The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has confirmed that in its recently conducted registration assessment, three trainees could not complete the test due to technical glitches.

In response to the technical fault, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has written a letter to the GPhC, expressing its concerns about the issue and seeking a fair and timely resolution.

GPhC said three trainees in Redditch experienced technical difficulties during the break of the recent assessment which couldn’t be resolved by Pearson Vue support, and thus failed to complete paper two of the exam.

RPS stated in the letter that there is an apparent lack any adequate contingency plan for IT failure of this type.

GPhC have also stated that the trainees will not be able to resit the assessment until November.

RPS President Claire Anderson said this will lead to significant wellbeing implications on the trainees, therefore a paper should be available for the affected trainees before that time.

Anderson wrote in the letter: “Given the devastating impact for those trainees who will be unable to work as pharmacists for three months through no fault of their own, I urge you to develop a fairer solution (such as a sitting as soon as possible, only for the paper for which there were problems), alongside any appropriate compensation.”

RPS is also seeking ‘contingency planning’ around future risks, as GPhC have confirmed the assessment will be digital for the next three years.

“It is now incumbent upon you (GPhC) as the regulator to take responsibility for this oversight and improve contingency planning to prevent such serious implications for trainees. I urge you to open up the GPhC risk assessment and mitigation plans to public scrutiny so that the profession can be assured this type of thing will not happen again,” Anderson added.

GPhC earlier stated that 2,915 candidates sat the registration assessment on 27, 28 and 29 July, with the vast majority of these completing the sitting in Pearson test centres across the UK, and with 34 candidates sitting remotely in the UK and overseas using Pearson’s OnVUE system.

This was the second registration assessment sitting that took place online and the three sittings were delivered successfully for the vast majority of candidates.

Several candidates, who sat remotely, were unable to sit the online registration assessment due to internet connection issues.

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