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 Government Department of Home Affairs.
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.
You may also need 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.
If you are a New Zealand pharmacist who holds current registration and an annual practising certificate, you can apply for registration as a pharmacist in Australia under the Commonwealth Trans-Tasman mutual recognition act 1997 (TTMR). You can apply online here.
Applicants with qualifications and/or practice experience from New Zealand but who are not currently registered in New Zealand cannot register under Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition. Applicants who have completed a substantially equivalent program of study in New Zealand and have never been issued with an annual practising certificate in Pharmacist Scope of Practice, may be required to complete a period of supervised practice assigned to them by the Pharmacy Board of Australia in order to be eligible for general registration. An Application for provisional registration and supervised practice - APRO-60 must be submitted before supervised practice may be commenced.
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 ‘Knowledge Stream’ and ‘Competency Stream’ 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.
Successful ‘Knowledge Stream’ candidates, are required to complete an internship in accordance with the Board’s Registration Standard: Supervised practice arrangements and must follow the procedures outlined for graduates of an approved program of study on the Internships webpage of the Board’s website, which also sets out all requirements that must be successfully completed to be eligible for general registration. An Application for provisional registration and supervised practice - APRO-60 must be submitted and approved before supervised practice may be commenced.
Successfiul ‘Competency Stream’ candidates are required to complete a shorter period of supervised practice and require limited registration for supervised practice. The supervision and assessment requirements that must be successfully completed during the period of limited registration are determined by the Board on a case-by-case basis. An Application for limited registration for supervised practice as a Pharmacist - ALPS-60 and an Application - approval of supervised practice as a pharmacist - AASP-60 must be submitted and approved before supervised practice may be commenced:
Supervised practice must be completed in accordance with the requirements set out in the Board’s Registration Standard: Supervised practice arrangements. After completion of at least 75% of supervised practice hours, Competency Stream 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, Competency Stream candidates are eligible to apply for general registration.
The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) supports the 15 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.