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BREAKING: 61 per cent candidates pass first four-country common registration test for pharmacists


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Just over 60 per cent candidates have passed the first four-country common registration test or assessment for pharmacists, held jointly by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

Out of a total of 959 candidates who sat the assessment in four countries on 16 November, 584 candidates have passed — recording an overall pass rate of 60.9 per cent.

The registration assessment is one of the ways trainee pharmacists can demonstrate that they understand how to apply knowledge appropriately and in a timely way, to make professional judgements in pharmacy practice.

Passing the registration assessment is a vital element of being eligible to apply to become a registered pharmacist.

In the November assessment, 43 per cent candidates sat for the first time, 45 per cent for the second time and 12 per cent for the third time.

In comparison, for the July sittings 90 per cent of candidates were sitting for the first time, eight per cent were sitting for the second time and two per cent were sitting for the third time.

Trainee pharmacists are permitted three attempts at the registration assessment.

This autumn’s pass rate of 61 per cent compares with the 69 per cent pass rate for the autumn 2019 registration assessment, and the 65 per cent pass rate for the Autumn 2018 registration assessment.

For this sitting, 30 per cent of the candidates in Great Britain were provisionally-registered pharmacists.

This compares with nine per cent of candidates who sat in July and 77 per cent of candidates who sat in March.

Congratulating the the successful candidates and thanking them for their hard work and dedication in a challenging time, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “There will be candidates who unfortunately did not pass, and we understand they will be disappointed by this news. We hope that they will use the guidance we have produced to help them with their next steps and understand their options.”

He added that each assessment this autumn had to be carried out simultaneously across the four countries “to ensure a fair and robust process”.

PSNI chief executive Trevor Patterson said: “We are delighted that the four-country Common Registration Assessment, held jointly with the GPhC , has been successfully and safely delivered during the ongoing pandemic and we are grateful to colleagues in the GPhC for their support and assistance in Northern Ireland.

“We congratulate all those candidates who have been successful and wish them every success in their future careers as much needed additions to the healthcare workforce.

“Those candidates in Northern Ireland who have been unsuccessful should refer to guidance on the Pharmaceutical Society NI website for further help and support on next steps.”

Table 1: November 2021 summary statistics

Candidates Number % of total
Total number of candidates 959 100%
Number of first time sitters 414 43.2%
(of which were provisionally-registered) (283) (29.5%)
Number of second time sitters 433 45.2%
Number of third time sitters 112 11.7%
Candidate performance – pass rates 
First sitting candidates – pass 244 58.9%
(of which were provisionally-registered – pass) 176 62.2%)
Second time sitters – pass 272 62.8%
Third time sitters – pass 68 60.7%
Overall pass  584 60.9%
Overall fail 375 39.1%

Source: GPhC


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