Pharmacy in New Zealand and How to register as a Pharmacist ?
In New Zealand there is a strong focus on primary health care and clinical pharmacy.The pharmacy profession in New Zealand includes pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy assistants. All have specialized roles. They work in either a community or hospital pharmacy, or in the pharmaceutical industry
With over 50 million prescriptions for medicines dispensed each year, pharmacy is an integral part of New Zealand’s health system. Careers in pharmacy in New Zealand are varied. You could work in one of the 900 community pharmacies found in malls, cities and rural towns throughout the country. As well as this, all major hospitals and many smaller hospitals have pharmacy departments.
Register as a Pharmacist : (Foreign Graduates)
To register as a pharmacist in New Zealand, an applicant must have the prerequisite qualifications in pharmacy and fulfill all the requirements laid out in the Pharmacy Act 1970 and Pharmacy Regulations 1975.All applicants must meet the Competence Standards for Pharmacists at the Pharmacist level as defined by the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand before entry to the register.
In assessing your competence to practice in New Zealand the Council of the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand will consider each application individually, and the Council’s decisions will be confirmed in writing.
There are 6 steps involved
Step 1: Preliminary Application
Step 2: Assessment of Qualifications and Work Experience
Step 3: Oral Presentation of Evidence
Step 4: Pharmacy Law & Ethics Examination
Step 5: 26 Week Pre-registration Program
Step 6: Pre-registration Assessment
Application for Initial Consideration for Registration :
The following documents must be sent DIRECTLY to the PCNZ by your university and registration authority(s):
- Confirmation of completion of your pharmacy qualification and a copy of your academic record (degree transcript)
- Certificate(s) of current and past registration
- Statement(s) of good standing
- An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) including your personal details, qualifications, work
history and experience, achievements etc.
English Language Requirements :
Section 16(b) of the HPCAA states that you may not be registered as a health practitioner of a health profession unless you satisfy the responsible authority you have sufficient ability to comprehend and communicate effectively in English to ensure safe practice.The PCNZ adopted the following policies and exemption criteria in July 2005:
A minimum score of 7.0 in each of the four bands (listening, reading, writing and speaking)
with a minimum overall band score of 7.5 in the Academic category achieved within two
years of the date of application.
Provide results which show the required minimum scores were achieved at ONE sitting of the test only.
Arrange for the Test Centre to send their results DIRECTLY to the PCNZ.
For information on the IELTS, please visit the website www.ielts.org
An A or B score in each of the four bands (listening, reading, writing and speaking) achieved within two years of the date of application. Results from previous OET tests, obtained within a two year period, will be accepted if the applicant does not achieve all the required scores at one sitting.
For information on the OET, please visit the website www.oet.com.au
Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences Exam (KAPS)
An overseas pharmacist seeking registration in New Zealand must demonstrate they have the knowledge and skills deemed equivalent to the New Zealand BPharm degree. As the PCNZ is a member of the Australian Pharmacy Council, it uses the same examination as the Australian registration authorities. The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) Exam is held twice a year in March and September. For the March exam, applications must be received at the PCNZ no later than 15 December and for the September exam no later than 1 July. Exam applications are sent to the Australian Pharmacy Examining Committee (APEC) for processing. APEC then writes to candidates with all the administrative details for the exam such as the time, date, venue etc. Usually APEC will schedule the exam for the first Thursday in March and September.
Exam Content and Design
The KAPS Exam is in a multiple choice question (MCQ) format. It is designed to test the candidate’s knowledge of the basic sciences related to the present day practice of pharmacy in New Zealand.
The exam consists of two MCQ papers, each consisting of 100 questions covering both theory and practice. Each paper is of two hours duration.
The pass mark for each paper at each session of the exam is adjusted to reflect the relative difficulty of those questions included in the particular exam. This data is derived from trial testing the questions on practising Australasian pharmacists and students. In addition to achieving the overall pass mark, each candidate is also required to achieve a satisfactory standard in each of the four areas covered in Paper 1 and Paper 2.
Candidates who achieve a pass in only one paper of the exam will have a two year period in which to pass the second paper and therefore the KAPS Exam. If both papers are not passed within a two year period, then the candidate will be required to re-sit both papers
Law and Ethics :
Understanding New Zealand pharmacy legislation and the ethical framework underpinning the Code of Ethics as they relate to pharmacy practice in the New Zealand forms the basis of knowledge and application of law and ethics.The Council-approved law and ethics course, New Zealand Pharmacy Legislation, is
provided by the University of Auckland School of Pharmacy. To enroll in the programme, applicants must have successfully passed both Papers 1 and 2 of the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) Exam within the allowable timeframe.
Enrollment applications are made directly to the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE), Te Ara Pukenga, Auckland University (see www.cce.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/). Applications can be made twice a year commencing in mid January and mid May with the programme commencing either at the beginning of Semester One (during March) or Semester Two (during July).
The course will be delivered through 10 modules over 4 months. These modules will cover legal, ethical and professional obligations in areas such as:
- Regulating Medicines
- Labelling and Compounding Medicines
- Prescribing Medicines
- Dispensing Medicines
- Selling Medicines over the Internet
- Regulating Health Professionals and Pharmacists
- Pharmacy Ownership
- Controlled Drugs
- Consumer Guarantees and Advertising
Registration in the Intern Scope of Practice
The Intern Pharmacist must always practise under the supervision of a registered practicing pharmacist. The Intern Pharmacist Scope of Practice describes all the services which every intern pharmacist must demonstrate competence in prior to registration as a Pharmacist. The practice of pharmacy includes the custody, preparation and dispensing of medicines and pharmaceutical products; the provision of advice on health and well-being, including health screening, and the selection and provision of non-prescription medicine therapies and therapeutic aids. The intern pharmacist, practicing under the supervision of a practicing registered pharmacist, acts as a medicines manager, ensuring safe and quality use of medicines and optimising health outcomes by contributing to the selection, prescribing,monitoring and evaluation of medicine therapy. The intern pharmacist researches information and provides evidence-based advice and recommendations on medicines and medicine related health problems to patients, their carers and other healthcare professionals. The intern pharmacist is an integral part of the healthcare team.
Once you have passed the KAPS Exam and completed the Law and Ethics programme, you will have met the qualifications and requirements for practising in the Intern Scope of Practice. You will be invited to register as an Intern Pharmacist with the PCNZ in order to enrol in the EVOLVE Intern Training Programme
You are required to undertake supervised, practical training under a preceptor pharmacist in a community or hospital pharmacy site for a minimum of either 26 weeks or 44 weeks full time, or 12 months part time . Full time is working a minimum of 35 hours per work and part time is working a minimum of 20 hours per week. Your preceptor and site must be approved by the PSNZ and the preceptor must be trained in workplace assessment. The EVOLVE programme is quite intensive so the PCNZ recommends that you strongly consider doing the programme over 44 weeks rather than 26 weeks. You can enter the EVOLVE programme at any time during the months of May or December if you are doing it over 26 weeks full time or 12 months part time. However, it is recommended that you start the programme at the beginning of the month, so that you can use as much available time as possible
On completion of the EVOLVE Intern Training Programme you are required to attend an Assessment Centre and complete practice based scenarios (OSCEs) and an interview. The Assessment Centre is held in May and November of each year. This is the final examination for intern pharmacists.
Pay for pharmacists varies depending on their experience and level of responsibility.
- Interns (pharmacy graduates who are completing their registration year) earn about $35,500 a year.
- Fully qualified pharmacists usually earn about $70,000.
- Charge pharmacists (who manage a pharmacy) usually earn between $80,000 and $90,000.
Locums (pharmacists who temporarily work for full-time pharmacists when they are away) usually earn about $40 an hour.