Download the International Degree Program Accreditation Policy (10 pages PDF).

This document outlines the policy and process for international degree program providers seeking APC accreditation of an international pharmacy degree program.


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide clear guidance regarding decisions about the accreditation of international pharmacy degree programs.

2. Scope

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) accredits international pharmacy degree programs to assure their quality against the Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Programs in Australia and New Zealand 2020 (‘Accreditation Standards’) and to offer an independent review for quality improvement.

3. International accreditation

To be eligible to apply for accreditation, a degree program delivered outside of Australia (an ‘international program’) must meet a number of specific criteria before being invited to apply. The education provider is required to show that the program:

  • is taught entirely in English, with an English curriculum
  • leads to a qualification that compares to an Australian accredited 4-year Bachelor of Pharmacy program
  • ranks in either Section 1 or Section 2 of the Australian Education International (AEI-NOOSR) Country Education Profile
  • is in a country with a Smartraveller travel advice of either a normal or high degree of caution.

If these criteria are met and we agree to commence the accreditation process, the program will be required to submit an accreditation application against the Accreditation Standards. Fees will apply as outlined on our accreditation fees list.

4. Principles

The following principles apply to the process of international degree program accreditation:

  1. Accreditation of international degree programs is undertaken against the Accreditation Standards.
  2. International degree programs that are granted accreditation are referred to as ‘accredited with conditions’. International programs are unable to be described as ‘accredited’ as these programs are unable to meet two criteria in the Accreditation Standards (see Appendix A for more details).
  3. International degree programs are subject to the same accreditation processes and monitoring requirements (such as annual reporting) as Australian programs, except where specified in this policy or the APC Pharmacy Program Accreditation Guide (‘Accreditation Guide’).
  4. The accreditation fees for international degree programs are published on the APC website.
  5. Graduates from an APC international accredited degree program are not eligible for the same Pharmacy Board of Australia (PharmBA) registration pathway as Australian program graduates (see part 7 of this policy).

5. Accreditation process

The accreditation process for international degree programs is outlined in the APC Accreditation Guide. International degree programs follow the same processes as Australian programs, where possible, and any differences between the processes are highlighted in the Accreditation Guide.

International degree programs are assessed against 36 of the 38 criteria in the Accreditation Standards (see Appendix A for more detail). For a further three of the 36 eligible criteria, the requirements for these programs are modified (see Appendix B for more details).

6. Accreditation decision making

The accreditation decision making process for international degree programs involves both the APC Board and the Accreditation Committee. The decision making responsibilities are designated as follows:

1.1 APC Board

  • invites an education provider to apply for accreditation on the basis of meeting the criteria described in section 3 of this policy
  • makes a decision on the initial accreditation status of the program (‘accredited with conditions’ or ‘not accredited’)
  • makes a decision on accreditation renewal.

1.2 APC Accreditation Committee

  • makes an accreditation recommendation to the APC Board to ‘accredit with conditions’ or ‘not accredit’
  • makes a decision on program conditions and/or monitoring requirements (to apply, revise or remove).

7. Graduate outcomes

Graduates of APC accredited international degree programs are not eligible for exemption from any stages of the APC skills assessment process, including the Knowledge of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) or the Competency Assessment for Overseas Pharmacists (CAOP) examinations (as applicable for their country of training).

Graduates seeking registration with PharmBA will be required to apply via our existing Skills Assessment and Registration process.

8. Appendix A Criteria in the accreditation standards that do not apply to international programs

International degree programs that are granted accreditation are only eligible for ‘accreditation with conditions’, due to these programs being unable to meet two criteria in the Accreditation Standards. The two criteria are described below.

9. Appendix B Criteria in the accreditation standards that apply to international programs with modifications

The requirements for three criteria in the Accreditation Standards will be modified for international programs to apply outside of the Australian context. The three criteria and the amended assessment requirements are described below.

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