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PDA urge the GPhC to ensure there is a fair assessment process

Following the GPhC announcement confirming Pearson VUE as the regulator’s supplier for the 2021 registration assessment, members have been raising their concerns with the PDA regarding the computer-based company’s ability to deliver an efficient and fair examination process for provisionally registered pharmacists and re-sitters that have been waiting months to sit their assessment exam which was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Thu 19th November 2020 The PDA

Recently, Pearson Vue, the company who provide online academic and government testing programmes, has come under criticism of their handling of other professional body online examination processes including the 2020 pharmacy examinations in Australia. Key issues have been reported around examination platform performance, reasonable adjustments for those with disabilities and issues with the management of online booking and log in processes.

During a PDA meeting with members, a number of issues and questions were raised which we have submitted to the regulator to help inform the development of their FAQs for the future assessment. In addition, we have raised our member’s concerns about the reported experiences of other professionals who have recently sat online examinations provided by Pearson Vue contracts.

The PDA has called on the GPhC to ensure that every step is taken to develop, deliver and adequately test the process before the exam, to ensure there is a fit for purpose online registration assessment that not only provides the public with the confidence in the next generation of pharmacists but also gives candidates a fair test opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills without further detriment.

The cohort of provisionally registered pharmacists and re-sitters have already experienced unprecedented levels of change and challenges and many have worked tirelessly; contributing to the pharmacy response to COVID-19. These new professionals will also be expected to play their part during the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The GPhC has responded to the issues raised on behalf of members of the PDA.

Mark Voce, GPhC Director of Education and Standards, said: I’d like to reassure candidates that we are listening very carefully to all of the concerns and questions they are raising and taking them into account when developing the plans for the next sitting of the registration assessment. We are working closely with Pearson Vue to make sure our requirements for the registration assessment are met and it is robust and fair for candidates. We will be sending a further update to candidates before the end of November.”



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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