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Provisionally registered pharmacists need support

With less than 90 days until the provisional pharmacists’ exams, the PDA continues to support candidates who are concerned about arrangements for this critical moment in their career. We continue to listen to members' concerns and present these to all those involved in this process.

Wed 23rd December 2020 The PDA

The exams in March 2021, will be unlike the “normal” exams as most candidates are already on the register and working as pharmacists. These individuals are of course not just practicing as pharmacists, but also playing a part in the pandemic response. They face additional pressure from an unfamiliar assessment format and difficulty in securing time off from employers to prepare.

Throughout the pandemic, the PDA have been championing the position of these individuals who, at this time, are amongst the most vulnerable members of the profession. The unique and challenging circumstances that the provisionally registered pharmacists and exam re-sitters face continue to evolve.

Key concerns are:

  • Despite our proactive calls to Employers to play their part we know that some provreg pharmacists are being refused the leave they need to prepare for exams. The PDA remind employers that our sector has a supply of locums that can provide cover and asks again for your support in enabling the success of the newest members of the profession. We encourage any PDA members who are being treated unreasonably by their employer to contact us.
  • The remote exam locations selected by the regulator are run by Pearson Vue who have advised candidates that they ban all drinks during use of their facilities unless this is requested as a specific reasonable adjustment. The PDA have requested the GPhC raise this issue with their supplier and acknowledge the importance of adequate hydration on exam performance.  We have been promised a response in the new year.
  • Further concerns about details of the Pearson Vue arrangements including adhering to health and safety requirements about the use of DSE screens and adequate breaks are developing and we will encourage the GPhC to resolve such matters and keep candidates informed.  We also understand that for many students white boards are not an adequate replacement for paper and pen.
  • The potential impact of further national or regional lockdowns on all or some of the candidates, or their exam locations, due to the pandemic must be considered. While nobody can at this time know for certain what the situation will be in March, we encourage all parties to support candidates and to start contingency planning.

The PDA reiterate our call for regulator, employers, coaches and training organisations to each to play their part to support this cohort.  We call for fair and reasonable treatment to achieve a fair outcome for all.



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