Download Accreditation Marketing Policy (15 pages, PDF)

Version 3.2

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) accredits both pharmacy programs and CPD accrediting organisations.

This policy describes the requirements for education providers, CPD accrediting organisations and providers of accredited CPD activities when marketing an accredited program.

It helps to ensure organisations market their programs professionally and with integrity.

1. Purpose

To provide a framework for the marketing of accredited pharmacy programs and continuing professional development (CPD) activities, and pharmacy programs seeking accreditation.

To ensure that marketing is undertaken in a professional manner that reflects the integrity and reputation of both the profession and all the relevant parties involved in their delivery.

2. Scope

This policy applies to:

  • APC accredited:
    • pharmacy programs and program providers
    • CPD accrediting organisations
  • CPD activities and activity providers
  • pharmacy program providers seeking APC program accreditation.

2.1 Accredited programs, organisations and activities

Accredited programs and CPD accrediting organisations are those granted accreditation by APC after being assessed by us against the relevant accreditation standards (see Glossary above).

2.2 Non-accredited programs/activities

This policy also applies to ‘non-accredited programs’ and ‘non-accredited activities’. APC defines these as programs or CPD activities that are either not accredited or have applied for accreditation but it has not as yet been granted.

For degree and intern training programs this includes:

  • a new program by a provider that does not currently deliver an accredited pharmacy program
  • a new program by a current provider of an accredited program (this may include a material Notification of Change if it is for a different degree structure, a new program delivery location or a different program duration).

When a program provider who has applied for accreditation of a new/changed (‘non-accredited’) program is awaiting an accreditation decision by the APC AC and approval by PharmBA, the proposed and unaccredited program can be advertised. Specific statements must be displayed with any published program information as described in Appendix E.

2.3 Pharmacy program accreditation and approval

2.3.1 APC’s role in accreditation

We are the accreditation authority responsible for accrediting pharmacy programs and training in Australia under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS). We assess programs of study against the relevant accreditation standards, and under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act are able to grant ‘accreditation’ or ‘accreditation with conditions’ to degree and intern training programs.

2.3.2 PharmBA’s role in approval (pharmacy degree programs only)

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PharmBA) is the registering authority responsible for approving qualifications for general registration as a pharmacist. PharmBA does this after a degree program has been granted ‘accreditation’ or ‘accreditation with conditions’

3. Definition of marketing/promotion

This policy applies to any public facing marketing or promotion of a pharmacy program or CPD activity. It may include, but is not limited to:

  • provider websites
  • program brochures
  • program handbooks
  • presentation materials (slides, handouts)
  • social media posts.

4. APC logos

APC provides specific logos for accredited programs, CPD activities and CPD accrediting organisations to use in their marketing/promotional material. They are to be used in conjunction with the accreditation statements and/or identifiers described in part 5 of this policy.

Permission for the use of these logos is granted by APC with the requirement that the program/provider complies with this policy.

The logos for each program/activity type are described in the appendices to this policy.

5. Accreditation statements and identifiers

APC requires specific wording to accompany marketing/promotional material for programs, activities and CPD accrediting organisations. The purpose of the wording is to provide clarity on its accreditation status.

The statements and identifiers (CPD activities only) for each accredited program/activity type are described in the appendices to this policy.

6. Legal obligations

In addition to the APC marketing requirements described in this policy, ‘advertisers’ must also be aware of their obligations under Australian law. The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) section 18(1) states that:

'A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.’

When false and misleading advertising is identified and found to contravene this Accreditation Marketing Policy, APC may refer matters to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or other relevant regulatory body.

7. False and misleading claims

Accredited program providers, CPD accrediting organisations, CPD activity providers and non-accredited program providers seeking accreditation must not give false or misleading information or advice in relation to:

  • the currency of their accreditation status
  • claims relating to an application for accreditation and possible outcomes of the accreditation process
  • usage of terms other than PharmBA endorsed and approved nomenclature
  • graduate outcomes associated with the program seeking accreditation or approval
  • the employment outcomes associated with a course
  • possible migration outcomes
  • the type and number of CPD credits allocated (e.g. one Group 2 credit)
  • any other material issues and/or matters of substance.

7.1 Non-accredited program accreditation application

If APC becomes aware of false or misleading claims being made by a ‘non-accredited’ degree or intern training program provider seeking accreditation, processing of the accreditation application will be paused. Processing will not recommence until the misleading information is removed/amended.

8. Discontinued use of APC logo

When a program, activity or CPD accrediting organisation is no longer accredited, the APC logo can no longer be used.

9. Related documents/links

Accreditation Standards for Continuing Professional Development Activities

Accreditation Standards for Continuing Professional Development Activities: Guidelines

Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Programs in Australia and New Zealand 2020

Australian Consumer Law (Sch 2, Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) Corporations Act 2001 – Sect 131

Pharmacy Board of Australia Guidelines on continuing professional development

Health Practitioner Regulation National Law

Pharmacy Board of Australia Registration Standard: Continuing professional development

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