “take up offers of employment at the same time as they usually would, from 1 August 2021”.

The register’s extension comes as the regulator also announced that the summer and autumn 2021 registration assessments will be held later than usual on 27, 28 and 29 July and on 16 November.

With assessments having previously taken place in June and September, the regulator said the new dates are the earliest available dates on which Pearson VUE test centres can “accommodate the predicted number of candidates under the current social distancing guidelines”.

“We understand that these assessment sitting dates mean that trainees and provisionally registered-pharmacists will have to wait longer than expected to sit the assessment, join the register, and take up roles as fully-registered pharmacists,” the GPhC said.

“We know this will also have an impact on employers who would have been expecting newly-qualified pharmacists to join the register from August 2021.”

The regulator added that it hopes extending the provisional register “will mitigate some of the issues that delays to the registration assessment sittings may cause to trainees, employers and pharmacy services”. 

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said the regulator understands that holding the sittings in July and November “will have an impact on preregistration trainees, provisionally registered pharmacists and employers”.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to be a significant factor in the logistics of holding assessment sittings and has meant that earlier dates are simply not feasible,” he said.

“We regret any challenges this may cause and we hope that extending provisional registration will help mitigate these challenges for trainees and employers.”

Rudkin also said that current pre-registration trainees and provisionally-registered pharmacists had “risen to the challenge of dealing with a range of unprecedented circumstances.

“They have made a hugely valuable contribution to providing pharmacy series and delivering patient care during the pandemic, in all areas of pharmacy practice, and we are grateful for all the work they have done,” he continued.

The GPhC noted that the number of candidates eligible to sit the assessments in July and November 2021 will be larger than usual, as it will include those who complete their training in 2021, as well as provisionally registered pharmacists who chose not to sit the March 2020 assessment and candidates who were unsuccessful in previous sittings.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, March 2021, Vol 306, No 7947;306(7947)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2021.1.67287

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