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The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland has confirmed that it will hold a separate registration assessment in June, tailored to fulfil the needs of Northern Ireland pharmacy sector and students.

The format and content of the assessment in Northern Ireland will be in the style and to the standard of the originally planned Common Registration Assessment.

It is currently planned that this Northern Ireland assessment will be paper-based, largely due to the unavailability of Pearson Vue centres in Northern Ireland during June.

Speaking about the NI registration assessment, Dr Jim Livingstone, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of NI, said:  “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.

“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.

“The 2021 Northern Ireland Registration Assessment will be based on the format of the Common Registration Assessment and will be paper based. It will be held in several locations across Northern Ireland, similar to last year, to ensure adequate social distancing and trainee and staff safety.”

In 2019, the NI Pharmaceutical society carried out a public consultation proposing to move to a single UK wide registration assessment from 2021 onwards.

Based on that consultation, the society decided to partner with the GPhC, to deliver that Common Registration Assessment in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The first sitting of the Common Registration Assessment was to take place in June 2021.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact the joint plans.

The GPhC and Pharmaceutical Society NI had to react differently to the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, with the GPhC provisionally registering trainees until the registration assessment for 2019-2020 in Britain could be held in March 2021.

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