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Requirements for an Australian registered pharmacist to register in New Zealand

Under the Trans Tasman Mutual Recognition Agreement (TTMRA) there is mutual recognition, between the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand and the Pharmacy Board of Australia, of pharmacy qualifications that have led to registration in either Australia or New Zealand. This means that providing you are currently registered and in good standing in Australia, you will be able to register in New Zealand without sitting an exam.

If you are also registered as a pharmacist in any other countries as well as Australia, you must contact the registration authorities in those countries to arrange for them to send a letter of good standing directly to the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. Your application cannot be processed until the letter(s) of good standing has been received.

To start the registration process, you should contact the Registrations Officer at the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. The Registrations Officer will contact the Pharmacy Board of Australia to verify your registration and good standing. You will need to complete the application form to register as a pharmacist under the TTMRA and this will be sent to you, together with a work history sheet, by the Registrations Officer.

In the application form:

  • You provide information concerning your fitness to practise as specified under Part 2, Section 16 of the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003
  • You make a statutory declaration which must be witnessed by a person authorised to take statutory declarations. This can only be done in New Zealand and the simplest thing is to contact a Justice of the Peace (JP) on your arrival. JPs are listed in the Yellow Pages telephone directory.

Enclose with the application form:

  • Two passport photos, which must be certified by the same person who witnessed your statutory declaration
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate or personal details page from your passport or citizenship certificate. If you do not hold Australian citizenship, you must provide evidence of your immigration status in New Zealand
  • Indicate on the work history sheet where you have been practising as a pharmacist in the three years immediately preceding your application. Under the HPCA Act 2003, you may be required to meet further competence conditions, if you have not practised as a pharmacist in Australia in the last three years
  • The payment details.

You will be exempt from meeting any English language requirements, as you have already met those of the Pharmacy Board of Australia.

Under the TTMRA policy an applicant will be registered and issued with an Annual Practising Certificate, valid until 31 March. To ensure familiarity with New Zealand pharmacy practice, The applicant will need to complete a competence programme within three months of registration. The requirements of the programme are:

  • Complete a minimum of four weeks (140 hours) supervised practise (full time at 35 hours per week or part-time equivalent at 20 hours per week). The purpose of this is to gain familiarity with New Zealand laws, ethics and the Pharmaceutical Schedule of subsidised medicines. On completion of the supervision, your supervising pharmacist will be asked to verify that you understand and can apply the legal, ethical, subsidy and other practical aspects of pharmacy practice in New Zealand. (See requirements for supervising pharmacists, here.)
  • At the end of the supervision period you will be interviewed by a practising pharmacist authorised by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. The object of the law & ethics interview is to establish how you have adapted to New Zealand pharmacy practice; it is not a test of clinical knowledge. The questions will concentrate on ethical and pharmacy practice issues, legislation and cultural competence. Reference material may be brought to the interview.

If an applicant fails to satisfy the requirements of the competence programme the Council may place conditions on the pharmacist's practice, or suspend registration in exceptional situations.

Please note:

  • Registration requires residence in New Zealand at the time of application
  • Application and registration fees apply

For enquiries: please contact the Registrations Officer