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Pharmacy regulators in Britain and Northern Ireland are considering making the registration assessment the same in all four UK countries.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is responsible for setting the exam sat by students in England, Scotland and Wales, whereas the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) does the same for pharmacy students in Northern Ireland.
The regulators have discussed moving towards a four-country system, which would first be sat by students in 2021, the GPhC revealed in papers published ahead of its council meeting yesterday (16 May).
“Moving to a UK-wide assessment would fully harmonise the initial education and training requirements for pharmacists in the UK,” the GPhC said.
UK-qualified pharmacists can currently practice in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, regardless of whether they trained and took their registration exam in Britain or Northern Ireland.
This is due to “reciprocal registration provisions” between Britain and Northern Ireland that act as “a memorandum of understanding to secure consistent standards of professional practice”, the GPhC said.