Accreditation of NZ pharmacy programmes
Council oversees the education of pharmacists by accrediting established and new pharmacy education programmes to ensure the ongoing competence of pharmacists. It also accredits and monitors educational institutions in their delivery of those programmes.

The Pharmacy Council is responsible for accrediting education providers to ensure their programmes support the delivery of safe and competent pharmacists. We accredit both established and new pharmacy programmes. Once a programme is accredited by Council, it can be gazetted as a prescribed qualification. This means that everyone who obtains this qualification is eligible for registration and entry into the following scopes of practice: Intern Pharmacist, Pharmacist, and Pharmacist Prescriber.

Council published the New Accreditation Standards for Aotearoa New Zealand Pharmacy Programmes on 15 June 2023, which came into effect on 1 April 2024. Our media release June 2023 provides context and history of our accreditation system and the new standards.

Accreditation was previously undertaken by an external accreditation provider based in Australia. To give greater effect to our obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to enable greater insight into the accreditation process, Council brought accreditation in-house and developed an accreditation system tailored to Aotearoa New Zealand.

How are pharmacy programmes assessed for accreditation?

All pharmacy programmes are assessed across different criteria within six domains:

  1. Te Tiriti on Waitangi, hauora Māori
  2. Public safety and safe and inclusive practice
  3. Academic governance and quality assurance
  4. Programme of study
  5. The learner experience
  6. Assessment

We follow a robust process which is detailed in the accreditation standards document

Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG)
The AAG provides expert advice and makes recommendations to Council on whether new or accredited pharmacy programmes meet the accreditation standards and other accreditation related matters. The Terms of Reference for our Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG) can be read here.

One of the AAG’s first tasks will be to evaluate information to support the accreditation of the University of Waikato’s new graduate entry Master of Pharmacy qualification, expected to commence in 2025.