Don’t miss the deadline for registering for reasonable adjustments for the November 2021 assessment

The GPhC has confirmed that the November 2021 assessment be delivered through Pearson VUE, mainly at test centres in Great Britain.

Wed 1st September 2021 The PDA

The PDA continues to support prov-reg, pre-reg and resitter members leading into the final assessment sitting of 2021 on 16 November.

If you are eligible and wanting a place to sit at this final date for the year then you need to apply via the GPhC website before 30 September 2021 (having provided a record of completing 39 weeks satisfactorily) and you need to request any reasonable adjustments by noon on 6 September 2021.

Further information can be found here. 

The PDA has continually supported prov-reg, pre-reg and resitter members and represents their views and concerns to the GPhC as they arise. The PDA has supported members through their preparations for the assessment process.

Last year, the PDA lobbied the GPhC with member views and feedback and they responded and provided more comprehensive guidance, a webinar and FAQs regarding the online assessment process. The PDA also raised the importance of candidates maintaining hydration during the exam as a health and safety concern, and the GPhC updated their FAQs in response.

In January 2021, the PDA met with the regulator to provide a further update on the unprecedented work experiences and the challenges candidates have faced during the pandemic and their outstanding contribution and commitment to patient care in all their roles. Additionally, the PDA highlighted how members who are parents are also faced with juggling childcare, isolations and caring responsibilities. All of these factors impact on members revision and study time, in addition to trying to keep themselves and their families safe. The PDA also shared members’ questions on the assessment process including on reasonable adjustments for those with a physical or mental health condition that could impact on their exam performance.

During 2021 we have supported members with applications for reasonable adjustments, advised members with appeals within the regulators policies, and most recently met with the regulator to discuss a plan of action and request an urgent resit for those members who experienced technical issues during the July sitting.

The PDA requested that an extension of the reasonable adjustment deadline be granted for those that may be unsuccessful on 9 September and would like to resit in November. The GPhC agreed to extend the deadline for unsuccessful candidates only and has now published the date which is 14 September by 12 noon. Due to the timescales involved, you will be able to use medical evidence obtained for the July 2021 sitting.

The GPhC issued the following guidance: “If candidates want to sit again in November they must apply to the GPhC by 30 September and if they want to apply for a reasonable adjustment, the deadline to submit their request is 12.00 midday on Tuesday 14 September 2021. This deadline is only for those who have been unsuccessful in the July sitting. The reasonable adjustment deadline for all other candidates who want to sit in November was 6 September 2021.”

Collette Bradford, PDA Director of Organising & Engagement, said: “We encourage members to apply for a reasonable adjustment if they need one and where possible to secure medical evidence well in advance. If you have requested an adjustment for a previous sitting, please note you will need to apply again for the November sitting. However, you may be able to use your medical evidence again. The PDA wants to see a fair and equal process where only the ability to practise as a pharmacist differentiates between each candidate’s results.”

PDA Advice

PDA advice is that members should ask for a reasonable adjustment if they feel it would be beneficial to making their examination experience equal to those who do not need an adjustment.

Please remember that adjustments may be for mental health as well as physical health and could also be in relation to virus exposure. You may consider requesting, for example, more time, specific equipment or a remote sitting.

You will know from your own health and from your experience of sitting previous exams what adjustment(s) will help you avoid any disadvantage. If you feel that an adjustment would be helpful to you, then we encourage you to request one now and provide as much information about your circumstances as possible and medical evidence where necessary.

The regulator guidance for the November 2021 sitting says: “It would be appropriate to grant ‘reasonable adjustments’ to candidates who would be at a disadvantage in sitting the assessment because of health issues, disabilities, specific learning needs or other specific needs. Each request is assessed to make sure that the adjustment is appropriate and proportionate to the candidate’s needs.”

Here are the key facts you need to know about the timeline and requirements for making a request for reasonable adjustments:

  1. Previous requests for previous sittings will not be transferred. You must submit a new request for each sitting. However, you may be able to use your medical evidence again.
  2. The deadline for submission of a request for reasonable adjustments for the November exam is 6 September 2021
  3. You must send your application and documents as a single PDF to: adjustments@pharmacyregulation.org
  4. If you do not receive an email receipt acknowledgment within 5 days of submitting your form, you must contact the GPHC at: adjustments@pharmacyregulation.org
  5. You will receive an email to let you know the outcome of your request in accordance with the regulations. You will know the outcome of your request by 15 October.

The GPhC has produced in-depth guidance on submission, including what supporting evidence you will need, and the types of evidence accepted. There is also information on the types of adjustments that can be requested, how to complete the application process and the appeals process.

This guidance can be found here.

If you need any help or support from the PDA once you have read the guidance, please contact us.

 

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists and for the first three months of being provisionally registered/newly qualified.

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