Graduates of an accredited Bachelor of Pharmacy programme or applicants via the Non-Recognised Equivalent Qualifications Route (those with a pharmacy qualification from a country other than Australia, Canada, Ireland, the UK or the USA) must complete the New Zealand intern training programme (ITP) while they are registered in the Intern Pharmacist scope of practice and pass the Assessment Centre. The Assessment Centre is a summative assessment that is one of the prescribed qualifications for registration in the Pharmacist scope of practice.
The Assessment Centre is available to eligible candidates in May and November each year.
Candidates must successfully complete the intern training programme in order to attend an Assessment Centre.
The Assessment Centre is an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) which is composed of a series of stations where candidates encounter a standardised patient and have to deal appropriately with the situation presented. A standardised patient is an actor who must be trained to play the role of a patient consistently, accurately and repeatedly.
The stations are based on ecological validity – that is, real life day to day encounters that a pharmacist may come across. All the stations have been developed and moderated by the profession.
The best practice for an Assessment Centre is for interns to use the time in their internship placement to meet and interact with patients. The more experience interns have in channeling their clinical knowledge into application and communication with the people that come into their pharmacy the more they will gain both personally and professionally.