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Qualifications and Training


A practising pharmacist in New Zealand is qualified, registered and competent in their area of practice. This means that he/she:
  • Holds a qualification which has been prescribed (approved) by the Pharmacy Council.
  • Has met the competence standards set by the Pharmacy Council.
  • Is registered with the Pharmacy Council.
  • Holds an Annual Practising Certificate.
  • Is engaged in relevant, continuing professional development.
The registration process for the three scopes of practice (intern pharmacists, pharmacists, and pharmacist prescribers) varies depending on where the applicant completed their education and the qualifications and experience they have obtained. A chart outlining the general process for overseas applicants is available here.

The following is a summary of the prescribed qualifications:

Intern pharmacist


The following qualifications have been prescribed for registration as an intern pharmacist:
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Auckland; OR
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Otago: OR
  • Australian pharmacy degrees from Schools of Pharmacy holding Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) accreditation; OR
  • Pharmacy degree deemed by the Council as equivalent in content and learning outcomes to an accredited pharmacy programme combined with current registration as a pharmacist with a pharmacy registration authority in the same country of registration where the degree was completed; and the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) examination, and relevant post registration experience (see Non-REQR below).

Pharmacist


The prescribed qualification in New Zealand is described below.

Pharmacists who qualified in New Zealand prior to the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree being introduced, and who are practising, are deemed to have an equivalent qualification. Pharmacists who have obtained their qualifications at an approved school in Australia are also considered to have equivalent qualifications to those who hold a Bachelor of Pharmacy obtained in New Zealand.

New Zealand pharmacy graduates
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Auckland; OR
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Otago; AND
  • Successful completion of Intern Training Programme of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand; AND
  • A pass in the Pharmacy Council assessments as follows:
    - Written Examination; and
    - Assessment Centre
Australian pharmacy graduates
  • Australian pharmacy degrees from Schools of Pharmacy holding Australian Pharmacy Council accreditation; AND
  • Successful completion of the Intern Training Programme of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (Inc); AND
  • A pass in the Pharmacy Council assessments as follows
    - Written Examination, AND
    - Assessment Centre
Australian registered pharmacists - Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition

Australian registered pharmacists who are eligible to practise in Australia are entitled to practise as a pharmacist in New Zealand with minimum requirements as follows:
  • Current registration with any one of the Pharmacy Boards of Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, ACT, Northern Territories, Pharmacists Board of Queensland or Pharmaceutical Council of Western Australia; AND
  • Successfully complete four weeks' supervised practice in New Zealand and the Pharmacy Council Oral Assessment of New Zealand Pharmacy Practice law and Ethics.
Pharmacists currently registered in the United Kingdom, Eire, Canada, and USA (Recognised Equivalent Qualifications Route - REQR)

Holders of a pharmacy qualification from a country or jurisdiction recognised by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ) in which there is a legislative basis for registration/licensure of pharmacists, and
  • the practice of pharmacy is considered by PCNZ to be substantially equivalent to New Zealand; and
  • the level of competency required to practise pharmacy is considered to be substantially equivalent to New Zealand; and
  • has accreditation of tertiary institutions offering pharmacy degrees as approved by PCNZ, or which the pharmacy qualification is from an institution individually accredited by the Australian Pharmacy Council;
are required to successfully complete the following:
  • the Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacists (CAOP) examination;
  • a minimum period of four weeks' supervised practice under an approved pharmacist (three months for Canadian and USA applicants);
  • the Pharmacy Council Law and Ethics Interview;  and
  • a Pharmacy Council approved Return to the Workforce Programme (Canadian and USA applicants only).
Registered pharmacists from countries other than Australia or REQR countries (Non-REQR)
  • Pharmacy degree and post-registration work experience in pharmacy deemed by the Pharmacy Council as equivalent in content and learning outcomes to a current Council accredited pharmacy programme; and
  • Current registration as a pharmacist with a pharmacy registration authority in the same country of registration where the degree was completed; and
  • Successful completion of the Intern Training Programme of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand (Inc), and
  • A pass in the Pharmacy Council assessments as follows:
    - Written Examination; and
    - Assessment Centre
What is the Intern Training Programme?

After gaining a BPharm if the graduate wishes to register as a pharmacist they must first register as an intern pharmacist and complete the Intern Training Programme of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand. This is a competence based training programme which is undertaken while the intern is working in pharmacy practice under the guidance of a supervising pharmacist. The objectives of the programme are for interns to develop judgement and management skills, which will enable them to apply the academic knowledge they have gained during their degree. Intern pharmacists learn the skills that relate to the dispensing of medicines and gain skills in communicating with doctors, other healthcare providers and patients. Qualified pharmacists from countries other than Australia, United Kingdom, Canada or the USA are also required to undertake a period of intern training before they can apply for registration.  Intern information can be found on this page.

Pharmacist prescriber


The prescribed qualification for a pharmacist prescriber is:
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy in Prescribing, University of Auckland; OR
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing, University of Otago
More information on pharmacist prescribers can be found on this page.