How to register as a qualified pharmacist in Australia?

HOW TO REGISTER AS A QUALIFIED PHARMACIST IN AUSTRALIA?

Qualified pharmacists in Australia

Pharmacy is a flourishing profession & a lucrative pathway to migrate to Australia successfully. Most pharmacists in Australia practice within the community itself as retailers or work in hospitals.

Pharmacists are highly trusted professionals who are qualified to dispense medications. They have the required knowledge about most medicines and are capable of counselling doctors and other people about dosages & side effects over & above their key responsibilities such as processing prescriptions, maintaining patient medication records, promoting primary health care etc.

However, to become a pharmacist in Australia, you need to be well aware of certain prerequisites. Most people remain uninformed about the fact that merely being an overseas trained pharmacist does not guarantee them a job! First, they need to meet the Skills Assessment as carried out by the Australia Pharmacy Council (APC) & then register themselves with the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA) to get the Skilled Visa to travel & work as a pharmacist in Australia.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

If you are looking to study pharmacy in Australia, you can opt for a Bachelor’s degree, which is a 4 years’ full-time course. Needless to say, competency in the English language must be demonstrated & each candidate must be able to fulfill the minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) score as required by the specific university they may be applying to.

After successfully completing your undergraduate degree, you may choose to take a Masters, i.e., a post-graduate degree – which is a 2 years’ full-time course. You may also need to pass examinations like Graduate Australia Medical Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and/or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

SKILLS ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

APC is the assessing authority which accredits pharmacy education & training on behalf of the PBA.Overseas trained pharmacists need to get their skills assessed by the APC.There are two streams for APC Skills Assessment:-

Stream A:

Under this stream, you must:

  • Have an approved pharmacy qualification.
  • Be eligible for commencement of registration in the country of acquiring the qualification.
  • Appear for the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Science (KAPS) Exam to put your knowledge to test.
  • After the successful completion of which, meet PBA’s registration requirements.
 
Stream B:

Under this stream, you must :

  • Have an approved pharmacy qualification in a Stream B Country (UK, Ireland, USA & Canada)
  • Be registered in the Stream B country wherein you had acquired your qualification in the first place.
  • Hold a certificate of good standing from all jurisdictions within the last 10 years.
  • Hold a working first aid certificate issued by a valid issuer either in Australia or the Stream B country.
  • Appear & pass the Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacists (CAOP) Exam.
  • After the successful completion of which, meet PBA’s registration requirements.

However, pharmacists qualified from New Zealand remain exempt from APC requirements since its qualifications are closely linked to Australia's. They can register via Trans-Tasman mutual recognition arrangements with the PBA.

DOCUMENTATION & PROCESS

  • Now, to complete the said application & receive the Skills Assessment Eligibility Letter from the APC, you need to provide the following documents:-
  • Personal identification (original and valid passport and passport-size photograph taken in the last 6 months).
  • Academic qualifications (certificate of title in pharmacy along with academic record).
  • Evidence of registration (original registration as a pharmacist in your country of origin).
  • Work experience (curriculum vitae and original work reference templates).

Within 8 weeks of submitting all the documentation, you shall receive the approval from the APC to validate your pharmacy degree in Australia, after which you may appear for the test (as applicable to you under your eligible stream).

On successfully passing the examination, you will receive an e-mail confirming the same & the hard copy of your Skills Assessment Eligibility Letter shall be mailed to you.

PHARMACIST IN AUSTRALIA

REGISTRATION

Once you receive the eligibility letter, which affirms your required knowledge in pharmacy, you need to apply to the PBA for the general registration of pharmacists in Australia. As a brief overview of the same:-

Stream A:

Candidates Must

  • Hold provisional registration & have their supervised practice (i.e. internship) approved by the Board.
  • Start the approved internship program.
  • Appear for the written examination after completing at least 40% of the said internship.
  • Appear for the oral examination after completing at least 75% of the said internship.
  • Apply for general registration.
Stream B:

Candidates Must

  • Hold provisional registration & have their supervised practice (i.e. internship) approved by the Board.
  • Start the approved internship program.
  • Appear for an oral examination (pharmacy & law) and/or oral examination (practice) after completing at least 75% of the said internship.
  • Apply for general registration

As soon as you are registered as a pharmacist to practice in Australia, you will have several options at hand,and you may apply for General Skilled Migration Visa under subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa) and subclass 489 (Regional Sponsored Visa).

It is quite obvious that becoming a registered pharmacist is no joke & frankly, quite complicated! Hence, it is recommended to consult Registered Migration Agents who can provide you with the correct guidance.

Our agents bring with them years’ of experience enough to give you the push in the right direction without wasting your time, money or energy! For the best solution to all your queries, please feel free to reach out to us! 


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