The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is the national accreditation authority for pharmacy education and training. We do this under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) working with the Pharmacy Board of Australia and Ahpra.
We're an independent, not-for-profit company.
Our work protects public health by setting and maintaining high standards of pharmacy education.
We help pharmacists deliver effective health care to meet our community's changing needs. We do this through:
We assess pharmacists' skills and knowledge through qualification checks and exams. Our work ensures that pharmacists in Australia are work-ready. Learn more about pharmacist skills assessment.
Accreditation of programs and providers
We accredit pharmacy programs and continuing professional development (CPD) accrediting organisations in Australia and internationally. We develop and maintain the standards for these processes. Learn more about accreditation and standards.
Protecting public health since 1982
Our work on advancing pharmacy education never stops. Each year, the APC will:
- oversee thousands of pharmacy examinations
- administer hundreds of international skills assessments
- visit pharmacy degree, intern training and other pharmacist education providers
- hold stakeholder consultations towards our 5-year review of accreditation standards for pharmacy programs
- conduct consultation sessions to engage with industry
- collaborate with pharmacists and community representatives
- attend peak body and industry meetings, like the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) Annual Combined meeting and the Council of Pharmacy Schools annual meeting
- participate in or speak at industry events, like the FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) Annual Conference
- host our own education events, including the Colloquium and the Lloyd Sansom Lecture Series
- run question-writing workshops to enhance our exam processes
- consult with government, allied health networks or other pharmacy organisations to share our expertise in setting standards
- assess pharmacy and pharmacist education programs against our accreditation standards
- advocate for pharmacy education through our online presence
- meet as a Board to provide strategic direction
- meet with our committees to discuss examinations, accreditation or risk
Direction and priorities
APC is the leading authority in the pharmacy education sector for:
- skills assessment
This means that Australian pharmacists can expect a consistent, evidence-based standard of learning. It also means the community can trust pharmacists.
Advancing and assuring quality in pharmacy education
To lead accreditation and assessment of education of the pharmacy sector nationally and internationally
We put our purpose and vision into action through our strategic priorities.
We work alongside other assessing, accrediting and advocacy organisations throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Our core values
We treat all people with courtesy, compassion and tolerance, and all situations are handled in a timely manner.
We encourage intellectual curiosity and ongoing personal and professional development.
We care about our fellow team members and stakeholders. We own and learn from our mistakes, build resilience and celebrate success.
We actively seek new ways of working with the aim of improving efficiency and effectiveness.
We encourage originality, enquiry, risk-taking, critical thinking and diversity. We are constantly striving for excellence.
We are open, honest and trustworthy in all we do. We take responsibility for our actions.
We treat everyone in an impartial, equitable, ethical, sensitive and just manner.
We support one another to take calculated risks to achieve our goals.
Our commitment to Indigenous health
We are committed to closing the gap on Indigenous health, so we also work towards improving health outcomes for First Peoples by:
We've been a part of pharmacy regulation in Australia and New Zealand since 1982. Here are some of our biggest milestones:
- 1982 – Australian Pharmacy Examining Council (APEC) formed, developing the first examinations for overseas trained pharmacists
- 1991 - Australasian Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (APRA) formed
- 2001 – APRA became the Council of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (COPRA)
- 2007 – COPRA became the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC)
- 2007 – joined the Health Professions Accreditation Collaborative Forum as an inaugural member
- 2007 – appointed our first female CEO, Lyn De Blanc
- 2009 – grew from an association to a company limited by guarantee
- 2010 – appointed as the Accreditation authority for pharmacy by the Pharmacy Board of Australia under the new National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS)
- 2010 – delivered the first computerised exams, with the Intern Written Exam
- 2012 – launched new Accreditation standards for pharmacy programs
- 2013 – held our first APC Colloquium conference in Melbourne
- 2014 – commenced the pilot of our advanced practice recognition credentialing
- 2015 – moved to an online assessment and examination candidate system
- 2015 – moved all exams to computerised delivery, with exams held across 20 countries around the world
- 2017 – held the inaugural Lloyd Sansom Lecture Series
- 2018 – hosted our first international event - the Life Long Learning in Pharmacy 2018 conference
- 2019 – formed our Improving Indigenous Health Strategy Expert Advisory Group
- 2019 – hosted our first inter-professional Colloquium with the Australian Nursing Midwifery Accreditation Council
- 2019 – appointed our first Indigenous director (Faye McMillan)
- 2019 – signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) to share information and reduce duplication
- 2019 – became a registered charity
- 2020 – implemented new accreditation standards combining Intern Training Programs and Degree programs
- 2021 - we commenced an initiative to embed cultural safety into pharmacy education to improve the health of Australia's First Peoples
- 2021 - we developed workplace assessment tools for interns and their supervisors to use during the supervised practice year
- 2021 - we launched our Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan
- 2021 - established the Leaders in Indigenous Pharmacy Profession Education (LIPPE) Network
- 2022 - celebrated APC's 40th anniversary
- 2023 - commenced project to develop accreditation standards for Pharmacist Prescriber education programs on behalf of PharmBA
- 2023 - completed project to develop accreditation standards for Medication Management Review and Aged Care On-site Pharmacist education programs