The CAOP (Competency Assessment of Overseas Pharmacists) exam tests your knowledge, skills and ability to apply your knowledge. It does not test your knowledge of the Australian legal or regulatory framework.

Passing the exam confirms that you can practise safely and effectively in an Australian setting.

Our guide to the CAOP exam outlines the subject areas we assess, and will help you to prepare for the exam.

The CAOP exam lets you demonstrate your ability to practise pharmacy safely and effectively by analysing and evaluating practice-based material and problems.

We base our exams on the latest information, which you can find in relevant:

  • journals
  • publications
  • textbooks

It's up to you to find this information. We expect you to have access to current, reliable information sources as a practising pharmacist. We do not endorse any external reference sources.

CAOP is a 'restricted open-book exam'. This means you can bring with you 1 copy of each of the approved reference books (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) – the latest edition includes treatment summaries for all drugs commonly prescribed in the United Kingdom

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.

The CAOP exam examines your underlying knowledge and skills for Medicines Management and Patient Care (Domain 3) of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016.

To demonstrate this, you'll need to show you have suitable knowledge in each of the following competencies.

Competency standard

Enabling competency

3.1. Develop a patient-centred, culturally responsive approach to education management

  • 3.1.1 Obtain relevant health and medicines information
  • 3.1.2 Assess medication management practices and needs
  • 3.1.3 Collaborate to develop a medication management strategy or plan

3.2 Implement the medication management strategy or plan

  • 3.2.2 Provide primary care and promote judicious use of medicines
  • 3.2.3 Dispense medicines (including compounded medicines) in consultation with the patient and/or prescriber
  • 3.2.5 Provide counselling and information for safe and effective medication management

3.3 Monitor and evaluate medication management

  • 3.3.2 Apply clinical review findings to improve health outcomes

3.4 Compound medicines

  • 3.4.1 Determine the required formulation

3.6 Promote health and well-being

  • 3.6.2 Support health promotion activities and health services intended to maintain and improve health

CAOP exam paper sample

To help you sit the CAOP exam, we provide an official sample paper:

This paper contains older questions to help you practise. These questions are no longer used, but they'll help you understand:

  • the types of content covered in the exam
  • how questions might be presented

If you want to practise the sample paper under exam conditions, you'll need to answer all 70 questions in 2 hours.

You can choose to sit either:

Our exam provider, Pearson Vue, provides an online sample test.

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