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Scottish prov-reg students get NHS funding to help resit exam in July

By Isabel Shaw

14 May 2021

Provisionally registered (prov-reg) pharmacy students in Scotland who failed the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) registration assessment in March are to be offered a financial and educational support package from the NHS so they can retake their assessment this summer.

In a statement published on their website yesterday (May 11), NHS Education for Scotland (NES) said it had written to the eligible candidates and their employers to offer financial support so they can continue to employ them as Band 5 employees or equivalent ‘until the results of the July GPhC registration assessment are known’.

Candidates who failed the exam back in March are not allowed to return to practice as provisionally registered pharmacists.

The support has been granted in recognition of ‘the difficult circumstances for many provisionally registered pharmacists this year,’ it said.

To qualify as eligible, individuals must have previously been employed in Scotland as a provisional registrant.

The NHS will also be supporting prov-reg students by offering a three-month educational support package to further prepare them for the GPhC registration assessment.

This will include online assessment style questions and peer support sessions with protected study time, the update explained.

According to the GPhC, 19 Scottish pharmacy students failed the exam in March, however, of those, we do not know how many were prov-reg candidates.

Professor Anne Watson, pharmacy dean for Scotland at NES said: ‘We want to support people as much as possible.

‘Offering this package will hopefully take away some of the financial uncertainty and allow individuals to focus on doing the best they can in their exams,’ she said.

In February — just one month before the exam — pre and provisionally registered pharmacists criticised the GPhC after test centre slots for the exam filled up ‘within minutes’ of going live, leaving many students in Scotland no choice but to travel hundreds of miles from their home.

However, the GPhC soon announced that further test centre places in Scotland for the March pre-registration assessment had been secured.

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