The pass rate for June’s pharmacy registration exam has plummeted to its lowest level since the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) started overseeing the assessment in 2011.

Of 2,942 candidates who sat the exam last month, 72% (2,128) achieved a pass mark, the GPhC announced today (26 July).

Last year’s June registration assessment saw a 79% success rate, despite controversy around the contents of the exam.

In 2016, the June pass rate soared to a high of 95%, while the previous year had seen a low of 74%.

The average pass rate was 82% between 2011 and 2019 – 10 percentage points higher than this year’s results.


June Registration Assessment results 2011-2019

*Pass rates are rounded to the nearest whole number

Registration year Total # sitting Total # passing Pass rate
2019 2942 2128 72%
2018 2942 2318 79%
2017 2823 2208 78%
2016 2804 2672 95%
2015 2811 2077 74%
2014 2552 2175 85%
2013 2579 1999 78%
2012 2475 2342 95%
2011 2357 2015 86%



‘Challenging assessment’


GPhC chief Duncan Rudkin emphasised the importance of maintaining high standards.

He said: ‘Each assessment is carefully set so that only the candidates who demonstrate the required knowledge and understanding can pass and be eligible to join the register.

'By only registering those who pass this challenging assessment, we can provide assurance to patients and the public that the pharmacists on our register can practise safely and effectively.

‘Congratulations to the trainees who passed this year’s summer registration assessment. I want to wish them well for their future careers and also acknowledge the hard work of tutors and education and training providers in helping trainees prepare for this important step.’

The full analysis of this year’s assessment will be discussed by the GPhC council in September, the regulator said.