If you fail
Nobody likes to fail. If you fail the assessment it is only natural that you will feel disappointed. Feelings of anger, despair and disappointment are common; however, it is important to try to keep your perspective. You might find it useful to talk to a Listening Friend. Listening Friends is a free and confidential listening service staffed by pharmacists who are familiar with the particular pressures on those working in pharmacy. Listening Friends can be contacted direct on: 0808 168 5133.
Options after failing
Trainees who have failed the assessment can no longer request a re-mark. This is because the GPhC has introduced a new marking process consisting of five stage checking system that will ensure that all answers have been interpreted correctly. For further information on the new marking system, see the GPhC website.
Appeals can be submitted, however trainees will need to have sufficient grounds to do so.
The GPhC stress that an appeal can only be made on the basis of new information/circumstances coming to light that you could not have been aware of on the day. The GPhC website has examples of situations that will not be considered grounds for appeal. If something goes wrong on the day of the assessment you must inform the invigilator, and contact the GPhC as soon as possible to request a nullification.
Appeals are not accepted for anything that could have formed the basis of a request for nullification. Requests for appeals must be submitted, in writing, within 21 days of the date printed on the results letter.
Even if you are waiting for the outcome of an appeal, it is advisable that you register for your next attempt of the exam by the deadline date. If you have special requirements and need adjustments, such as extra time, you will need to put in a fresh application to the GPhC. You cannot carry over any adjustments agreed for a previous exam.
For full details about appeals, including the address to send them to, see the GPhC guidance booklet that is sent to you with your assessment results.
Financial difficulties following failed assessment
Requests for financial assistance can be considered by Pharmacist Support for those where hardship is evidenced, however the level of finance is limited. If you are currently experiencing hardship, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you assess whether an application for financial assistance is the best route and discuss what other support might be available for you.
Pharmacist Support may also be able to help by referring you to a specialist Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) adviser for for debt and benefits advice. If you would like to be referred, contact us on our general enquiry line: 0808 168 2233, or email us on:firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have failed three times
If you have failed your pre-registration assessment three times, rest assured that there are a number of alternative options available to you. Remember that you do have a good science degree as well as your own skills, knowledge and experience and many graduate vacancies do not specify particular degree disciplines. Pharmacist Support’s Careers advice and options for pharmacy graduates fact sheet has information on getting careers advice and on career options, including alternative career suggestions such as teaching, further research and medical/scientific proof-reading.
Please note, you can also still submit an appeal if you meet the mitigating circumstances criteria.
The new assessment
Changes were introduced to the assessment in 2016. The GPhC replaced all open book source references, including the BNF, with artefacts from clinical practice, such as patient information leaflets, which candidates will need to use to answer questions. Calculators are now allowed in paper one and there is a new type of multiple choice question. For further information about these changes, see our Pre-registration assessment fact sheet.
This fact sheet was last reviewed on 12 February 2020.