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GPhC and PSNI announce results for November 2022 online registration assessment

6 December 2022

A total of 937 candidates sat the registration assessment in four countries on 3 November, with 525 candidates passing the assessment: an overall pass rate of 56%.

The results of the common registration assessment for pharmacists, held jointly by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), have been published.

This autumn’s pass rate of 56% compares with a 61% pass rate for the Autumn 2021 registration assessment.

In November 2022, 59% candidates sat for the first time, 30% for the second time and 8% for the third time*. In comparison, for the June sitting 89% of candidates were sitting for the first time, 7% were sitting for the second time and 4% were sitting for the third time.

All marking is anonymous, and the Board of Assessors does not know where any candidate sat or what attempt they were undertaking during the mark awarding process. The pass mark is based on the difficulty of papers to ensure the standard across different years is the same.

PSNI Chief Executive Trevor Patterson congratulated all who passed and said he looked forward to them joining the PSNI Register. Along with Duncan Rudkin of the GPhC he acknowledged the close working relationship both organisations share in relation to the Common Registration Assessment and expressed his satisfaction at how well this assessment had gone.

Unsuccessful candidates are reminded that there is a guide for those who did not pass, this can be found at guide on our website [PDF 255 KB] outlining all the options that may be available. There are also links to organisations and resources that can provide support with mental health and wellbeing.


Further information and statistics

Table 1: Autumn 2022 summary statistics

Candidates Number % of total
Total numbe rof candidates 937 100%
GPhC candidates 906 97%
PSNI candidates 31 3%
Number of first time sitters

(of which were provisionally registered)





Number of second time sitters 277 30%
Number of third time sitters 78 8%
Candidate performance – pass rates    
First sitting candidates – pass 309 56%
Second sitting candidates – pass 157 57%
Third sitting candidates – pass 44 56%
Overall pass 525 56%
Overall fail 412 44%

Table 2: 2021 sittings

Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
June 2021 2666 2353 88%
November 2021 959 584 61%

Table 3: Registration assessment results for previous 5 years (autumn sittings)

Registration year Total sitting Total passing Pass rate
2021 959 584 61%
2019 1057 731 69%
2018 834 544 65%
2017 825 481 58%
2016 660 269 41%

Quality assuring the registration assessment

The registration assessment papers are developed by experienced pharmacists and assessment experts. Questions are written by practising pharmacists, then the standard of each question is set by standards setters, all of whom are practising pharmacists with current knowledge of pre-registration trainees and/or recently registered pharmacists.

Papers are then set by an appointed body of pharmacists and assessment experts, the Board of Assessors. All questions and papers are mapped on to the GPhC’s registration assessment framework to ensure they reflect the practice of a day one pharmacist.

After a sitting, the performance of all questions and papers as a whole in that particular sitting are analysed and, using statistical methods applied across health professional examinations, the pass mark for each paper is confirmed and candidates are awarded passes or fails. Candidates who pass both papers pass overall.

The Board of Assessors set the passing standard, not the percentage of candidates who pass the assessment. This means that candidates are not being measured against each other or selected to pass or fail according to where they sit in the cohort of all candidates.

All marking is anonymous, and the Board of Assessors does not know where any candidate sat or what attempt they were undertaking during the mark awarding process.

Further information on how papers are created and marked can be found on our website.

For more detailed statistics on the result, see our statistical breakdown [PDF 800 KB]

*This excludes the 31 PSNI candidates for which sitting attempt data is not available