Accreditation system
This project involves developing and implementing new, contemporary, and evidence-based accreditation standards and processes.

The Pharmacy Council is responsible for accrediting education providers to ensure their programmes support the delivery of safe and competent health practitioners.

Previously, accreditation was undertaken by an external accreditation provider based in Australia. To give greater effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and enable greater insight into the accreditation process, the Council is developing an accreditation system more specific to Aotearoa New Zealand settings.

15 June 2023 we published the new accreditation standards. Read our media release.

Read the Accreditation Standards for Aotearoa New Zealand Pharmacy Programmes.

The Terms of Reference for our Accreditation Advisory Group are outlined below. 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. 

Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG)

Terms of Reference


  1. The purpose of the Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG) is to provide expert advice and make recommendations to Te Pou Whakamana Kaimatū o Aotearoa | Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (Council) on whether new or accredited pharmacy programmes meet the accreditation standards and other accreditation related matters.


  1. As a responsible authority (RA) charged with administering the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) 2003, Te Pou Whakamana Kaimatū o Aotearoa | Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (Council) is responsible for accrediting and monitoring pharmacy education providers and their programmes to deliver safe and competent health practitioners on registration and entry into a scope of practice (e.g., intern pharmacist, pharmacist, pharmacist prescriber).[1]
  2. Accreditation protects the health and safety of the Aotearoa New Zealand public by setting and ensuring high standards for pharmacy education.
  3. The accreditation standards are the threshold educational standards expected from all pharmacy programmes accredited in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  4. In 2020 Council approved the change in provision of accreditation services from the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) to an in-house system. The intent of this change was to give greater effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, allow customisation for NZ settings and provide more direct access to accreditation evidence, to support Council’s decision-making processes.


  1. The Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG) members will:
    • Monitor: AAG will assist Council to monitor pharmacy programmes to ensure they continue to meet the accreditation standards. Monitoring activities include annual reporting, onsite visits / videoconferencing, additional reporting if a programme is accredited with conditions or recommendations, or if there has been significant adverse change (e.g. natural disaster, pandemic) which may mean that a provider may not be able to achieve accreditation standards.
    • Advise: AAG will provide advice to Council on other accreditation related matters.
    • Support the appointment of the Programme Accreditation Team (PAT) membership: AAG will support Council team members to appoint a programme accreditation team for the reaccreditation of an existing pharmacy programme or the accreditation of a new pharmacy programme.
    • Advise and work with the site evaluation team: AAG will advise and work with the PAT to identify specific areas for focused attention during the assessment of a pharmacy programme.
    • Recommend: AAG will consider and make recommendations to Council based on the PAT’s findings on whether new or accredited programmes meet the accreditation standards.

Accreditation Advisory Group (AAG) membership

  1. AAG will comprise up to SIX independent, suitably qualified and experienced members.
    • AAG will be made up of independent experts with extensive experience in at least one of the following areas: senior pharmacy academia; accreditation of pharmacy programmes; accreditation of other (non-pharmacy) programmes; assessment; contemporary pharmacy practice; Te Tiriti o Waitangi, health equity and cultural safety; and other expertise as required.
    • Group members will have experience on decision-making / advisory committees.
    • Council will utilise a mix of international and local expertise to mitigate and manage any potential conflicts of interest.

Selection criteria

  1. Council will publicly advertise for applicants for the AAG. Preference will be given to individuals who have broad, relevant expertise and where there are no perceived and/or real conflicts of interest.

Selection process

  1. Appointment of AAG members will be made by a selection panel comprising Council team members, one Te Tiriti Advisory Group member and one independent member with expertise in accreditation of health programmes.  

Term of appointment

  1. Members will be appointed to the AAG for an initial term of three years with further renewal by mutual agreement.


  1. AAG members will be paid appropriate and reasonable fees set by the Council and actual and reasonable travel/accommodation expenses.


  1. Council will endeavour to hold AAG meetings face-to-face where possible, although it may be necessary to meet virtually from time to time.


  1. AAG members must not disclose to any person or entity any confidential information belonging or relating to the Council unless written approval to do so is given by the Council.
  2. AAG members must take all reasonable steps to prevent the unauthorised or improper use or disclosure of any confidential information, including the use of material or information for their own personal or employment benefit.

Effective date

1 December 2023

[1] Health Practitioner Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) 2003, section 118 (a).