What is recertification?
The purpose of recertification process is to assure the Council that pharmacists practising in New Zealand are fit and competent.
There are 3 recertification requirements:
- Assurance of fitness to practise. If you have any health or conduct matter to disclose, our team will work with you to identify and assess risks and determine what support and risk mitigators may be necessary to ensure that your practice remains safe. Any information you disclose will be treated in strict confidence. Where appropriate, our team will work alongside you to provide support to enable you to practise safely and ensure public safety.
- Meeting Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. When applying for your APC you will have to declare whether you have met CPD requirements. Pharmacy Council provides a dedicated platform called MyRecert where you must record your CPD.
- Maintaining recent and relevant practice in New Zealand. Ideally, you have practised as a pharmacist for a minimum of 450 hours over the previous three years in order to be issued with the Annual Practising Certificate for 2023-2024. However, if you haven’t met the requirement of 450 hours of practice, you can still apply for your APC. You will be asked to provide information about your practice over the last three years and your plans for practising in the next 12 months. Our team will provide a framework to assist you in this process, and to guide you through any additional actions that may be required.
What information do I need to provide with my APC application?
- To complete your APC application, you will need to provide:
- your personal details including legal name, date of birth, and gender,
- your contact details including email, telephone, and postal address,
- details of the professional membership bodies who provide you with practice support and advice.
- We will also collect your work details, including:
- how many weeks you practised,
- the average number of hours you practised per week,
- your primary pharmacy employer,
- whether you consider yourself a locum pharmacist,
- a breakdown of your pharmacy practice by setting (e.g., hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy),
- place of work and percentage of practice at each workplace.
- If applicable you will have to make a fitness to practise disclosures and tell us if there are any health or conduct issues that may impact your ability to practise. If there are, you must inform us and provide details via our disclosure forms. If you have a matter to disclose, we recommend that you start preparing any supporting documentation. If you have questions, please contact our Senior Case Manager at email@example.com
- You will have to declare whether you have met CPD requires via your MyRecert platform.
- You will have to make a relevant fee payment.
How do I renew my APC registration?
Log into your Pharmacy Council online account. You will need your password and registration number or email. After you are logged in, you will find a ready to fill APC online form and the options to renew your registration status for 2023/24.
Your Pharmacy Council online account is your main method of keeping your contact details up to date, downloading a copy of your Annual Practising Certificate, and receipt, or making disclosures or applications (including your application for an Annual Practising Certificate).
I can’t remember what my login and password are, what now?
Use your registration number or your email as a login. If you don’t recall your password, you can easily reset it by clicking “Lost your password?” link on your Pharmacy Council online account logging page. Follow the instructions on the screen.
When will I be able to submit my application for a 2023-2024APC?
This year the Annual Practicing Certificate process opens at 9:00am on 1 March 2023. Your application must be successfully submitted online before midnight 31 March 2023 to ensure you can legally practise on 1 April 2023.
Can I pause part way through the APC online application?
Yes, you can pause your application at any stage by clicking ‘save and continue later’ on the screen you are working on. We will send you an email with a unique link allowing you to return to your application. If you do not receive an email with the link, please contact APC Online Team as soon as possible.
Can I pay part-time fee?
There are no part time fee options available for pharmacists renewing their Annual Practicing Certificate. For pharmacists who have been removed from the Register or have registered, inactive practising status (non-practising), there is a mechanism in place for a part year fee when they return to practice.
Will I be notified if my 2023/24 Annual Practicing Certificate is issued?
Yes, you will be notified when your Annual Practising Certificate is issued, or your registered, inactive status is updated. You will receive an email from Pharmacy Council with relevant information. Please contact us if you have submitted your application and within an hour you haven’t received any email confirmation.
I’m changing from practising to the non-practising register. How do I apply?
When you have logged into your Pharmacy Council online account, click the ‘transfer to non-practising’ button and follow the system prompts.
What does non-practising mean?
A non-practising pharmacist is a pharmacist who is registered with Pharmacy Council but does not hold a current annual practising certificate (i.e., can’t practice as a pharmacist).
They will be viewable on the public register and their practising status will be registered, inactive. To maintain registration an application should be made each March. A non-practising pharmacist may continue to refer to themselves as a pharmacist and use the post-nominal RegPharmNZ or RegPharmNZ(Prescriber) as appropriate.
There are no CPD requirements while you hold inactive status. However, we recommend that you are up to date with CPD requirements when you make your application to transfer to inactive status. If you are not up to date with requirements there may be additional requirements when you wish to return to practise.
Prior to transferring to inactive status, we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the return to practice requirements. The requirements are graduated depending on how long it has been since your practice in New Zealand and whether you have been practising in recognised jurisdictions by Pharmacy Council in the interim.
Please see more details about returning to practice and the categories on our website and particularly the policy.
How do I record my Continuing Professional Development (CPD)?
Your CPD is recorded via the MyRecert platform. Ideally, you should complete your MyRecert portfolio before making your application for an APC.
What if my Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is not ready by 31 March?
If you are unable to complete your CPD portfolio on time, we recommend that you still make your application before the end of March 2023 but declare that you have not yet met the requirements.
We will contact you if any further information is required. Your CPD still will have to be completed via MyRecert as soon as possible.
What if I make a disclosure of a health or other issue?
You will be able to give details of your disclosure online as part of your application. If further information is required, a Council Team member will contact you directly once your application is received.
To prepare for making a disclosure, please have relevant information to hand, including:
For a health disclosure:
- a reflective statement from you about the potential impact, if any, your health condition may have on your ability to practise and if needed, how you plan to manage your condition to ensure your safety and fitness to practise.
- confirmation of practice plans and confirmation from your employer that they have been informed, is supportive of your condition and details of support provided.
- an assessment of your health condition from your treating professional. It should detail current medications/management of your condition and include a comment on the impact, if any, of the health condition on your safety and fitness to practise and conditions required, if any, to ensure your safety and fitness to practise
- any other relevant information that you wish for Council to consider in relation to your health disclosure.
For disclosures of formal investigations or findings:
- date of investigation or disciplinary proceeding or conviction or diversion/warning,
- electronic copies of evidence of actions taken (e.g., certificate of completion of a remediation course), and
- a copy of your conviction history.
You will be able to upload these documents (pdf format) in your Annual Practising Certificate application.
What happens if I don’t make an application by 31 March 2023?
On 1 April 2023 we change your practising status to registered, inactive and you will not be able to legally practise in New Zealand as a pharmacist (irrespective of whether this involves direct patient contact) until you are issued with an APC.
If we do not receive an application from you by May 2023, we will contact you to remind you to review your registration. A second reminder will be sent in November 2023. We will also publish your name in our final Newsletter of the year as our last attempt to contact you.
If no application is received by January 2024, your name will be removed from the Register.
This process is called revision of the Register. It is permitted under section 144 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003 and helps to maintain the accuracy of the register.
What if I make a mistake in my APC application?
If you realise you have made a mistake before you submit your application, you will be able to return to the screen with the error and correct it. Your APC application and the declarations you make when submitting your it are legally binding and there are consequences for making a false declaration.
If you realise you have made a mistake after your application has been submitted, you must advise the Council immediately by emailing APC Online Team or call 04 495 0330
How can I be sure my application has been received by Pharmacy Council?
An application is only formally submitted when the required fee has been paid and the payment confirmation has been received. You can be certain that your application has been successfully submitted once you receive the confirmation email with a receipt attached.
I have submitted my application by 31 March, but I haven’t had a confirmation of my APC. What should I do?
If your application was successfully submitted before midnight on 31 March 2023, you are deemed to hold an APC from 1 April 2023. Please check the Register on the 1 April 2023 to ensure that your practising status is listed as registered, current. In most cases, there will be a short time while your application is processed, and you will be contacted if further information is required.
If your practising status is not listed as registered, current but you believe that it should, please contact APC Online Team.
Why does my application take so long to process?
All applications are considered individually. Some applications are complex and require additional information before they can be approved.
We do our best to keep applicants updated as applications are received, but sometimes this can be difficult given the volume. We expect to receive over 4,000 applications for the 2023/24 Annual Practicing Certificate renewal, and our experience from previous years tells us that over half of these will be received in the final seven to ten days of March.
All applications will be acknowledged and followed up. Provided you submit your application for renewal prior to the end of March 2023 you are permitted to continue to practise until your application is finalised. During this interim period your practising status on the public register will remain registered, current.
I do not require an Annual Practising Certificate immediately because I will not be practising in New Zealand. What are my options.
Apply for Annual Practising Certificate renewal as normal. This could be a good option if you are only intending on not practising for a short period of time, e.g., a few months. Under this option you have the flexibility to practise whenever you wish, but full Continuing Professional Development recertification requirements will apply to renew your practising certificate for the following year.
If you will not be practising for a longer period, transfer to inactive (non-practising) status (or request for removal from the Register) may be more appropriate. Under this option a lower part-year fee and reduced Continuing Professional Development recertification requirements may apply when returning to reflect less than a full year of practice; however, you may not practise until a new practising certificate is issued.
What does “deemed to hold” mean?
If applying for renewal of an Annual Practising Certificate you are deemed to hold a practising certificate until your application is fully processed. The application must be received by us prior to the expiry of the current certificate (i.e., before the end of 31 March 2023).
Once the application is processed you will either be issued a new APC, or you will be notified that a new APC will not be issued. The decision to not issue a new APC is rare and will only occur after thorough dialogue with the pharmacist.
If you make your application after 1 April 2023, you should not assume that a new Annual Practising Certificate will be issued instantly, as we may need to follow up with you for specific information.
If you are listed as a director or responsible person on a pharmacy licence, not holding a current Annual Practising Certificate may also have implications for the pharmacy licence.
What fees do I need to pay?
Information on the 2023/24 Annual Practising Certificate fees are available here. They are GST inclusive and non-refundable.
The fees may be paid via credit/debit card (Visa and Mastercard only), or internet banking (Account2Account). Please note that if you are paying by credit or with debit card, an additional 2% fee will apply. Both methods are provided by a third party secure hosted payment service provider, Windcave.
You will receive an automated email with the receipt for your payment approximately 30 minutes after you submit your application. If you do not receive confirmation within one hour, please contact us to ensure that your application has been received.
How can I avoid the 2% fee associated with credit and debit card payment?
The Account2Account payment method incurs no additional fees. However, transactions may take longer to process and confirm as this is dependent on communication and compatibility between banking systems. If wishing to pay by Account2Account, we recommend making your application well in advance of 31 March 2023. For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.
According to the Windcave website, the following banks have the Account2Account payment option:
- The Co-operative Bank
Can my employer pay for my Annual Practising Certificate application?
Many employers will reimburse Annual Practicing Certificate fees upon presentation of the application receipt. You can access them by logging to your Online Portal account at any time. In addition, payment receipt will be sent directly to your email after your application is successfully submitted.
Can I apply for my APC from a tablet or smartphone?
Yes, although we are not able to guarantee that every tablet and smartphone will display the screens and wording exactly as a PC or laptop would.
I can’t access the APC Online process from my workplace. What do I do?
Some organisations may limit the websites employees can access. If you have trouble accessing the APC Online from work, we suggest you try it from another location such as your home computer or speak with your employer’s IT specialists about accessing the form.