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Requirements for an Australian registered pharmacist to register in New Zealand

You need to be aware the occupations of Hospital, Industrial and Retail (Community) Pharmacists have been removed from the Long Term Skill Shortage List effective from March 2014. This follows research indicating there is no shortage of pharmacists in New Zealand. We understand pharmacist positions in Auckland in particular can be difficult to secure. Please visit the NZ Immigration website for further information on long term skills shortage and immigration requirements.

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.

Once your application has been processed, you will be issued with a conditional Annual Practising Certificate that allows you to practise under the supervision of a New Zealand registered practising pharmacist.  (The pharmacist must meet the Pharmacy Council requirements for supervising pharmacists.) You will then be required to:

  • Complete four weeks' supervised practise. The purpose of this is to gain familiarity with New Zealand laws, ethics and the Pharmaceutical Schedule of subsidised medicines. On completion of the four weeks' 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
  • At the end of the four weeks' supervision 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.

Once the above requirements have been met, and written confirmation received by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand, you will be issued with an unconditional Annual Practising Certificate, under Part 2, Section 26 of the HPCA Act 2003. You can then practise unsupervised as a New Zealand registered pharmacist.

Please note:

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

For enquiries: please contact the Registrations OfficerYou need to be aware the occupations of Hospital, Industrial and Retail (Community) Pharmacists have been removed from the Long Term Skill Shortage List effective from March 2014. This follows research indicating there is no shortage of pharmacists in New Zealand. We understand pharmacist positions in Auckland in particular can be difficult to secure. Please visit the NZ Immigration website for further information on long term skills shortage and immigration requirements.