October 2011

Pharmacy Newsletter

Renew on time, online!

30 November registration renewal

AHPRA recently launched its registration renewal campaign for the 25,944 pharmacists in Australia due to renew their registration by 30 November 2011.

Pharmacists will receive at least three renewal reminder emails (where AHPRA has email addresses), and hard-copy letters reminding practitioners of their responsibility to renew will be sent to all practitioners who do not renew after their first email prompt.

To date, AHPRA has email addresses for 96.4% of registered pharmacists, which enables direct and effective communication about important issues.

When you renew your registration, please make sure to update your contact details, including your current email address.

What happens if you miss the date?

Fee(s)

Renewing on time: At or before 30 November
You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 Nov. You can check your application has been received on the AHPRA website.

Renewal fee only

Renewing during the late period: 1 to 30 December
You can renew your registration during the late period but late fee applies. You can keep practising as long as AHPRA has received your application by 30 December 2011. Please note that all State and Territory offices will be closed during public holidays over this period.

Renewal fee + late fee

Lapsed registration, Fast Track application: 1 to 31 January
During this period your name will be removed from the register and you will no longer be able to practice. To be re-registered, you must lodge a new application for registration. A Fast Track application process is available during this period, but additional fees apply. The fast-track process is a streamlined process of re-registration. You will not be able to practice until your registration has been successfully processed.

Renewal fee + late fee + Fast Track processing fee

Registering from scratch: 1 February onwards
From 1 February onwards you will need to lodge a new application for registration. Processing times for new applications depends on many factors, including whether the documentation submitted by the applicant is complete and whether the applicant makes disclosures relating to health or criminal history. You may not practise in Australia until your registration has been successfully processed, and your name has been published on the National Register of Practitioners at www.ahpra.gov.au.

Application fee + registration fee

For more information, please refer to the Registration Renewal FAQ, which is published on the Board’s website under the Registration Standards tab.

Advertising

The National Law includes obligations in relation to advertising by registered health practitioners. The Board, along with the other nine National Boards, has developed advertising guidelines that clarify its expectations of practitioners in this area. The guidelines are published on the Board’s website.

The Board expects practitioners to ensure that any advertising they undertake complies with the guidelines.

This being the first year of the National Scheme, the Board has taken a largely educative approach to help practitioners understand the law and the new requirements set down in its advertising guidelines.

The coming year will see a more structured approach to addressing concerns about advertising. This will include an escalating series of warnings to practitioners, initially reminding them of their obligations about advertising and ultimately, possible prosecution for non-compliance with the board’s standards. If a National Board deems that a practitioner’s failure to comply with a board’s request warrants it, matters related to advertising can also be progressed through the conduct, health and performance pathways.

The Board and AHPRA will also be working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to ensure the most appropriate investigation and prosecution of false and misleading advertising.

The role of the Pharmacy Board of Australia is to protect the public. Anyone with concerns about their health practitioner, or advertising by health practitioners that does not appear to be in the public interest, should contact AHPRA. The Board relies on the public and members of the profession to bring their concerns to its attention, as advertising, particularly through web-based media, is growing and can be difficult to monitor.

It is important to note that neither boards nor AHPRA review or vet specific advertising proposed by practitioners for compliance with advertising guidelines.

Online registration for new graduates

AHPRA is geared up to register new pharmacy graduates who will be completing their courses at the end of the year. Graduates are eligible to apply for provisional registration to undertake a Board approved period of supervised practice.

To smooth the path from study to work, AHPRA is again encouraging graduating students to apply for registration early. Students enrolled in board-approved programs of study are encouraged to apply for registration four to six weeks before completing their course.

There are five simple steps to graduate registration:

  1. Students apply for registration four to six weeks before completing their course.
  2. Applicants fill out an online application
  3. Students send supporting documents to AHPRA by mail.
  4. Education providers advise AHPRA when applicants are eligible to graduate.
  5. AHPRA finalises assessment, confirms registration, publishes new graduates’ names on the register of practitioners and sends out registration certificates.
  6. New graduates are registered and eligible to start their supervised practice as soon as their name is published on the register of practitioners.

More detail about graduate registration, including frequently asked questions and answers, links to online applications and a flyer are published on the AHPRA website.

Pharmacists take part in audit pilot project

AHPRA and the National Boards are developing a nationally-consistent approach to auditing health practitioners’ compliance with mandatory registration standards (criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development).

The Pharmacy Board of Australia will take part in a pilot that will trial the framework for auditing compliance to meet relevant legislative requirements, set the scope and terms of reference for the audit, determine frequency, size and type of audits. It will also establish a methodology and process for reporting on findings.

The pilot is expected to begin early 2012.

AHPRA and the National Boards will be providing more detail to practitioners as the audit approach is further developed and details of the pilot are confirmed.

Pharmacy in Australia

As at 30 June 2011, Australia had 25,944 registered pharmacists.

The Board will soon be releasing more detailed registration data in the AHPRA Annual Report, including practitioner numbers by state and gender, and notifications data. The Annual Report is expected to be published on the AHPRA and Board’s websites in November.

Contacting the Board

The Pharmacy Board of Australia and AHPRA can be contacted by telephone on 1300 419 495. An online enquiry form is available on both websites under Contact Us. Mail correspondence can be addressed to: Stephen Marty, Chair, Pharmacy Board of Australia, GPO Box 9958, Melbourne Vic 3001.

 
 
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