Following the recent announcement by the GPhC, that it will be holding its Registration Assessment in 27, 28 and 29 July 2021, the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has confirmed that on this occasion a separate Registration Assessment, bespoke to Northern Ireland, will be held in June 2021. Although not the original UK-wide assessment envisaged, the format and content of the assessment will be in the style and to the standard of the originally planned Common Registration Assessment. It is currently planned that this Northern Ireland assessment will be paper-based, largely due to the unavailability of Pearson Vue centres in Northern Ireland during June.
Speaking about the Northern Ireland Registration Assessment, Dr Jim Livingstone, President of the Pharmaceutical Society NI, said:
“In 2019 we carried out a public consultation proposing to move to a single UK wide registration assessment from 2021 onwards. Based on that consultation, we decided to partner with the GPhC, to deliver that Common Registration Assessment in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The first sitting of the Common Registration Assessment was to take place in June 2021.
“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to significantly impact our joint plans. The GPhC and Pharmaceutical Society NI had to react differently to the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, with the GPhC provisionally registering trainees until the registration assessment for 2019/2020 in Great Britain could be held in March 2021.
“Without the option of provisional registration for trainees, and with the support of the Department of Health to extend training duration, the Pharmaceutical Society NI held its Registration Assessment for 2019/20 in August 2020, successfully bringing a new cohort onto our register in September 2020.
“Regrettably, the planned Common Registration Assessment for 2020/21 has now been impacted by COVID again, and it will be held on 27, 28 and 29 July in Great Britain rather than June. This is due to venue limitations in the UK, arising from the need for socially distanced events and the high number of trainees involved. The situation in Northern Ireland is different, as sufficient alternative venues are available for our smaller number of trainees, allowing us to proceed as planned, albeit on a paper-based assessment. The Council of the Pharmaceutical Society NI has therefore approved a Northern Ireland Registration Assessment for June 2021 because it considered it unacceptable to delay assessment and registration processes for a second year.
“The 2021 Northern Ireland Registration Assessment will be based on the format of the Common Registration Assessment and will be paper based. It will be held in several locations across Northern Ireland, similar to last year, to ensure adequate social distancing and trainee and staff safety.
“Trainees have prepared for this style of assessment, with the Department of Health providing funding to NICPLD to introduce this format. In addition, robust quality assurance mechanisms have been followed in the preparation of this assessment, using similar procedures to those planned for the Common Registration Assessment.
“The Pharmaceutical Society NI and the GPhC are both committed to the UK wide Common Registration Assessment but must adjust full implementation until the Autumn 2021 planned Assessment at the earliest.
“We will be in touch with trainees with more details on venues, as well as the application process, for now we ask that you hold 8th June 2021”.
- The 2021 Northern Ireland Registration Assessment will take place in June 2021 (hold 8th June 2021).
- The Northern Ireland Registration Assessment will be based on the format and content of the proposed Common Registration Assessment, which trainees in Northern Ireland have prepared for.
- It will be a paper-based assessment.
- It will be held in a number of locations in Northern Ireland to ensure social distancing and applicant safety.
- Information in relation on how to apply will follow.