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Appeals process for those that sat the registration assessment in March 2021

Candidates who sat the March 2021 assessment, who feel that they have grounds to appeal on receipt of their results are urged to make sure that they gather all the information and facts needed before taking action.

Mon 26th April 2021 The PDA

The GPhC regulations for the registration assessment can be found here and are very clear about the grounds for appeal.

If you fail the assessment you may request to appeal your result if you have sufficient grounds. An appeal will only be considered if:

  • New information or circumstances have come to light since you sat the assessment that you were not aware of at the time you sat the assessment.
  • A registration assessment procedure was not correctly applied by the GPhC which would have affected your performance on the day

An appeal will not be considered:

  • If you were aware of your condition or circumstances at the time and could have requested a nullification.

You will not be able to appeal in the following circumstances:

  • Information technology failure, including but not limited to failure of a computer or other delivery device, webcam, or internet connection, before or during a sitting, because these are beyond the GPhC’s control, and could be used as grounds to apply for nullification
  • Failure to bring a functioning calculator that conforms to one of the makes and models specified by the GPhC, and could be used as grounds to apply for nullification
  • That the registration assessment was delivered in a Pearson VUE test centre
  • That a candidate was unable to attend a test centre for reasons beyond the GPhC’s control, including because government requirements prohibited attendance
  • That the registration assessment was not delivered in the manner it has been in previous years
  • That due to a provisionally registered pharmacist candidate’s work duties, they were not prepared to sit; and/or
  • That a request for reasonable adjustment was made but was not granted by the adjustments panel or an adjustment was granted by the panel but was not possible to accommodate due to capacity or other reasons.
  • That a specific need was known to the candidate but an application for reasonable adjustment was not made.

If you want to submit an appeal you must set out the grounds of the appeal in writing and ensure it is received by the GPhC by the specified date in accordance with their policy. The deadline for appeal submissions is 20 May 2021.

There are only two possible outcomes from the appeal:

  1. The appeal is not upheld, in which case the fail mark stands, and you will fail that attempt at the registration assessment
  2. The appeal is upheld, in which case your sitting attempt is nullified and will not count as one of your available attempts.

If your appeal is upheld, the Registrar may nullify your assessment result, and your assessment will not count as one of your available attempts.

You can submit an appeal if you have asked for your assessment attempt to be nullified, but are appealing your result for a different reason.

Collette Bradford, Director of PDA Organising and Engagement, said: “The GPhC has requested that employers and other organisations be supportive and flexible during this challenging year for provisionally registered pharmacists and other candidates who sat the assessment this spring. Candidates were also asked to be understanding, flexible and to rise to the challenge. For many, this has meant applying for provisional registration and practising as Responsible Pharmacists, for others it has meant working within their roles to support patient care in pharmacies during the pandemic; being exceptional at work in unprecedented circumstances. For all candidates, whatever their circumstances, they have had to wait a long time to sit this assessment online and for many, the stakes are high both professionally and financially.”

Collette went on to add: “The PDA now calls upon the GPhC to be equally empathic, supportive and flexible when it comes to the appeals process for those candidates who do not pass and who have a reasonable case to appeal in these unique circumstances. The PDA will listen to members regarding their individual circumstances and will offer advice and guidance on appeals in accordance with their evidence and the GPhC process.”

We are aware that there are a small number of PDA members for whom the March 2021 sitting was their third and final attempt and/or they will be beyond the 8 years cut off if they are required to resit in summer 2021. We would encourage members who are unsuccessful on results day and find themselves in these difficult circumstances to contact the PDA to seek guidance on their individual circumstances.

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