Seventy-eight per cent of candidates passed this year’s June registration assessment – a 17 percentage point drop from last June’s 95% pass rate – the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced.

In total, 2,208 out of 2,823 candidates passed the exam. Of these, 6% were taking the exam for the second time and 2.7% for the third (the final possible attempt at the assessment).

The 2016 pass rate was 95%, almost 20 percentage points higher. However, this year’s result is ‘more consistent’ with results from previous June sittings, according to the regulator.

Previous June pass rates

In 2015, the pass rate was 74%, compared to 85% in 2014 and 78% in 2013. This puts the average June pass rate for the previous four years at 83%.

Part 1 of the paper, which requires text answers and allows use of calculators, had a slightly higher pass rate (90%) than multiple choice part 2, which was passed by just over 80% of candidates.

Almost 600 people complained about the exam, according to the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA).

Responding to June 2017’s pass rate, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin congratulated the successful candidates, while emphasising the importance of maintaining high standards.

He said: ‘I want to congratulate the trainees who passed this year’s registration assessment and wish them all the best for their future careers.’

He added: ‘From the first day on our register, pharmacists play an integral role in supporting the health of their patients. The registration assessment helps to make sure that candidates have – and are able to demonstrate – the knowledge and skills to meet this important responsibility.’

The full list of graduates who passed the assessment is available here.