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English Language Requirements

New Zealand and Australian Graduates

All New Zealand BPharm graduates and Australian pharmacy graduates applying for registration in the Intern Scope of Practice must be able to communicate effectively in English for the purpose of practising as a pharmacist.

All graduates will be required to sign a statement agreeing that if a preceptor, other healthcare professional or member of the public finds they are not communicating in English to an acceptable standard, the intern pharmacist willl accept the decision of the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand as to whether they remain eligible to practise as a pharmacist in New Zealand. This statement will be signed by students when they complete the application form for registration in the Intern Scope of Practice (application forms are available from the Schools of Pharmacy in New Zealand from August in the year prior to internship).

Registered pharmacists from Australia or Canada/Ireland/UK/USA 

If you are registered in Australia, Canada, Ireland, UK or USA and you are applying for registration in New Zealand, you are not required to provide information related to English language requirements. However, if you are found to be not communicating effectively in English, the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand reserves the right to place restrictions on your eligibility to practise.

Registered pharmacists from all other countries 

A minimum score of 7.0 in each of the four bands (listening, reading, writing and speaking) with a minimum overall band score of 7.5 in the Academic category achieved within two years of the date of application.

For information on the IELTS, please visit the IELTS website


An A or B score in each of the four bands (listening, reading, writing and speaking) achieved within two years of the date of application. Results from previous OET tests, obtained within a two year period, will be accepted if the applicant does not achieve all the required scores at one sitting. Applicants must send their results into the PCNZ, where they will be verified against OET records.

For information on the OET, please visit the OET website


IELTS/OET Exemption

An applicant may apply for an exemption from sitting the IELTS or OET if they can provide evidence which meets ALL of the following criteria:
  • English is an official language of your country. To check, you will need to refer to the CIA publication "The World Factbook" 
    NOTE: The Council recognises "The World Factbook" as the only official source.
  • Evidence of completion of an undergraduate pharmacy degree where English was the sole language of instruction and assessment.
  • Written testimony on letterhead signed by an employer of the applicant's continuous work in a pharmacy where English is the first language for a period of at least two years within the previous five years.
  • Written testimonies on letterhead signed by at least two suitably experienced pharmacists who speak English as a first language of the applicant's ability to comprehend and communicate effectively in English (both written and oral) in a clinical setting with both patients and professional colleagues. Referees may be contacted by the PCNZ.
NOTE: There are no exceptions to the above exemption criteria, you must meet ALL of these before your application will be considered.

If you think you may be eligible to apply for an IELTS/OET exemption, please email enquiries for an application form.   The fee payable for a New Zealand resident is NZ$128.00 and for an overseas resident is NZ$111.30.