GPhC Exam FAQs

When is the GPhC Exam?

The examination takes place on two occasions each year: the summer (the last Friday in June) and the autumn (the last Friday in September).

How hard is it to become a pharmacist / is it hard to become a pharmacist?

Well its pretty much like any other science degree but its vocational, meaning it concentrates on providing a special skill rather than academic knowledge such as physics or chemistry. With this in mind, its quite hard to get a degree in pharmacy. One major obstacle is the prohibitive cost of it all, instead of 3 years at university, you have to do 4 years to become a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm), this can cost a fortune. The actual knowledge which you need to know is not that far off A-level chemistry and biology but a hell of a lot more indepth.

What do you have to do to become a pharmacist? How to become a pharmacist?

In short:

  • Get some work experience, this is not mandatory but will give you a head start.
  • Get good A-level / equivalent college grades in biology and chemistry (these are strongly preferred).
  • Apply to a good university like The School of Pharmacy, London or King's College, London. Although the common method of application is through UCAS using the traditional application process some courses, to good universities are available via clearing. Clearing is a process where universities advertise their courses when they are under subscribed after the UCAS application deadline.
  • Do your degree and pass - a 1st is not needed but dont get a third as this looks bad on a CV.
  • Apply to become a member of the GPhC and get liability insurance.

What kind of education is needed to become a pharmacist?

In the UK, to apply to become a member of the GPhC (mandatory for all UK pharmacists and what fundamentally classifies you as a practising pharmacist, you need a Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm)) and have passed a pre-registration year.

How long does it take to become a pharmacist?

4 years academic training then 1 year pre-registration (work experience in a pharmacy with an accredited tutor). After that, it probably takes about 2 years to become absolutely competent.

Regarding pre-reg indemnity and liability insurance, why would a pre-reg student need this insurance cover, since there is a responsible pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy?

A GPhC pharmacy pre-registration student does not need separate indemnity insurance for their period of study. Only a pharmacist needs this type of insurance when they are the Responsible Pharmacist (RP). The best reference source for this is the MEP. In essence, when the Pharmacist is signed in as the Responsible Pharmacist (RP) they are legally responsible for EVERYTHING that occurs within the pharmacy.

For instance, if you are working as a pre-reg in a pharmacy and you give out a pseudoephedrine containing product to someone with a heart condition and the customer then has a heart attack. It is ultimate the pharmacists responsibility (and therefore liability) as you as a pharmacists assistant gave out a contraindicated product, under the supervision of an RP.

A good way to look at this is imagining the worse case scenario. i.e. The patient has a heart attack and then the pharmacist then says, in court, that you as an assistant received sufficient training to understand that this patient is contraindicated for pseudoephedrine. In law there has already been set a president which says that even through you received training it is STILL the responsibility of the RP to overlook EVERY transaction within the pharmacy, including the one where you gave out the wrong medicine!

In conclusion, you may take out extra indemnity insurance as a pre-reg but there is little to no circumstance in which this would be relevant in light of the new roles of the Responsible Pharmacist.

If I had a prescription asking for salicylic acid ointment 1% bd 100g, and in BNF salicylic acid comes in 2%. how would i work out on the ingredients so that i can dispense the correct prescription.

You would need a "recipe" this would come from a relevant pharmacopeia which would contain the ingredients in which proportion you need as to make the formulation. For instance a salicylic cream may include 1g of salicylic acid to 99g of aqueous cream or other diluent.

Pom to P switch of tamsulosin, what are the relevant legislation, the professional standards and guidance issued by the GPHC and RPS, what other relevant factors could be taken into account, and how would someone determine whether they believe that it is appropriate to sell such products from a registered retail pharmacy business. Do you believe that a practicing pharmacist should stock and sell this product?

Ok there are a few issues with the switch it is best to do a little research on this via the web. In general, doctors do not like the POM to P of tamsulosin (sold as FloMax) as it potentially impedes early diagnosis of prostate cancer. GP's beleive that men will not seek proper medical advise on their condition and just go to their pharmacist to get rid of the symptoms. They have a point, however, this is contradictory to the governments new mantra of "patient self care" (see numerous white papers) and also directing as much traffic into the private pharmacy sector as possible to reduce costs incurred by expensive doctors. In all would you was a pharmacist stock FlowMax? Well, 90% of pharmacists do not really consider the ethics of it as they are told to stock it by their boss and the 10% are under so much financial pressure they cannot afford to stock it.

Hi, I am thinking of signing up and was wondering whether the questions are based on the new syllabus from the GPhC i.e. whether the questions are updated enough to meet the requirements for the GPhC exam in june 2016...

This site is the most updated on the web as we employ tutor who have to continually monitor the GPhC syllabus. Also our published book is too! It has everything concerning the GPhC responsible pharmacist and all new legislation.

Last modified: Friday, 28 August 2015, 3:34 PM