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NI pre-reg exam to be held in June after pandemic ‘significantly impacts’ joint plans with GPhC

Pre-reg exam

By Isabel Shaw

25 Mar 2021

Pre-registration students in Northern Ireland will sit a ‘bespoke’ registration exam on 8 June, instead of the common registration assessment arranged by the GPhC in July, the Pharmaceutical Society NI has said.

In a statement published yesterday (24 March), Dr Jim Livingstone, president of the PSNI, said it was ‘unacceptable’ to delay the exam for ‘a second year’.

The two regulators announced in 2019 that they would introduce a common registration exam across the UK from 2021, but the PSNI said the pandemic had continued to ‘significantly impact’ their joint plans.

The GPhC recently announced that its delayed summer registration assessment would take place on 27, 28 and 29 July 2021.

Dr Livingstone added that both remain committed to the UK-wide assessment, ‘but must adjust full implementation until the Autumn 2021 planned assessment at the earliest’.

According to PSNI, the format and content of its separate June assessment will be in the style and to the standard of the originally planned common registration assessment.

It is also likely to be paper based, ‘largely due to the unavailability of Pearson VUE centres in Northern Ireland during June’.

‘Unacceptable’ to delay further

With exams in England, Scotland and Wales delayed because of the need for socially distanced events and the higher number of trainees, Dr Livingstone said the GPhC and PSNI ‘had to react differently’ to the pandemic.

‘The situation in Northern Ireland is different, as sufficient alternative venues are available for our smaller number of trainees, allowing us to proceed as planned, albeit on a paper-based assessment,’ he said.

‘The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has therefore approved a Northern Ireland registration assessment for June 2021 because it considered it unacceptable to delay assessment and registration processes for a second year.’

He added: ‘We will be in touch with trainees with more details on venues, as well as the application process, for now we ask that you hold 8th June 2021’.

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