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How to appeal to the GPhC having failed the Registration Assessment

06 Nov 2015

The latest cohort of pre registration pharmacists have recently sat the Registration Assessment. It can be devastating for those that don’t pass, particularly those who failed their 3rd attempt as they will have received a letter from the GPhC confirming that they will no longer be able to fulfil their ambitions to be a pharmacist.

It is possible in very limited circumstances for pre registration pharmacists to appeal against having failed the Registration Assessment.

Appeals against a fail result will be considered by the Registrar. The Grounds of appeal set out in the GPhC’s Registration Assessment Regulations are:

1. If the GPhC have failed to apply the correct Registration Assessment procedure, then you can appeal under procedural grounds.
2. If there are any exceptional circumstances that affected your performance during the assessment, you can appeal. The circumstances, however, must not have been known before or during the assessment.

Submitting an appeal

An appeal must be submitted in writing to the GPhC and within 21 days of the date printed on the results letter. Any documentary evidence to support the appeal also needs to be sent.

A Registrar will then consider the appeal and will inform the applicant in writing if their appeal has been successful. If so their previous fail is ignored and they are granted another attempt at the Assessment.


If a candidate is taken ill or experiences some adverse circumstances during the Assessment, to such an extent that you cannot continue, they should inform an invigilator. They should then within 5 working days of the Assessment apply for nullification of their assessment.

The significance of nullification is that any exceptional circumstances which could have formed the basis of a request for nullification will not be considered as grounds for an appeal.

Am I fit to sit?

Appeals will also not succeed if the GPhC conclude that a candidate was not ‘Fit to Sit’ the Assessment. An illness or adverse circumstance which was known to a candidate on or before the Assessment day cannot be used as grounds for an appeal.

Common examples that will not be considered as grounds of appeal, on the basis that the candidate should have decided they were not ‘Fit to Sit’ include:

  • You were ill on the day of the assessment, before starting the assessment;
  • You were ill in the run up to the assessment;
  • You had an accident in the run up to the assessment;
  • Financial worries;
  • Personal/relationship problems;
  • You were not adequately supported by your tutor.

How can we help?

We have experience of advising pre registration pharmacists who have failed the Registration Assessment regarding their prospects of successfully appealing. We have also prepared written appeals in this situation. Feel free to contact us today for advice and help on appealing against your failed Registration Assessment, or find more information on our Pharmacists service page.

Marie Dancer

Written by Marie Dancer

Since joining Richard Nelson LLP in 2003, Marie Dancer became a Partner in 2009 before becoming the Managing Partner in 2015. Marie is a highly regarded professional disciplinary lawyer who defends a variety of healthcare and teaching professionals in fitness to practise investigations.

Read more about Marie Dancer.

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