Following the summer 2021 assessments: Have you got the right PDA membership?

The PDA has membership categories for all students and exam candidates, whatever the outcome and whenever they sit their assessment.

Tue 28th September 2021 The PDA

This year the cohort (prov-regs, pre-regs/trainees and re-sitters) has recently received their results from sitting the summer 2021 examinations, creating a whole new set of possible scenarios on each occasion.

The PDA team has reviewed their membership arrangements, adjusting internal systems and due to the type of indemnity and defence provided by the PDA, undertook significant work with underwriters to ensure that whether a provisional registrant, a pre-reg/trainee or a re-sitter, there is a PDA membership policy right for them, to bring peace of mind and protection at any point in their career journey.

Student and trainee membership is FREE

PDA membership for undergraduate pharmacy students is FREE. Supporting future pharmacists with free student membership continues to be a key objective for the PDA. FREE membership is also given to the incoming cohort of new graduates who are the first to have the PDA’s “trainee pharmacist” membership, under the GPhC’s new Initial Education and Training (IET) programme.

Potential Pharmacists

There are a variety of circumstances in which individuals may find themselves no longer a student and not on a trainee structured programme and working towards becoming a pharmacist soon. For example:

  • Waiting to resit the exam after a previous attempt
  • Not signed off from the pre-reg/trainee training in time to become a provisional registrant, but achieved sign off at a later date
  • Signed off from the pre-reg/trainee programme and have chosen not to register as a provisional registrant.

The PDA calls these individuals “potential pharmacists” to differentiate them from those currently on a formal training programme. The PDA has created a membership category to support them. The membership benefits match those of pre-reg/trainee pharmacists.

Newly Qualified (NQ) membership

The PDA newly qualified offer provides up to 3 months membership FREE for those who join once they have successfully passed their assessment examination. This helps to alleviate the financial pressure for registrants at a time when they are paying the costs of an exam and registration. Those who have passed the summer 2021 assessment can join the PDA as NQ members from now until 31 October 2021.

First-year Qualified (FY) membership

After 31 October, or following newly qualified membership, PDA members (other than those in GP practice) can renew as a first-year qualified member for a reduced price of just £99 for their first full year of membership.

Newly qualified pharmacists who are practicing in GP practice should join on a normal GP practice membership category


What to do about your membership if you passed the assessment

  • If you are on a pre-reg membership, because you were not working as a provisional pharmacist, you should apply before 31 October 2021 for the FREE newly qualified policy which will be valid until 31 December 2021.
  • If you are already working as a provisional pharmacist and therefore on a first-year qualified policy, you do not need to take any action now, unless you work in GP practice. When you renew your annual membership, you will need to apply for the relevant policy at that time, as a pharmacist.
  • Due to the increased indemnity risk in GP practice, if you work in GP practice, you should apply for the relevant GP practice policy now.

What to do about your membership if you did not pass the assessment

  • You do not need to take any action now. You will have access to PDA Education’s support for your future assessment re-sit.
  • If you have still not yet passed the exam by the time your annual membership is due for a renewal, please renew as a potential pharmacist. Your membership will once again be FREE.
  • Please also see our article on appeals.

Not yet a member?

If you passed

  • If you passed the assessment but are not yet a PDA member and join before 31 October 2021, you should apply for the FREE newly qualified policy which will be valid until 31 December 2021.
  • If you delay joining until after 31 October, you have until 30 September 2022 to apply for the £99 first-year qualified membership which is valid for one year (except those working in GP practice).
  • Due to the increased indemnity risk in GP practice, if you work in GP practice, after 31 October you should apply for the relevant GP practice membership.

If you did not pass

  • Join the PDA as a potential pharmacist now. Membership is FREE and includes access to PDA Education’s support for your future assessment re-sit.

In Northern Ireland, the PSNI assessment happened in June 2021, provisional registration does not exist outside of Great Britain. The above categories of PDA membership apply to all students, pre-regs and trainees in Northern Ireland.

Download your membership flowchart below

thumbnail of Summer assessment flowchart 2021


Related links


Not yet a PDA member?

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

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


Read about our key member benefits here.






The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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