BTL Group is to be the new of the common registration assessment, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has confirmed.
BTL, which has been appointed following a tender process, replace Pearson Vue, whose time-limited contract, which delivered the first online assessments in 2021, has now ended.
The common registration assessment, which the GPhC holds jointly with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI), will next be held in June.
It will use BTL’s computer-based testing platform, Surpass, with candidates sitting the assessment in a network of test centres across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The GPhC and PSNI will hope that this new contract draws a final line under a period of upheaval, in which the previous in person tests were significantly disrupted by coronavirus, and candidates unable to sit the assessment as planned were provisionally registered pending the development of an online solution.
The GPhC said BTL Group, whose clients include the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Ophthalmology have “extensive experience of running high stakes healthcare examinations similar to the common registration assessment”.
GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: “The information provided by BTL during the tender process has given us the necessary assurance that they can support us in continuing to deliver a fair and robust assessment that tests candidates’ ability to register as a pharmacist.
"We will now work closely with BTL on arrangements for the sittings in 2022, to make sure we can provide a positive experience for candidates.”
PSNI chief executive and interim registrar Trevor Patterson said: “We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with the GPhC and building on the success of the November registration assessment by jointly delivering a UK wide common registration assessment for trainee pharmacists with the new provider BTL.”
More information for candidates, including assessment dates, the location of test centres and booking procedures will be available on the GPhC website in the next few weeks; trainees will be contacted when this is available, the GPhC says.
For candidates in Northern Ireland, information will be available on the PSNI websit shortly. NI candidates will be contacted directly by PSNI.
BTL said the Surpass assessment platform has been used internationally to create, deliver and mark over 30?million computer-based tests since 2007.