The new GPhC Pre-Reg Spring Bulle+tin is out today! It's worth a read for all pre-registration trainees, pre-registration tutors and training providers alike. You can find a copy at: The bulletin contains the following information:

  • Approval of training, including a training plan checklist
  • How to apply for the registration assessment
  • Reference sources for the exam
  • Reminders about the registration assessment
  • Results and what happens after the assessment
  • How to register
  • Information from supporting organisations

Most of the information in the bulletin is similar to other Spring bulletins. There are however a number of changes that will affect those training and supporting the Pre-registration Scheme. In summary these are grouped into three areas and are as follows:

Registration Assessment
  • All of the published newly published GPhC guidance booklets may be examined in the closed book paper, but the two reference sources for the open book paper are the BNF 62 & the GPhC Standards of Conduct, Ethics & Performance. It is important to reiterate that the MEP is no longer an approved reference source.
  • There will be no late fees for applying for the registration assessment i.e. there is one deadline for applying to sit and if you miss that then you cannot sit the assessment! The dates are Friday 18 May and 17 August for the Summer and Autumn sittings respectively.
  • There is an updated list of items that trainees are allowed to take into the registration assessment and this has been devised with agreement from the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association. Other non-fizzy drinks have been allowed, together with cough sweets for a cough and medication/other items for a medical condition. Note that other sweets are NOT allowed.
  • The GPhC has reviewed the venues for the registration assessment and in Summer 2012 it will now take place in eight venues across Great Britain. There are two venues in London and one in Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds/Bradford and Sunderland respectively. It is hoped that by limiting the number of candidates in each venue there will be less queues for candidates and this will help in what is already an anxious time for trainees.
  • Page six of the bulletin states that you should bring in the correct reference sources and you may lose marks for not having up-to-date information. This is the first time that there has been a suggestion that marks may be withdrawn. How this will be implemented is unclear.
  • Trainees undertaking six months supervised employment will now be allowed to sit the assessment BEFORE they have completed the full duration. The GPhC do not state if there is a minimum period that must be completed before applying. The only stipulation appears to be that your supervising pharmacist must email to confirm that the six month period has been completed.

Training Sites
  • The application to apply to be a pre-registration training site has been made a lot easier and involves completing two pages of a simple application form with a number of declarations  . The declarations cover much of the same areas as the previous form but do not ask you to specify any details. You are also asked to provide a training plan that must comply with a given checklist. This can be found on the final page of the application form and also on page five of the Spring Bulletin. An organisational plan may be provided i.e. a plan used by multiple trainees but this must comply with the checklist (which includes a date of review). Some training providers may struggle with the new requirement that training activities are mapped to the Performance Standards (of which there are 76). Although this was previously requested, this has now become a requirement. This is something that The Pharmacy Training Company has experience in and we can help you if you get stuck! Simply contact us via the contact page of our website.
  • The GPhC will not send any reminders of the expiry of the approval of the pre-registration training site and training in an unapproved site will not be recognised. The GPhC states that the responsibility for ensuring the training site is approved rests with both the trainee and the training provider. Make sure your site is on the approved list for the entire training period. You can check this by clicking on the following link
Training Manuals
  • In Summer 2012 only an online, not paper version of the manual will be produced. You can still download this and print it, however you will have to pay for this! Luckily the manual has reduced in size over the last couple of years...

As is the case in previous bulletins it is essential that trainees ensure that they are fit to sit the registration assessment. This is very important as every year trainees sit and then wish they hadn’t as they feel that their performance was affected on the day. The GPhC say, ‘A mitigating circumstance will only be considered by the Registrar if it was not known and could not have been known by a candidate on the day of a sitting. Remember: once a candidate has received their results, hindsight cannot be used as mitigation.’