Graduates of an accredited Bachelor of Pharmacy programme or applicants via the Non-Recognised Equivalent Qualifications Route (those with a pharmacy qualification from a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA) must complete the New Zealand Intern Training Programme (ITP) within the intern pharmacist scope of practice and pass the Council assessment.
Council accredits the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (PSNZ) to run the ITP. Those undertaking the ITP must complete a set number of hours of supervised practice, as well as pass the Assessment Centre. This is a summative assessment that is included in the prescribed qualifications for registration in the Pharmacist scope of practice.
The intern pharmacists' Assessment Centre is available to eligible candidates in May and November each year.
Candidates must successfully complete the Intern Training Programme in order to attend an Assessment Centre.
The Assessment Centre is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which comprises of a series of stations where candidates encounter a standardised patient and have to deal appropriately with the situation presented. A standardised patient is an actor who must be trained to play the role of a patient consistently, accurately and repeatedly.
The stations are based on ecological validity - that is real life day to day encounters that a pharmacist may come across. All the stations have been developed and moderated by the profession.
The best practice for an Assessment Centre is for interns to use the time in their internship placement to meet and interact with patients. The more experience interns have in channelling their clinical knowledge into application and communication with the people that come into their pharmacy the more they will gain both personally and professionally.