This pathway shows you how to apply for a Skills Assessment letter so that you can register and work as a pharmacist in Australia. It applies if you completed your pharmacy qualification in any country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA.

You'll need this letter issued to:


This process applies if you completed an approved* pharmacy qualification in any country that is not:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom (UK), OR
  • United States of America (USA)

*An approved qualification must be recognised by the pharmacy regulator in the country of qualification.

The qualification must also be the equivalent of either:

  • 4 years’ full-time academic study, if completed after 1 January 2006, OR
  • 3 years’ full-time academic study, if completed before 1 January 2006

Besides holding a pharmacy qualification, you must also be either:

  • registered as a pharmacist in the country where you graduated, OR
  • eligible to register as a pharmacist in that country, OR
  • eligible to start the registration process in that country.

If any of the above criteria are not true for you, this pathway does not apply to you. See Skills assessments.

Skills Assessment structure

The process for requesting a Skills Assessment letter has 2 parts:

  1. passing the eligibility check
  2. passing the KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) examination.

There is no expiry on the eligibility check.

Time frames

  • Eligibility check: We start assessing applications within 8 weeks of receiving them. The processing time can take longer than 8 weeks if your application is incomplete.
  • Exam dates: See Exam dates and centres once you know you're eligible to sit the exam.

If you leave out any documents or provide incorrect information when you apply, the eligibility check will take longer.


  • Eligibility check: AU$1290
  • Exam registration: AU$2190


This section describes what documents you will need at each step of the process.

When you apply for an eligibility check, you need to include your:

You do not need to:

  • have any documents certified
  • show proof of English competency

If you leave out any documents or provide incorrect information, the process will take longer than usual.

To avoid delays please ensure:

  • you have all the correct documents
  • your name is consistent in all of your documents
  • you submit all of the required documentation.

Proof of your identity

Provide the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.

We cannot accept an expired passport.

Academic qualifications

To apply using this process, you must have graduated with a qualification in a country outside of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or the USA. To show this, include scans of:

  • your qualification certificate OR letter of completion if your certificate has not yet been issued
  • your academic transcript, with all pages saved as 1 PDF file

Registration status

In the country where you completed your qualification, you must be either:

  • registered as a pharmacist
  • eligible to register as a pharmacists, OR
  • eligible to start the pharmacist registration process.

To show this, provide evidence of:

  • your initial registration in the country where you graduated, OR
  • your current registration in the country where you graduated.

Back to top

Work history (optional)

You do not need to have worked as a pharmacist to apply for an eligibility check.

However, if you would like us to comment on your work history to support your visa/migration application, we'll need to see evidence of your work experience.

We can only consider your work experience if you've worked:

  • as a fully registered retail or hospital pharmacist (not as an intern)
  • for more than 20 hours per week
  • for at least 12 months in the last 10 years.

If this applies to you, and you want us to comment on your work history, include scans of:

  • original work references for all your jobs as a fully registered pharmacist, using the Work Experience Reference template
  • an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) that shows start and finish dates for all your jobs as a fully registered pharmacist
  • evidence of registration during periods of employment.

You can find further details in the Work Experience Reference template.

Back to top

Show your correct name

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:

  • a marriage or divorce certificate
  • a deed poll
  • change of name documents from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or the relevant authority outside Australia
  • documents that show other formal names you've been known by

Get translations

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.

Create files

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:

  • Marriage-certificate.png
  • Passport.pdf
  • Registration.jpg

Do not send us hard copy documents via post or courier. We cannot ensure that they will be delivered to us in a timely manner, and this may delay your eligibility check.

Back to top

Registering for the exam

Once you've passed the eligibility check you can register for the KAPS exam. You'll need to upload a scan of a recent, passport-sized photo.

Passport-sized photograph requirements

Your photo must be:

  • passport sized (35 to 40mm wide and 45 to 50mm high)
  • a full headshot (showing your full head and your shoulders)
  • in colour
  • taken within the last 6 months
  • high quality.

The uploaded photo:

  • cannot be a scan of your full passport
  • cannot be a cropped scan of the photo from your passport.

If you usually cover your head for religious reasons, or you wear facial jewellery, your photo can include these items.

Special accommodation documents

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:

  • more time to complete the exam
  • being able to leave the exam room for breaks
  • more leg room at your exam desk if you're injured.

You'll need to provide evidence to justify your request.

Asking for special accommodation

If you'd like to request special accommodation, you'll need a medical certificate from a recognised healthcare worker. This certificate must include:

  • a date of issue that is no more than 12 months before the exam date
  • your name and date of birth
  • the recognised healthcare worker's name, profession and contact details
  • the specific help you're seeking on the day of the exam.

For details on what we require when you apply, see our Special Accommodation Policy.

Sitting the exam

You'll need to show 2 forms of identification (ID) to enter the exam room and sit the exam.

For details on what we require as ID, see Exam dates and centres.

If you have an issue with any of your ID documents, email us on now for advice.

Back to top


This section describes what you will need to do at each step of the process.

Before you apply

Check that you're eligible to apply

You must have completed a pharmacy qualification in any country that is not:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom (UK), OR
  • United States of America (USA).

Besides holding a pharmacy qualification, you must also:

  • be registered as a pharmacist in the country where you graduated
  • be eligible to register as a pharmacist in that country, OR
  • be eligible to start the registration process in that country.

If any of the information above is not true for you, this process does not apply to you. See Skills Assessments.

Gather your documents

You'll need to provide us with documents to:

  • show that you meet the eligibility criteria
  • support the claims you make in your application.

Get help with your application if you want to

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 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 application.

Back to top

When you apply

Sign in to our Candidate Portal

Create an account in our Candidate Portal using your name and address.

In the portal, you'll:

  • set up a candidate profile
  • request an eligibility check.

Upload your documents

Make sure you have all the correct documents, and that they're correctly prepared.

Pay the fee online

We can accept payment by credit or debit card. Your card must be issued by a bank in your country of residence.

Back to top

After you apply

We'll email you to let you know when we've received your application.

Wait to hear from us again

It will take us about 8 weeks to complete your eligibility check.

If you provide the wrong documents or leave any out, the process will take longer than usual.

Send us more information if we ask

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.

Receive your KAPS eligibility response

We'll tell you (or your agent) by email whether or not you can sit the KAPS exam.

Back to top

Before you register

Check that you're eligible to register

To register for the exam, you must have received confirmation from us that you're eligible to sit the exam.

Sign in to your Candidate Portal account

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 have trouble signing in...

If you created a Candidate Portal account earlier but cannot sign in now, email us on 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 1 account.

Back to top

When you register

Check the date of your exam

Go to the Exam dates and centres page to find out where and when the next exam will be.

The KAPS exam includes 2 papers. You must pass both papers to get a Skills Assessment letter.

You must sit both papers on the same day.

Make any special accommodation requests

If you'd like to ask for special accommodation, you'll need to email your supporting documents to us on for us to assess.

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.

Register for the exam

  1. Once registrations open, sign in to our Candidate Portal.
  2. Use the drop-down menu at the top of the Candidate Portal to go to My Dashboard.
  3. Go to Section 2: 'Register and Complete the KAPS Examination’, then click on 'Book an exam'.
  4. Upload a recent passport-sized photograph.
  5. Select your preferred exam centre and date.
  6. Click 'Proceed to checkout'.
  7. Confirm your details.
  8. Agree to our policies.
  9. Review the exam booking summary page.
  10. Submit your order.

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.

Pay the registration fee

Paying the fee secures your seat at the exam.

  1. Click on 'Return to APC website'.
  2. Click 'Pay now'.
  3. Pay the registration fee online.
  4. Click 'Confirm payment'.

Please note:

  • We can only accept payment through credit or debit cards.
  • Your credit card must be issued by a bank in your country of residence.

We'll email you a receipt for your payment after we process the order.

Back to top

After you register

Wait for your exam reminder

We'll send you a reminder email around 3 days before your exam.

Read this email carefully. It will include:

  • your appointment details
  • FAQs
  • identification requirements
  • the check-in process on exam day
  • policies and procedures.

Prepare for the exam

We offer several resources that will help you prepare to sit the exam. These include:

Check what to take to the exam centre

To enter the exam room, you'll need your ID documents.

The KAPS exam is 'closed-book'. This means you can bring with you:

At your desk, Pearson VUE will provide:

  • an online calculator
  • a whiteboard notebook
  • an erasable marker pen.

However, at your exam desk, you cannot have:

  • any written or reference materials
  • a wristwatch
  • a mobile phone, tablet, or any other electronic device
  • pens or pencils.

Familiarise yourself with the exam

Exam structure

The KAPS exam includes 2 separate papers. You must sit both papers on the same day.

Each paper includes 100 multiple choice questions that cover both theory and practice.

You'll have 2 hours to complete each paper, with a 60-minute scheduled break between papers 1 and 2.

An additional 15 mins is allowed to familiarise yourself with the exam tutorial, and 5 minutes at the end of the exam to complete a feedback survey.

During your scheduled break you can:

  • leave the building
  • access personal belongings such as your mobile phone, exam notes, and study guides
  • have your food and drink
  • study.

If you return before the break ends, you can start paper 2 immediately.

If you return after the break ends, you will not be given extra time to complete your exam.

Exam content

The 2 papers that make up each KAPS exam are:

  • Paper 1: 30% Pharmaceutical Chemistry, 70% Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Paper 2: 30% Pharmaceutics and 70% Therapeutics.

Learn more about what's in the exam in the KAPS Examination guide.

Exam scoring

You must complete all questions in the paper or papers you sit.

To pass the exam, you need:

  • a mark of at least 50% in all subsections of the exam
  • an overall mark of at least 50%.

You will receive a results certificate showing your outcome.

Back to top

Receive your results

We'll email you or your agent when your results are available. Expect this to be around 4 weeks after you sit the exam.

If you do not see your results in the Candidate Portal, email us on and provide your:

  • full name
  • 6-digit candidate reference number

We release all results as 'Pass' or 'Unsuccessful' only. We do not release the mark we calculated for your exam.

If you pass ...

After we release the results, we'll email you a copy of your Skills Assessment letter within 5 to 10 business days.

Your letter will be valid for our purposes for 3 years from the date we issue it.

If you are unsuccessful ...

If you were unsuccessful in one or both of the exam papers, we'll send you a breakdown of your results.

You may sit an unsuccessful paper again as many times as you need to.

If you passed 1 paper of the KAPS, you will have 2 years to pass the unsuccessful paper. If you do not pass this paper within 2 years, you'll need to register to sit both papers again.

You'll need to pay the full fee again when you register.

If you are unhappy with an APC decision, please see our Appeals policy.

Back to top

Next steps

Once you have a Skills Assessment letter, you will have 3 years to:

The Department of Home Affairs sets the validity period for your Skills Assessment letter for visa applications. APC is unable to change the validity period.

If something significant changes after we issue your Skills Assessment letter, you can ask us for an updated Skills Assessment.

Related content

Was this page helpful?