The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced that it has appointed a new company to run the pharmacy registration assessment online for the next three years.
The global exam provider BTL will run the assessments in 2022 using its ‘Surpass’ computer-based platform, taking over from Pearson Vue, who ran the first online assessments for the GPhC in 2021.
The GPhC plans to run the registration assessment online until at least 2024, having exclusively revealed to The Pharmaceutical Journal in August 2021 that it was tendering a contract for a supplier to deliver a computer-based registration assessment in test centres across the UK for a three-year period.
In a statement published on 12 January 2022, the GPhC said that BTL was already delivering services to a range of clients, including the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Ophthalmology.
Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, said: “I’m pleased to confirm that we have appointed BTL as the supplier for the common registration assessment for the next three years after a thorough tender process.
“The information provided by BTL during the tender process has given us the necessary assurance that they can support us in continuing to deliver a fair and robust assessment that tests candidates’ ability to register as a pharmacist.
“We will now work closely with BTL on arrangements for the sittings in 2022, to make sure we can provide a positive experience for candidates,” he added.
The next sitting of the registration assessment will be in June 2022 and will be run jointly by the GPhC and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).
Pearson Vue hosted the registration assessments in March, July and November 2021, with the majority of candidates sitting the computer-based assessment at Pearson Vue test centres, with a small number taking the assessment at home. However, several candidates reported having to travel long distances to the nearest available Pearson Vue assessment centre and some Scottish candidates were unable to book a place anywhere in Scotland.
Then, on 29 July 2021, technical problems at the Redditch assessment centre in Worcestershire led to three candidates being forced to abandon their sittings and wait until November 2021 for the next opportunity to sit the exam.
BTL’s website states that it has more than 250 assessment centres across the UK and the rest of the world.