This page shows you how to register with us to sit the CAOP exam. Passing this exam is a step in the process to become a fully registered pharmacist with the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand.

Overview

This pathway is for candidates who want to practise pharmacy in New Zealand.

You can register with the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand (PCNZ) once you pass the Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacists (CAOP) examination.

To be eligible to sit the CAOP exam you must:

  • have gained your pharmacy degree in Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) or the United States of America (USA), OR
  • have successfully completed an approved program from a learning institution in one of the above countries (ie. PEBC in Canada, OSPAP in the UK or NAPLEX in the USA), AND
  • be currently registered in one of the above countries 

Key dates: see Exam dates and centres

Cost: AU$1870 per attempt

Documents

To register for the New Zealand 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.

The required dimensions of the photo are 35 to 40mm wide and 45 to 50mm high. The size of the face from chin to crown can be up to 36mm with a minimum of 32mm. If you usually cover your head for religious reasons, or you wear facial jewellery, your photo can include these items.

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.

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.

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 exams@pharmacycouncil.org.au now for advice.

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Process

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.

  1. Navigate to My Profile.
  2. Select New Zealand, when you see, “Do you intend to practise in Australia, or New Zealand?”.
  3. Wait for an email from us confirming your eligibility.

If you have trouble signing in...

If you cannot sign in, email us on exams@pharmacycouncil.org.au. 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.

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Get help with your registration if you want to

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.

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

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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.

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 exams@pharmacycouncil.org.au 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 we confirm your eligibility and registrations are open, sign in to the Candidate Portal.
  2. Use the drop-down menu at the top of the Candidate Portal to go to My Portal.
  3. Go to Section 2: 'Register and Complete the CAOP 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:

  • If you do not complete your payment in time, our system will cancel your booking, and you'll need to start the process again.
  • 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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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:

  • what you need to know about the exam
  • a reminder to check your confirmation email from Pearson VUE
  • what time you need to arrive
  • how to access practice papers
  • what to bring
  • what not to bring
  • when to expect your results

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 CAOP exam is 'restricted open-book'. This means you can bring with you:

The approved reference books include any edition:

  • Australian Medicines Handbook (AMH) – an evidence-based independent medicines reference book
  • Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary (APF) – an everyday guide to pharmacy practice
  • British National Formulary (BNF) – which includes treatment summaries for all drugs commonly prescribed in the UK

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.

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:

  • a wristwatch
  • a mobile phone, tablet or any other electronic device
  • pens or pencils
Exam structure

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.

Exam content

The CAOP exam covers 5 content areas:

  • Develop a patient-centred, culturally-responsive approach to education management.
  • Implement the medication management strategy or plan.
  • Monitor and evaluate medication management.
  • Compound medicines.
  • Promote health and well-being.
Exam scoring

You must complete all 70 questions.

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

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Receive your results

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 exams@pharmacycouncil.org.au and provide your:

  • full name
  • date of birth
  • 6-digit candidate reference number

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.

If you fail ...

If you did not pass the CAOP exam, we’ll send you a breakdown of your results.

If you're unhappy with your results, see our Appeals policy.

Next steps

Once you've passed the New Zealand CAOP exam, you can:

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