Why we assess pharmacists' skills and competency

We help to maintain the standards of pharmacy education and practice in Australia. Our role is to ensure that all pharmacists who practise here can deliver safe, effective health care.

We do this by:

  • evaluating the knowledge and competency of internationally trained pharmacists against Australian standards
  • delivering exams that test the skills and knowledge of internationally trained and Australian-trained pharmacists

We also provide Skills Assessment letters for the Department of Home Affairs. These letters support pharmacists in applying to Home Affairs for a migration visa.

Types of skills assessments

As part of our skills assessment mandate, we evaluate the skills of pharmacists in 4 categories.

Skills assessment stream

This stream is for you if...

Competency Stream
(formerly Stream B candidates)

  • You graduated from a recognised pharmacy degree program in either Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA.
  • You're currently registered as a pharmacist in that country.
  • You now want to work in or migrate to Australia.

International Student Stream
(formerly International Graduate candidates)

  • You graduated from a recognised pharmacy degree program in Australia or New Zealand as an international student
  • You're registered or eligible to be registered as a pharmacist.
  • You now want to work in or migrate to Australia.

Knowledge Stream
(formerly Stream A candidates)

  • You graduated from a pharmacy degree program outside of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA.
  • You're registered or eligible to be registered as a pharmacist in that country.
  • You now want to work in or migrate to Australia.

NZ Registered Pharmacist Stream
(formerly Trans-Tasman Stream candidates)

  • You graduated from a pharmacy degree program in New Zealand.
  • You're currently registered as a pharmacist there.
  • You now want to migrate to Australia.

If something significant has changed since we issued your Skills Assessment letter, you can ask us for an updated Skills Assessment.

Examinations

We deliver 3 exams on behalf of the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PharmBA). These exams test the skills, knowledge and competency of future pharmacists. This helps to ensure that candidates are ready to practise pharmacy in Australia.

Type of exam

Description

Intern Written Exam

This exam tests your knowledge as a pharmacy intern if you've:

CAOP (Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacist) exam

This exam tests your competency to practise pharmacy in an Australian setting.

Sitting it is part of the process of applying for a Skills Assessment letter under the Competency Stream (formerly Stream B).

KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam

This exam tests your knowledge of current pharmaceutical sciences in an Australian setting.

Sitting it is part of the process of applying for a Skills Assessment letter under the Knowledge Stream (formerly Stream A).

Need some help?

I want my pharmacy qualification recognised in Australia (so I can live or work in Australia)
I want to sit the CAOP or KAPS examination
I want to sit the Australian Intern Written Examination

New Zealand exams

We also deliver the New Zealand versions of the CAOP and KAPS exams on behalf of the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ):

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