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GPhC: Registration officer application process not discriminatory


GPhC: Registration officer application process not discriminatory

By Neil Trainis

The General Pharmaceutical Council has denied suggestions on social media that its requirement that applicants for the position of senior registration assessment officer have at least three years’ experience could be discriminatory to younger individuals who may have the qualities to do the job effectively but are not allowed to apply.

The regulator, who is looking for a pharmacist to “develop effective procedures and new assessment material for registration assessments and support the Board of Assessors,” responded after Samantha Quaye, the co-founder of Pharmacy Technicians of Colour, took to Twitter to ask if the GPhC’s desire for a minimum of three years’ experience instead of judging individuals on their “competency” was discriminatory.

“Three years’ experience? Rather than competency requirements? What's the rationale for the criteria? Is this evidence-based or an arbitrary quantum that could discriminate against younger people?” she tweeted.

She added: “I am suggesting that it's now commonly accepted as best practice in recruitment not to state a number of years’ experience unless it is a statutory requirement for the role, in line with equality, diversity and inclusion  principles and equality legislation.”

Quaye found support from Darren Powell, a clinical lead at NHS England and Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union representative, who tweeted: “Absolutely agree, competency much clearer than a broad statement of ‘experience.’ Thus, not discriminatory.”

Quaye also asked why applicants had to be pharmacists, with some tweeters suggesting pharmacy technicians could do the job. The deadline for applications is tomorrow (July 19).

The GPhC told Independent Community Pharmacist three years’ minimum experience was necessary because the post was “a senior and technical role” and insisted “candidates with less post-qualified experience are unlikely to be able to meet the requirements of the role.”

“The GPhC’s registration assessment is a high stakes examination and represents the last step of the initial education and training that trainee pharmacists must successfully complete to be eligible to register with us. Quality assuring the content of and delivering the registration assessment is one of our key priorities,” the regulator said.

“Providing, assessing, regulating or funding education and training for registrants or prospective registrants is one of our principal functions under The Pharmacy Order 2010. The postholder is expected to manage significant duties and responsibilities.

“We consider the requirement for three years post qualification experience to be fair and represent a reasonable and proportionate period of time for an individual to have attained the broad professional and practical experience to be able to successfully deliver the main accountabilities required of the role.”

Insisting its minimum level of experience was not discriminatory, the GPhC added: “This role requires the breadth of knowledge and experience which is likely to be obtained from practising for a period of time after qualification.”

The GPhC also said that although it recognised “the talent, skill, experience and contribution and value of pharmacy technicians as well as pharmacists,” pharmacy technicians would be “less familiar with the requirements of the assessment” because they are not required to sit it.

“For this role, it is essential the postholder has the relevant experience to be able to meet the main job purpose which is the development and review of content for the registration assessment question bank and contribute to the ongoing development and quality assurance of the registration assessment,” the GPhC said.













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