How do I apply for an extension to take or pass an examination for representatives?

Representatives have to take an appropriate examination within their first year of such employment and pass it in full within two years. The one and two year periods are calculated on the basis of the time employed as a representative, whether continuous or otherwise and whether with one company or more than one company.

Maternity or Paternity leave does not count towards the specified time periods.

The Director of the PMCPA is empowered by the supplementary information to Clause 9.4 to extend the one or two year periods in the event of extenuating circumstances such as prolonged illness or no, or inadequate, opportunity to take the examination. Companies are reminded that the 'examination clock' starts to tick from the day an individual is first employed as a representative, not from their first day on territory.

If a representative fails to take an appropriate examination within the first year it does not prevent him or her continuing to work as a representative in the second year. What it does mean is that an extension must be agreed.

Application for an extension should be made on the form here.  

It should preferably be made by the company rather than the representative. The application should be made before the one or two year period expires.

The extenuating circumstances etc must relate to the particular representative rather than the company. A company cannot justify an extension by pleading, for example, that the problem arose because its systems were inadequate.

If a representative fails to pass the relevant examination within the two year period allowed he or she cannot continue to work as a representative in the absence of an extension.

Here again, an application for an extension should be made on the form available from the PMCPA and should preferably be made by the company rather than the representative. The applications should be made before the two years expire. As the representative's career might be at stake in such circumstances, in considering an application for an extension the Director will, if possible, try to ensure that no individual is prejudiced by the failures of the employer.

Companies should have in place operating procedures which keep under review the examination status of all of their representatives, including contract representatives.

Companies are reminded that Clause 1.19 ​defines the term ‘representative’ as meaning a representative calling on members of the health professions and other relevant decision makers in relation to the promotion of medicines. Thus the term ‘representative’ is defined by role and is wholly independent of company job title.