Pharmacy Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

2021/22 annual summary

Pharmacy in 2021/22


35,368 pharmacists

  • Up 0.3% from 2020/21
  • 4.1% of all registered health practitioners

0.3% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

63.7% female; 36.3% male


Age: <25 5.2%, 25-34 35.6%, 35-44 30.4%, 45-54 14.1%, 55-64 9.2%, 65-74 4.2%, >75 1.3%



471 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

357 pharmacists

  • 1,048 notifications about 719 pharmacists made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 2.0% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 58.2% Patient, relative or member of the public, 11.7% Other practitioner, 10.0% Health complaints entity, 3.6% Board initiated, 3.0% Employer, 13.6% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 49.3% Medication, 9.5% Communication, 7.9% Clinical care, 5.5% Behaviour, 3.4% Offence against other law, 3.2% Documentation, 2.8% Health impairment, 2.3% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law, 1.7% Confidentiality, 0.8% Boundary violation, 13.6% Other

17 immediate actions taken

29 mandatory notifications received

  • 16 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 451 notifications closed, 7.1% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 9.3% cautioned or reprimanded, 2.2% registration suspended or cancelled, 27.1% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 54.3% no further action


139 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year

151 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 18 for conduct
  • 13 for health
  • 17 for performance
  • 23 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 80 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

19 criminal offence complaints made

  • 15 about title protection
  • 2 about practice protection
  • 2 about advertising breaches

16 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

10 matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel


4 appeals lodged

From the Chair

Regulatory response to COVID-19

In response to requests from states and territories, the Pharmacy Board of Australia supported the existing workforce by continuing to register pharmacists on the pandemic sub-register for a further 12 months and by broadening the scope for practitioners to support the COVID-19 response. The Board also supported the 2021 pandemic sub-register, enabling more practitioners to join those on the 2020 sub-register. It also maintained existing measures to support pharmacists to meet their regulatory obligations during the pandemic, including:

  • reducing the total number of supervised practice hours required for general registration to minimise delays in registering pharmacists affected by COVID-19
  • delivering oral and written examinations using an online platform where required, given the need for social distancing and other issues such as extreme weather events.

Intern assessment

The Board continued collaborating with the Australian Pharmacy Council to broaden the range of tools for assessing interns’ competence to practise. An implementation program started in 2022. The Board funded the development of workplacebased assessment tools to complement its current registration examination for interns. As part of the Board’s ongoing work to improve the quality of examinations, it also surveyed examiners involved in the oral component of the registration examination to understand and improve their experience.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Review of registration standards and guidelines

A review of the Guidelines on compounding of medicines began and included an extensive initial round of stakeholder engagement, including two webinars. This enabled compounding pharmacists and stakeholders to provide insights on using the current guidelines and identified opportunities to improve and streamline them. To support a better understanding of the circumstances when compounded medicines are an appropriate treatment option, the Board also drafted a consumer information sheet to include in its public consultation on the revised guidelines.

The Board started a review of its registration standards and guidelines for pharmacists.

Supporting professional practice

The Board further developed its website to add information that supports pharmacists’ professional practice. This included new case studies based on de-identified notifications cases, five newsletters and a directory to help pharmacists navigate important resources relevant to safe and competent pharmacy practice.

To inform stakeholders about options for pharmacist prescribing, the Board provided advice based on its published materials, which included a position statement on pharmacist prescribing. The Board continues to engage with stakeholders to highlight that pharmacists must be competent and appropriately trained to deliver any emerging services.

The Board resumed its face-to-face engagement with pharmacists and stakeholders by holding a stakeholder meeting in Hobart. This enabled it to hear firsthand about local issues affecting pharmacists and their practice, and to discuss its role of protecting the public.

The Board continued to provide annual funding to the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS), a longestablished service staffed by volunteer pharmacists who provide crisis telephone counselling, which offers valuable health support services to pharmacists and students across Australia.

Mr Brett Simmonds, Chair

Page reviewed 22/11/2022