The overall pass rate from November 2023’s registration assessment for pharmacists was 66%, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have revealed.

The figure represents a significant 10% rise on the previous year’s overall pass rate.

A total of 1,067 candidates across the four UK countries sat the assessment on 2 November, with 700 of them passing.

Of the 500 first-time sitters, 303 (61%) achieved a pass, while 329 of the 457 (72%) second-time candidates were successful. Fifty of the 85 third-time sitters (59%) achieved a pass this time round.

Commenting on the latest results, Mark Voce, GPhC director of education and standards, said: ‘I would like to congratulate all those who passed the November registration assessment and I look forward to them joining our register to continue to the next stage of their career.

‘I would like to wish them every success for the future.’

Mr Voce added that unsuccessful candidates could find information on the GPhC website to help them with further options, as well as wellbeing and practical advice from Pharmacist Support.

Last year’s 56% represented a slight fall from 2021’s 61%. There were no results in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paul Day, director of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), said: ‘We understand what these exams mean to the candidates and as with every sitting the PDA has been supporting individuals to prepare via our PDA Education courses.

‘We will now continue to support individuals whatever the result their received.’

He added: ‘That one third of candidates fail remains a concern and we look forward to the regulators publishing their statistical analysis to understand more what trends may exist.’