This pathway shows you how to apply for a Skills Assessment Outcome 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 outcome issued to:

Overview

This process applies if you completed a pharmacy qualification in any country that is not:

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

Your qualification needs to incorporate the knowledge of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences that form the foundation of the pathway to general registration in Australia.

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 Outcome 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.

Cost

  • Eligibility check: AU$1310
  • Exam registration: AU$2190

Documents

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

  1. Eligibility Check documents
  2. Exam documents

To start your Eligibiliy Check, head to the Candidate Portal.

Eligibility check documents

When you apply for an Eligibility Check in the Candidate Portal, you will include your:

Passport

If you do not have a current passport, you can complete your application with an alternative Australian or New Zealand identification document.

The only accepted alternatives include:

  • Australian / New Zealand Drivers Licence
  • Australian federal, state or territory government issued identity card
  • Australian government issued ImmiCard.

Qualification certificate or letter of completion

You must include your qualification certificate or letter of completion if your certificate has not yet been issued.

You must provide an image of your original pharmacy qualification document. For example, a degree certificate. It must:

  • be for a pharmacy qualification
  • include details for the full degree (not a provisional or temporary certificate/letter)
  • include the issuing date

If you have more than one qualification, please combine them into one file.

Academic transcript

The academic transcript issued by the education provider must:

  • include all pages in a single document
  • show all subjects/units and examination results for every semester of the program.

Evidence of registration

You must provide evidence that you're eligible to register as a pharmacist in the country you completed your qualification. Provide one of the following:

  • your initial or current registration document in the country where you graduated, OR
  • an endorsement letter, OR
  • an eligibility to commence letter.

To obtain this evidence, contact your pharmacy registration authority, not your university.

It must include the commencement and/or expiry date of the registration period.

If the document is to show ‘eligibility to commence the registration process’, it must refer to both you and your university by name.

Evidence of your pharmacist work experience (optional)

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

However, if you request for 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.

In the portal, include your Work Experience Reference Templates combined with secondary evidence such as a payslip, income tax statement or Government issued letter.

You'll need to complete one template per employer.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae (optional)

If you'd like us to assess your work history, you need to provide an up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae (CV).

It must include:

  • all periods of work undertaken as a registered pharmacist (with full/general registration)
  • employer's name of organisation, address and contact details
  • start and finish dates for all periods of work.

Agent authorisation form (optional)

If you want to nominate someone to communicate with us on your behalf, upload the original APC Agent Authorisation Form. Both you and your agent must sign the agent’s authority.

We will only communicate directly with one person. If you nominate an agent, we will communicate only with the agent.

Evidence of name change (optional)

Your name must appear the same way on all your documents.

If you have changed your name, you need to upload proof of any name change in the portal. If your name is spelt incorrectly in any of your documents, you will need to have them corrected by the organisation who originally issued them.

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

Translate any non-English documents into English. We will not accept an extract translation of the document. It must be a translation of the full document.

You must use a translator who is accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). We will not accept documents that have been translated by anyone else.

Helpful resources

For more information on the criteria that your qualification needs to meet, see our Assessment Standards.

For specific details about the required documents, see our Skills Assessment Documents Policy.

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.

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Exam documents

Once you've passed the eligibility check you can register for the KAPS exam. To register and sit the exam you will need the following documents:

Registering for the exam

  • a recent photo of your headshot
  • any special accommodation

Sitting the exam

  • 2 forms of identification (ID)

Registering for the exam

Photo

You'll need to upload a recent headshot. It should be passport-sized.

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 ID to enter the test room. At least one must be an acceptable form of primary ID from the list below. They must be valid (unexpired) and also be original, not a photocopy or digital ID.

Usually, ID documents would be issued by the country where you're sitting the exam. If you do not have an acceptable primary ID from that country, use an international travel passport from your country of citizenship as your primary ID.

Primary ID

This ID document must be issued by your government and contain:

  • your full name
  • your date of birth (DOB)
  • a recognisable photograph
  • your signature.

Types of acceptable primary ID include:

  • international passport
  • government-issued national identity card (with a photo)
  • government-issued citizenship card (with a photo)
  • Australian or New Zealand driver’s licence.

Secondary ID

This ID document must either contain:

  • your name and signature, OR
  • your name and a recognisable photo.

Types of acceptable secondary ID include:

  • debit (ATM) card
  • credit card
  • any document on the primary ID list.

ID requirements

  • The name on both forms of your ID must match the name you used to register for your exam. Email us on info@pharmacycouncil.org.au before the exam if your name on any ID form is different to the one you used to register.
  • All forms of ID must be originals. We will not accept photocopies or electronic copies, even if they're certified.
  • If you have an issue with any of your ID forms, email us on info@pharmacycouncil.org.au at least 3 business days before the exam to request a pre-approval.

If you have an issue with any of your ID documents, email us on info@pharmacycouncil.org.au for advice.

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Process

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

Step 1

Apply for eligibility check

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).

Your qualification needs to incorporate the knowledge of pharmacy and the pharmaceutical sciences that form the foundation of the pathway to general registration in Australia. We'll assess it to check that it does. If it doesn't, we cannot accept it.

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 communicate 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.

Your nominated agent must use a different email address to yours.

You'll need upload the completed form in the Candidate Portal.

If you nominate someone else, we'll only talk to your authorised agent about your application.

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When you apply

  1. Sign in to our Candidate Portal
  2. Start your Eligibility Check
  3. Upload your documents
  4. Pay the fee online

Your card must be issued by a bank in your country of residence.

After you apply

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 6 months (180 days) to get this to us.

If we do not receive the correct information from you within 6 months, 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.

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Step 2

Register for the KAPS exam

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.

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 sit both papers on the same day. You must pass both papers to get a Skills Assessment Outcome.

When you register

Include support for any special accommodation request

You can request special accommodation during the registration process. You will be prompted to upload your supporting documents.

For example, if you need to, you can request to have a break. All breaks must be scheduled and pre-approved.

We'll review your request and your documents. We'll then email you the outcome of your request.

Register for the exam

Once registrations open, book your exam through our Candidate Portal. You'll see the option to book your exam in your Dashboard.

Once you've booked, you'll receive an email from our exam provider PearsonVUE. 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.

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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:

Step 3

Sit the exam

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 30-40 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 have a scheduled break, your invigilator will specify the time permitted. You will need to perform admission procedures and security checks when you return.

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.

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Step 4

Wait to hear from us

Receive your results

We'll email you or your agent when your results are available. Expect this to be around 2 weeks after you sit the exam.

If you do not see your results in the Candidate Portal, email us on info@pharmacycouncil.org.auand 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 Outcome within 5 to 10 business days.

Your outcome 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, you will see a breakdown of your results in your candidate portal.

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.

Rules regarding appeals against APC processes can be found in our Appeals Policy.

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Next steps

Once you have a Skills Assessment Outcome from us, you can:

The Department of Home Affairs sets the validity period for your Skills Assessment Outcome for visa applications. Contact them to check how long it will be valid.

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

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