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Council approves moving towards a joint 4-country GPhC/PSNI registration assessment.

Having considered the outcome of a public consultation at its meeting on 26 November 2019, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI (Council) approved a joint 4-country GPhC/PSNI registration assessment, subject to the approval of the Council of the GPhC, which will consider the matter at its meeting on 05 December 2019.

The first sitting of the joint registration assessment would take place in June 2021.


Dr Jim Livingstone, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI said:

“Council carefully considered the responses to our public consultation. We concluded that moving to create a joint registration assessment, in partnership with the GPhC, provides us with an excellent opportunity to ensure our registration assessment is sustainably secured into the future, is based on current best practice and provides the most appropriate assurance that pharmacists joining the Register in Northern Ireland are fit to practise safely.

“The draft partnership agreement we have developed with the GPhC provides us with the input, governance and accountability mechanisms we need to meet our regulatory objectives and we are grateful to the GPhC for their engagement and willing commitment to this project to date.

“The public consultation raised a number of legitimate stakeholder concerns, particularly in relation to implementing this change. We will work with the GPhC to finalise and implement a plan that will ensure students, tutors, training providers and the two universities in Northern Ireland have all the necessary information and support they need to prepare for the common final assessment in June 2021”.


  • The Council of the GPhC is meeting on the 05 December 2019 and will consider a proposal to move to a common 4-country registration assessment in partnership with the Pharmaceutical Society NI.
  • The common 4-country registration assessment will be set and moderated by a single Board of Assessors, which will have input from Northern Ireland appointees and will be accountable to the Councils of both regulators. It will test the application of the pharmaceutical knowledge and numeracy relevant to current pharmacy practice in both Northern Ireland and Great Britain.
  • There will be a common syllabus and format, described in a joint common Registration Assessment Framework.
  • The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI will consider an implementation and communications plan in January 2020.