This pathway shows you how to apply for a Skills Assessment letter that you can use to register and work as a pharmacist in Australia.
This process applies if:
You'll need this letter to:
This pathway applies if you completed an approved* pharmacy qualification or adjudication process in either:
*An approved qualification must be recognised by the pharmacy regulator in the country of qualification.
The qualification must also be the equivalent of either:
Besides holding a completed degree, you must also:
If any of the above points are not true for you, this process does not apply. See Skills assessments.
Skills Assessment structure
The process for requesting a Skills Assessment letter has two parts:
If you leave out any documents or provide incorrect information when you apply, the eligibility check will take longer.
When you apply for a Skills Assessment letter eligibility check, you need to include scans of your:
You do not need to:
If you leave out any documents or provide incorrect information, the process will take longer than usual.
Provide the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.
We cannot accept scans of an expired passport.
To apply using this process, you must have graduated with a degree in either Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA. To show this, include scans of:
If you completed your degree in another country but are now registered in either Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA you will still need to include scans of:
You must be fully registered as a pharmacist in the country where you completed your degree. To show this, arrange for the registering authority to send us a scan of:
Ask the registering authority to email these directly to us at email@example.com
You must hold a current, valid senior (or equivalent) first aid certificate for a entirely face-to-face course. The course must have included:
We accept first aid qualifications from:
You do not need to have worked as a pharmacist to apply for an eligibility check.
However, if you've selected the option for us to comment on your work history, we'll need to see evidence of your work experience.
We can only consider your work experience if you've worked:
If this applies to you, and you want us to comment on your work history, also include scans of:
Your name must appear the same way on all your scanned documents as it does on your passport.
Send us proof of any name change. Documents that prove a change of name include:
Have all non-English documents translated into English. An extract translation of the document/s will not be accepted.
You must use a translator who is accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
Include scans of the original non-English document and the original translated document in 1 file.
Scan all original documents (English and non-English) in colour. We will not accept scans of a copy, even if you get it certified. We also cannot accept scans of laminated documents.
The images must be clear enough for us to read the file, so scan them in high resolution. Include all edges, corners and images from the original document.
If a document has more than 1 page, save all pages in 1 file.
Name each file in English with a descriptive title, for example:
To register for the CAOP exam, you'll need to upload a scan of a recent, passport-sized photo. This photo must have been taken within the past 6 months.
If you have a disability or health-related needs, you may request extra support or an adjustment on the day of the exam. We call this type of support special accommodation.
Examples of special accommodation requests might include:
You'll need to provide evidence to justify your request.
If you've asked for special accommodation, you'll need a scan of a medical certificate from a recognised healthcare worker. This certificate must include:
For details on what we require when you apply, see our Special Accommodation Policy.
If any of these conditions are not true for you, this pathway does not apply to you. See Skills Assessments page.
You'll need to provide us with documents to:
You'll also need to ask your registering authority to send scans of your registration documents directly to us.
Anyone can help you fill out forms or give you general help with your application.
But you may want us to correspond with another person, such as a migration agent or family member, instead of you.
If you want to nominate someone else to work with us, download and fill in our Agent Authorisation form. Both you and your nominated agent must sign it.
Please note that your nominated agent must use a different email address to yours.
You'll need to scan and upload the completed form in your application where it says 'If you use an agent'.
If you nominate someone else, we'll only talk to your authorised agent about your Skills Assessment letter.
Create an account in our Candidate Portal using your name and address.
In the portal, you will:
Make sure you have all the correct documents, and that they're correctly prepared.
We can accept payment by credit or debit card. Your card must be issued by a bank in your country of residence.
We'll email you to let you know when we've received your application.
It will take us about 8 weeks to complete your eligibility check.
If you leave out any documents or send us incorrect information, it will take us longer.
We may email you to tell you we need more information.
If we ask for more information, you have 90 days to get this to us.
If we do not receive the correct information from you within 90 days, our system will close your application. If this happens, you'll need to re-apply and pay the fee again.
We'll tell you (or your agent) by email whether or not you can sit the CAOP exam.
To register for the exam, you must have received confirmation from us that you're eligible to sit the exam.
If you're a first-time user, create an account in our Candidate Portal.
If you're a returning user, sign in to your account with your username and password.
If you created a Candidate Portal account earlier but cannot sign in now, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll help you to fix the issue.
Do not try to create another account with a different email address. Our system only allows you to have one account.
Go to the Exam dates and centres page to find out where and when the next exam will be.
We'll review your documents. If we approve your request, we'll email you extra information before the exam date. If we decline it, we'll email you to let you know.
Our exam provider, Pearson VUE, will email you to confirm that they've temporarily reserved a seat for you. Paying your fee in the next step will secure your seat.
Paying the fee secures your seat at the exam.
We'll email you a receipt for your payment after we process the order.
We'll send you a reminder email around 3 days before your exam.
Read this email carefully. It will include:
We offer several resources that will help you prepare to sit the exam. These include:
To enter the exam room, you'll need your ID documents.
The CAOP exam is 'restricted open-book'. This means you can bring with you:
The approved reference books include any edition:
Your reference books must not contain any annotations, handwritten notes or loose additional notes.
However, you may highlight or flag parts of the text before the exam.
Pearson VUE will provide you with:
However, at your exam desk, you cannot have:
The CAOP exam includes 70 multiple choice questions. Of these, 63 are scored questions, and 7 are unscored.
You'll have 2 hours to complete all 70 questions.
The CAOP exam covers 5 content areas:
You must complete all 70 questions.
Learn more about what's in the exam in the CAOP Examination guide.
We'll email you or your agent after your results are available. Expect this to be around 4 weeks after you sit the exam.
You'll be able to view and download your results certificate from the Candidate Portal.
If you do not see your results in the Candidate Portal, email us on email@example.com and provide your:
The CAOP is a pass or fail exam. The pass standard for the exam is set at a level that demonstrates competency. This is based on the performance of candidates in prior sittings and analysis of results over previous years.
Each candidate receives a results certificate indicating the pass or fail outcome.
Learn more about results in the CAOP Guide.
Once we release the results, we'll email you a copy of your Skills Assessment letter within 5 to 10 business days.
You'll need the letter and your results certificate to apply to register with the Pharmacy Board of Australia.
Your letter will be valid for our purposes for 3 years from the date we issue it.
If you did not pass the CAOP exam, we’ll send you a breakdown of your results. We’ll also tell you which areas you need to improve on.
In this case, you can register to sit the exam again during the next exam period. You may only sit the CAOP exam 2 times. If you fail it a second time, you'll need go through the Knowledge Stream process instead to receive your Skills Assessment letter.
If you are unhappy with an APC decision, please see our Appeals policy.
Once you have a Skills Assessment letter from us, you can use it to:
The Department of Home Affairs sets the validity period for your Skills Assessment letter for visa applications. Contact them to check how long it will be valid.
If something significant changes after we issue your Skills Assessment letter, you can ask us for an updated Skills Assessment.