To work as a pharmacist in Australia, you need to apply for and be registered with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. You may also need to apply for a visa issued by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Australian Immigration Department).
These two application processes are entirely separate and success in one does not automatically guarantee success in the other.
More information on visa applications, including skills assessments and assessing authorities is available on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.
Overseas qualified pharmacists from countries other than New Zealand, seeking general registration in Australia are required to pass an examination conducted under the auspices of the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). Further information about the ‘Stream A’ and ‘Stream B’ examination procedures is available on the APC website. Successful candidates are then required to complete a period of supervised practice assigned to them by the Pharmacy Board of Australia.
‘Stream A’ candidates, are required to complete a full internship and must follow the procedures outlined in graduates of an approved program of study.
‘Stream B’ candidates are required to complete a shorter period of supervised practice and require limited registration for supervised practice. An Application for limited registration for supervised practice as a Pharmacist - ALPS-60 must be submitted with an Application - approval of supervised practice as a pharmacist - AASP-60 before supervised practice may be commenced:
Supervised practice must be completed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Board’s Supervised Practice Arrangements Standard. After completion of at least 75% of supervised practice hours, Stream B candidates will be required to undertake a registration assessment directed by the Board which may include an oral examination (pharmacy law and ethics) and/or oral examination (practice). After successful completion of any prescribed assessment(s) and assigned supervised practice hours, Stream B candidates are eligible to apply for general registration.
As of 4 February 2015, a new process applies for checking criminal history outside of Australia. This new approach requires certain applicants and registered practitioners to apply for an international criminal history check from an approved supplier. For more information, please refer to the international criminal history page of the AHPRA website.
Further information is also available on the overseas practitioners page of the AHPRA website.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) supports the 14 National Boards in their role of protecting the public and setting standards and policies that all registered health practitioners must meet.
AHPRA and the National Boards work together to register and renew health practitioners and, where required, investigate complaints or concerns regarding health practitioners.
AHPRA's operations are governed by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law which came into effect on 1 July 2010. This law applies in each Australian state and territory, and is sometimes referred to on our sites as ‘the National Law’.
All health practitioners registered to practise are included on the national register of practitioners which is managed by AHPRA.
Find out more about AHPRA.