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The GPhC has said on Tuesday (September 22) that it is in the final stages of the procurement exercise to announce the date of this year’s postponed registration assessment.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) further clarified that it will provide further updates on the assessment to all the candidates by the end of this month.

The regulator’s latest update on the registration assessment date follows the joint letter from the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) which urged the GPhC to announce the date of the postponed 2020 registration assessment without delay.

In a response to joint letter, Nigel Clarke, Chair of the GPhC, said: “We want to give candidates clarity about the date of the assessment as soon as possible but cannot confirm an exact date until we have completed the procurement exercise to identify a supplier to provide the online assessment.

“We are now in the very final stages of the procurement exercise and expect to be able to give a further update to all candidates by next week. Once the supplier has been appointed, we will work with them at pace to identify when the registration assessment can be held.

“This is the first time we have held an online assessment and it is a very complex process to move the assessment online. We want to make sure that the new online platform supports all candidates, including those who may need adjustments, to complete the assessment to the best of their abilities.”

Commenting on the response from the regulator, Paul Bennett, RPS Chief Executive, said: “We appreciate this rapid response from the GPhC and are encouraged that they have taken our concerns onboard.  RPS and BPSA will support the GPhC and its trainees in any way we can.”

Regan McCahill, BPSA President, said: ““It is vital that provisionally registered pharmacists, and those who were ineligible for the provisional register, get the answers they need about arrangements for the assessment.

“The prolonged uncertainty and the likelihood that the delay will extend into 2021 is deeply troubling. We very much want to see the GPhC address this as a matter of urgency and would also expect them to communicate more regularly and openly with trainees.”

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