Overseas graduates and pharmacists can get registered as pharmacist in Australia, need to pass the KAPS Exam
Pharmacist is one of the skilled occupation that Australia needs and welcomes through skilled migration program. Overseas graduates and experienced pharmacist can have their skill assessed and get registered as pharmacist in Australia. They need to go through simple and straightforward pathway and could get invited to apply for Australian permanent residency. Many graduates and practicing pharmacist from Nepal can get their way to Australia and develop career as few has already achieved. In this post, we have asked some questions to Jeewan Neupane who passed through the similar journey and now works as a pharmacist in charge at Chemist Warehouse to give an ultimate guide how to get registered as a pharmacist in Australia:
When it comes to country like Australia, everyone dreams to be get landed over here and fulfil their dreams in terms of careers progression and lifestyle. Being Community/Hospital Pharmacist in Australia is another renowned aspect from overseas pharmacist like Nepal or any other country. Nepal produces around 1000-1500 Graduates per year. Getting registration in Australia will be the interest for most of Nepalese Pharmacist as well. I would like to provide some common understanding and details to achieve the registration over here.
KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam is the only barriers between overseas pharmacist and Australian graduates. Once KAPS is cleared overseas Pharmacist will be considered as equivalent to Australian graduates.
Can Nepalese pharmacist apply for Australian registration from Nepal?
The answer is “Yes”, and it is quite simple and feasible to process directly from Nepal. Before the nearest exam centre for KAPS was in India whereas, from 2023 it has recently started in Nepal too. KAPS Exam is mostly held three times annually.
What is the process to get accredited or certified in Australia with Nepalese or Indian study & work experience?
APC (Australian Pharmacy Council) is the governing body to conduct all registration process either for offshore or onshore candidates. Nepalese Pharmacist should be registered in Nepal Pharmacy Council. For those who studied in India requires additional documents i.e., Endorsement letter from relevant Indian’s State Pharmacy Council (for ex- if you completed your study from Bangalore requires endorsement letter from Karnataka State Pharmacy Council).
The complete picture for getting accreditation is as follows:
Step 1: Skill Assessment
Costs: AU$1310 and doesn’t have any expiration date.
Timeframe: 12 weeks period
There are no any requirements of work experience.
- Create Candidate Portal at Australian Pharmacy Council
- Documents required.
- Provisional Degree Certificate
- Transcripts (Nepal)/Consolidated Transcripts (India)
- Nepal Pharmacy Council registration/License
- Passport size photo
Step 2: KAPS Examination
Once skill assessment has been finalised/successful, you are eligible to register for the exam that will be conducted at least three times in a year.
Expiry date: Valid for 3 years only
Exam layout as follows:
- Exam consists of 2 paper, 100 marks each and should take two papers on same day.
- Each paper is of 2 hours (In total 4 hours of exam with scheduled break between paper)
- All multiple choice questions.
- Paper 1 consists of approximately Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30%) and Physiology and Pharmacology (70%).
- Paper 2 consists of approximately Pharmaceutics (30%) and Therapeutics (70%)
- To pass the exam, you need a mark of at least 50% in all subsections of the exam.
Step 3: Apply for Provisional Registration with AHPRA
Once KAPS is cleared obtained IELTS 7 or equivalents with other English language tests. Apply for internship position in different community/hospital pharmacy. Once internship is secured, you can apply for Provisional Registration with AHPRA. You can also apply for Provisional registration without securing internship position by not filling Supervised Practice details in APRO 60 forms.
What is your experience career wise as well as migration wise?
There is a progressive shortage of pharmacist in Australia, and it is one of the highly demanded healthcare jobs. As of April 2023, there was shortage of 2400 full time Pharmacist across Australia (Source Guild). Pharmacist is also one of the super rewarding career pathways one should develop. Due to high demand and less supply, Australia provides quite flexible pathway for overseas Pharmacist as well. There is number of Visa subclass you can apply from Nepal itself that leads to Permanent Residency once you completed your KAPS exam.
Neupane has years of experience in Australia as registered pharmacist. Worked with various brands including Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Cincotta & Pharmacy4Less.
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