The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has said it is expecting to be able to provide pre-registered pharmacists with an update on the registration assessment ‘by next week’.

This comes after the presidents of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) urged the body to clarify when the 2020 registration assessment will take place.

The letter sent to the regulator last week (18 September) said that the ‘delay and the lack of progress updates are causing considerable additional anxiety for those waiting to sit the exam’.

‘It is vitally important that you communicate regularly with trainees who are feeling increasingly frustrated,’ it added.

A GPhC spokesperson told the Pharmacist yesterday (24 September) that the body was in the ‘very final stages of the procurement exercise’ and that they ‘expect to be able to give a further update to all candidates about the registration assessment by next week’.

Earlier this week (22 September), Nigel Clarke, GPhC chair, wrote a letter in response to RPS and BPS, which said that the regulator ‘could not confirm an exact date until [it] has completed the procurement exercise to identify a supplier to provide the online assessment’.

Mr Clarke also agreed with the bodies that communication with students is important and assured them that regular emails have been sent to candidates ‘whenever there have been updates to share’.

Students and registered pharmacists have taken to social media to express concern about the lack in certainty over the upcoming exam date:

Back in March, the GPhC and the Pharmaceutical Society Northern Ireland announced they were both postponing this year’s registration assessments until ‘the end of this year or in early 2021’, following the initial outbreak of Covid-19.