Summary

We accredit pharmacy education programs in Australia to:

  • assure their quality against clear, agreed program standards
  • provide advice to the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PharmBA) about programs that lead to registration as a pharmacist

We also assess New Zealand pharmacy programs. Then we make accreditation recommendations to the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ), who accredits those programs.

Time frame:

  • Initial accreditation: may take up to 30 months for proposed new programs
  • Re-accreditation: process starts 12 months before accreditation expires

Costs:

  • Initial accreditation assessment (first accredited program): AU$30,900 (excl GST) per program 
  • Initial accreditation assessment (additional accredited programs): AU$13,390 (excl GST) per program
  • Annual fee (first accredited program): AU$18,540 (excl GST) per program per year
  • Annual fee (additional accredited program): AU$13,390 (excl GST) per program per year
  • Material (major) change fee: $7210 (excl GST) per review

On this page:

About Australian and New Zealand program accreditation

We accredit pharmacy degree programs in Australia and assess New Zealand programs against a set of clear, agreed accreditation standards.

Accreditation definitions

Accredited

An 'accredited' pharmacy degree program fully meets all 38 criteria in the accreditation standards.

Accredited with conditions

A pharmacy degree program that is 'accredited with conditions' substantially meets these standards, and is expected to fully meet them in a reasonable time frame.

When a program is 'accredited with conditions', the provider must report to us as required. Education providers can still deliver these programs, and students can graduate from them with the listed qualification.

Status of graduates

Graduates of accredited Australian and New Zealand programs can register as an intern with either:

Please see their websites for details on the intern year.

Applying for accreditation

We've provided an overview of the application process here. You can also review the Pharmacy Degree Handbook.

Applying to accredit a proposed new pharmacy program can take up to 30 months. If you have any questions about the process or timelines, email us on accreditation@pharmacycouncil.org.au

1. Notify us of your intent

To let us know you'd like to apply for accreditation, email us on accreditation@pharmacycouncil.org.au

New Zealand education providers are required to contact PCNZ directly.

We recommend telling us you intend to launch a new program early in the planning phase. This will help you to avoid any delays in being able to advertise your accredited program.

We cannot accredit your pharmacy degree program after you've launched it.

We'll ask to see your business plan and budget for the program, and will review it.

If we'd like you to proceed, we'll invite you to apply for accreditation and email you the documents you'll need to do so.

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2. Apply for accreditation

To apply for accreditation, fill out our Accreditation Application form template.

We'll send you this template when we invite you to apply. As you fill it out, refer to our:

When you've completed the template, email it back to us on accreditation@pharmacycouncil.org.au.

We'll review your application, and treat any information you provide as confidential.

If your application is not complete, we may return it to you and ask you to re-submit.

Site Evaluation Team (SET)

We'll establish a team of 3 suitably qualified and experienced Site Evaluation Team (SET) members. This team will assess your written application, as well as undertake a site visit. We'll also provide a trained auditor to support the SET.

For details on the SET members skills and expertise, see the Pharmacy Degree Handbook.

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3. Arrange a site visit

If we accept your application, we will arrange for the Site Evaluation Team (SET) to undertake a full site visit with you.

Please note that we may need to cancel or reschedule your site visit if we cannot guarantee the safety of our SET members for any reason.

Site visit schedule

We'll consult with senior staff at your university to arrange a site visit schedule. The visit will usually take around 3 to 4 days.

You're responsible for ensuring that all relevant staff and students:

  • know about the site visit
  • are available to speak with the SET members anytime during the site visit 

See the Pharmacy Degree Handbook for details about the structure of the visit.

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4. Check the SET report

Before the end of the site visit, the SET will meet with your Head of School to present their initial findings about the program, including:

  • their observations about your program
  • any aspects of accreditation standards that they believe your university does not meet

Within 20 days, the SET will prepare a draft report of their findings, which your Head of School will be able to check for any factual errors. 

The SET will then consider any comments from your Head of School when they finalise their SET report.

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5. Wait to hear from us

Our Accreditation Committee (the Committee) will review the SET report and any comments from your Head of School. The Committee may ask for details on any aspect of the report before making an accreditation decision. 

The Committee will advise that we either:

  • accredit you for up to 6 years (or less, if they see fit)
  • accredit you with conditions for up to 6 years (or less, if they see fit), OR
  • do not accredit you

The Committee may require you to address matters of concerns and set a time to assess these. They may also arrange a second site visit.

We'll then let you know the results of their decision. If you're accredited, we'll also update our website to show your university's accreditation status.

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Remaining accredited

Reporting

We recognise that many factors can affect whether a program continues to meet the accreditation standards. To help us assess whether your program can remain accredited, you'll need to submit an annual report. This report must contain:

  • student numbers
  • staff demographics
  • any quality assurance activities you've completed

The Accreditation Committee will review your report and provide you with feedback on it. In some cases, it may need to impose further reporting requirements on your accreditation, based on the report.

In addition to annual reporting, some programs may be required to report against conditions and monitoring requirements that the committee applied. The committee will communicate requirements and due dates for this reporting directly to the program provider.

You'll also need to pay the annual fee.

Re-accreditation process

We accredit programs against the accreditation standards for up to 6 years. Before the end of this time, we'll contact you to ask you to apply for re-accreditation.

Timing and responsibilities for re-accreditation

Time frame

Action

12 months before accreditation expires

  • We notify you that you need to begin the re-accreditation process.

6 months before accreditation expires

  • You apply for re-accreditation.

5 months before accreditation expires

  • We review your application and evidence.
  • We arrange the SET to undertake a site visit.

2 months before accreditation expires

  • SET members undertake the site visit.

Before accreditation expires

  • SET members finalise their program evaluation report.
  • The Committee determines your accreditation status.
  • We notify you of the AC's decision.

Your accreditation status after re-accreditation may be:

In some situations, we may need to consider revoking accreditation. For details of these situations, see the Pharmacy Degree Handbook.

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Proposing changes to your accredited program

Material (major) changes in a program may affect its ability to meet the accreditation standards. For examples of types of material changes, see Notification of Change to a Pharmacy Program.

You must tell us as soon as you decide to change anything about your accredited program. Use the Notification of Change to a Pharmacy Program form.

If you are unsure if you should notify us about a change, please contact us at accreditation@pharmacycouncil.org.au.

Based on this information, the Accreditation Committee will assess:

  • the likely impact of the change
  • whether the change requires re-assessing your program's accreditation status
  • whether any re-assessment will require a site visit
  • the documentation needed to support re-assessment

If we class your program change as material, you'll need to pay a Material Change fee.

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Contact information

Email us on accreditation@pharmacycouncil.org.au if you:

  • have questions about any of the topics above
  • would like to ask about anything else related to accreditation
  • would like to make a complaint about an accredited program

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