Pharmacists qualified in other countries
Ko ngā kaimātau rongoā i whai tohu i whenua kē atu
Non-Recognised Equivalent Qualifications Route (Non-REQR)


Non-REQR process overview



Prepare documents from the Checklist


Complete and submit the Initial Consideration application form


Pass the KAPS exam and NZPL course


Apply for Registration in Intern Pharmacist scope of practice


Complete the EVOLVE Internship programme


Apply for registration in Pharmacist scope of practice


This page summarises the current requirements for overseas pharmacists wanting to apply for registration via the Non-Recognised Equivalent Qualifications Route (Non-REQR). This route is for overseas registered pharmacists (who qualified in countries other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the USA), who would like to register as a pharmacist in Aotearoa New Zealand. Please answer the questions below to see if you are eligible to apply for registration with Pharmacy Council:

1. Are you a registered pharmacist? YES / NO

Do you have a university degree in pharmacy (e.g. BPharm, MPharm)?


If you have answered YES to these two questions you may be eligible for registration in New Zealand. This page can help you to gather initial information on your next steps and how to apply for the Application for initial consideration for registration as an overseas-qualified pharmacist. If you have answered NO to at least one of the questions, you are not currently eligible to apply for registration under non-REQR process.



We have created a non-REQR checklist form to help you assess whether you are ready to apply for an initial consideration of your eligibility to follow the non-REQR pathway.

If after completing the checklist, you think you are ready to make an application, please submit the Initial Consideration application for Registration as an Overseas-Qualified Pharmacists form. Otherwise, use the checklist to help you prepare further.



After you have submitted the checklist, you will receive an Initial Consideration application form. Complete it and return to us. 

Once we have approved your application, you can enroll in the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) Exam and complete the New Zealand Pharmacy Legislation Course (NZPL) – see more information below. 

Your Initial Consideration application complete (once completed by you) will be assessed by Pharmacy Council. You will be advised of its outcome by email.  

Please note, that we only process the application when all required documentation and fee payment is received. It could take us up to eight weeks to process and assess your application. There is no need to follow up with us on your application status – we will contact you if any further information is required. 

Once we have approved your application, you will be considered by the Pharmacy Council to be ‘actively seeking registration in NZ‘. From this time, you become eligible to work in the capacity of a pharmacy graduate and can dispense medicines (including compounding) under supervision of a pharmacist.  

However, the Pharmacy Council expects you to make progress within a realistic time (i.e., pass the required exams (KAPS/NZPL within 2 years). It’s not acceptable to work as a pharmacy graduate indefinitely as this not constitute “actively seeking’ registration. 



An approved application allows you to enroll and sit the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) examination and complete the New Zealand Pharmacy Legislation Course (NZPL).


The KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam tests your knowledge and understanding of pharmaceutical sciences.

This exam is available THREE times a year, however only two attempts are allowed.

Follow this link to access necessary information including how to enroll for the exam, the exam format and costs per sitting.

This course introduces overseas qualified pharmacists to the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of pharmacists practising in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Enrolling is available only ONCE a year.

Follow this link for further information on enrolment, course content and costs.


We no longer require you to pass KAPS before you can enroll in NZPL course, although we recommend you think carefully before attempting both together).



The Pharmacy Council allows 90 DAYS from the date the application form is received, and the payment is processed, for completing the application. All supporting documents need to arrive within 90 days of Pharmacy Council receiving your application.

The table below displays the current fees payable to the Pharmacy Council as of September 2023. It’s important to be aware that there are additional fees related to the non-REQR registration process that will be collected separately by the following providers:

  • KAPS exam
  • NZPL course
  • EVOLVE Internship programme.
Application for Initial Consideration for Registration as a Pharmacist. NB:  Fee payable to Pharmacy Council (non-refundable) NZ $777.00*

Registration as an Intern Pharmacist. NB: Fee payable to Pharmacy Council (non-refundable)

NZ $812.00*


As of September 2023, we estimated the cost of the registration process (including Council fees as above), and fees for KAPS exam, NZPL course and the EVOLVE Internship Programme) to be between 10 000 – 16 000 NZD. 

We strongly recommend that you carefully review all associated current costs (by checking each component separately) before proceeding further.

The application fee for Initial Consideration application is non-refundable.

Please visit the NZ Immigration website for further information on immigration requirements.



As an intern pharmacist you will be practising under the direct supervision of a registered pharmacist, acting as a medicines manager, providing patient-centred medication therapy management, health improvement and disease prevention services in a collaborative environment.

You are eligible to enter the intern pharmacist scope of practice if you:

  • had your Initial Consideration Application approved by Pharmacy Council NZ (A letter from Pharmacy Council has been sent to you stating your application was approved)
  • passed both KAPS’ papers and the NZ Legislation course. Please note, results must be achieved within 2 years of your application; you may need to redo the examination or course if either component was completed more than two years of intern application.



If your registration application is accepted, you will be registered as a pharmacist, issued a practising certificate and eligible to practise as a pharmacist in Aotearoa New Zealand.