The assessment period can be a very stressful time. This is especially true of the final days leading up to results day. So, no matter what your results, we’ve gathered some useful information on your options.
Passed the assessment
Congratulations to those who passed the March assessment. If you will be joining the register for the first time take a look at our Registering as a pharmacist fact sheet. This contains information about registration and looking for work.
If you are looking for work as a pharmacist we have plenty of available resources, including our Looking for work: job vacancy sites fact sheet which provides information on where you can find advertised jobs online. A lot of newly registered pharmacists will take on the role of a locum. If you are unsure if this is right for you, or want some further information about working as a locum you can find this information here in our Locum fact sheet.
Failed the assessment
If you fail the assessment it is only natural that you will feel disappointed. Feelings of anger and disappointment are common; take some time out to relax with friends and family, and don’t be embarrassed about feeling upset. You can find further information about how to cope with failing the assessment on our website.
If you find that you are having negative thoughts about the exam result you might want to consider using CBT to help you to cope. For further information about techniques to help you challenge negative thinking and turn thoughts into more positive and empowering beliefs, see our website.
Preparing for a re-sit
If you are planning to sit the exam again in July, you will need to register in the usual manner. Registration for the July sit opens on the 10th May 2021 and closes on 31st May 2021. You will also need to organise a sensible revision timetable.
Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme
Free resources include the Interim Foundation Pharmacist Programme (IFPP). You can register for this if you are a provisionally registered pharmacist (you do not have to be working), or if you are a trainee who has successfully completed 52 weeks of training and are waiting to sit the exam. This will give you access to a library of resources, including OpenAthens, e-Learning for Healthcare, SCRIPT (e-learning for prescribing and therapeutics), and CPPE resources. Here is the link to the IFPP
There are a number of revision sites that can help trainees to prepare. Many of these sites offer free trials which can help you to decide which best fits your revision needs. Here are some suggestions to get you started:-
Exam stress can affect trainees in varying ways. If you think that exam stress may negatively impact your performance, you could consider learning a coping technique, for example, mindfulness.
According to the NHS, studies have found that mindfulness programmes, can bring about reductions in stress and improvements in mood. For further information on mindfulness, see our Mindfulness fact sheet.
For further information on coping with stress, see our Help with Stress fact sheet.
For further information on coping with anxiety, see our Help with Anxiety fact sheet.
You can submit an appeal if you believe that you have sufficient grounds to do so. The GPhC stresses 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 deadline for submitting an appeal will be announced by the GPhC on results day, although it is ordinarily set at twenty-one days after the results day announcement. Even if you are waiting for the outcome of an appeal, it is advisable that you begin to prepare for the July 2021 assessment in case your appeal is not successful.
For further information, see section 6.4 of the GPhC pre-registration manual.
Members of the PDA can contact the organisation for advice on submitting an appeal to the GPhC. Further details can be found on the PDA website.
Requesting adjustments for a re-sit
If you have failed your first or second attempt at the assessment, are planning to register to sit the July 2021 assessment and you need adjustments, such as extra time, you will have to put in a fresh application to the GPhC. You cannot carry over any adjustments agreed for the previous exam. The deadline for requesting an adjustment in the July sit is Friday, 7th May 2021.
For further information about applying to sit the registration assessment, see the GPhC website.
Registering for a third attempt
In order to undertake a third attempt at the assessment, previously trainees were required to undertake a further six month placement. The GPhC has now removed this requirement from the regulations, so if you are sitting for a third time in 2021 you will not be required to complete an additional placement. For further information see the GPhC pre-registration manual, section 6.3.
If you have failed three times
If you have failed your registration assessment three times, rest assured that there are a number of alternative career 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.
You can also still submit an appeal. See above under appeals for further information.
If you still have questions about your next steps, please check out our new registration assessment pages. Should you still have questions, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0808 168 2233 0r 0808 168 5133.
If you are a provisionally registered pharmacist and you have failed your first attempt, you can get additional support and guidance from the RPS provisionally registered helpline. You can contact them on ProvReg@rpharms.com or call them on 0207 572 2737.