The Role of a Practising Pharmacist in Australia: Navigating Overseas Pharmacist Registration

Understanding a Practising Pharmacist in Australia


Elite Expertise

10/12/20235 min read

pharmacy Oral exam
pharmacy Oral exam

The ever-evolving landscape of healthcare in Australia demands a constant adaptation of roles and responsibilities for healthcare professionals. Among the prominent roles emerging recently is that of a practising pharmacist in Australia, especially for those seeking overseas pharmacist registration in Australia. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on the intricacies of becoming a practising pharmacist in Australia, highlighting the roles, responsibilities, and challenges faced by professionals in this field.

Understanding a Practising Pharmacist in Australia

A practising pharmacist in Australia is a highly skilled healthcare professional responsible for ensuring the safe and effective use of medications. They work collaboratively with patients, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers to achieve the objective of optimising patient outcomes. Their primary focus is on medication management, which involves various roles and responsibilities.

Roles and Responsibilities

  1. Medication Review and Optimisation: Practising pharmacists in Australia conduct comprehensive medication reviews for patients. They assess the appropriateness, safety, and effectiveness of prescribed medications, identify potential drug interactions, and recommend adjustments when necessary. This process helps minimise adverse drug events and ensures patients receive the most suitable treatments.

  2. Medication Reconciliation: Practising pharmacists play a crucial role in reconciling patients' medication histories during transitions of care, such as hospital admissions or discharges. This helps prevent medication errors and enhances continuity of care.

  3. Education and Counselling: Practising pharmacists educate patients and caregivers about medication regimens, potential side effects, and the importance of adherence. This empowers patients to take an active role in managing their health.

Scope of Consultant Pharmacists in Australia

The role of consultant pharmacists in Australia has expanded significantly over the years, driven by the growing healthcare needs of the population and the recognition of their expertise. Let's explore the various domains where consultant pharmacists are making a significant impact.

1. Aged Care Facilities: Consultant pharmacists play a pivotal role in optimising medication therapy for elderly residents in aged care facilities. They work closely with healthcare teams to ensure that residents receive appropriate and safe medication regimens. This is particularly important as Australia's population continues to age, leading to an increased demand for geriatric care services.

2. Hospitals: In hospitals, consultant pharmacists contribute to medication management during patient admissions and discharges. They conduct medication reconciliation, assess the appropriateness of drug therapy, and help prevent medication errors. This enhances patient safety and reduces readmission rates.

3. Community Pharmacy: Consultant pharmacists in community settings offer medication management services to individual patients. They conduct medication reviews, provide medication counselling, and collaborate with physicians to optimise drug therapy. This helps improve medication adherence and patient outcomes.

4. General Practice: Some consultant pharmacists work within general practice settings, assisting primary care physicians in managing patients with complex medication regimens. They provide valuable input on medication selection and dosing, contributing to better patient care.

5. Palliative Care: Consultant pharmacists are instrumental in palliative care settings, where the focus is on alleviating symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with terminal illnesses. They work closely with healthcare teams to manage pain and other symptoms effectively.

6. Mental Health Services: In mental health facilities, consultant pharmacists contribute to the management of psychiatric medications. They assess medication regimens, monitor side effects, and collaborate with mental health professionals to achieve optimal outcomes for patients.

7. Remote and Rural Areas: Consultant pharmacists are increasingly being utilised in remote and rural areas of Australia to bridge the gap in healthcare services. They provide essential medication management services to underserved populations, ensuring access to safe and effective healthcare.

8. Medication Safety and Quality Improvement: Consultant pharmacists are actively involved in medication safety initiatives and quality improvement projects. They help healthcare organisations implement best practices, reduce medication-related incidents, and enhance overall patient care.

The Transition: Overseas Pharmacist Registration in Australia

For overseas-trained pharmacists seeking to practice in Australia, the journey involves a specific set of challenges and requirements. Here's how you can navigate the process effectively:

  1. Qualifications Assessment: The KAPS (Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences) exam plays a pivotal role in the journey of overseas pharmacists seeking registration and the ability to practice their profession in Australia. It serves as a crucial assessment tool designed to evaluate the knowledge and competence of international pharmacists, ensuring that they meet the high standards and regulations set by Australian healthcare authorities.

Passing the KAPS exam demonstrates an individual's ability to adapt their pharmaceutical knowledge and skills to the Australian context, ensuring the safety and well-being of patients and the efficacy of pharmaceutical services. It safeguards the quality of healthcare and offers overseas pharmacists an invaluable opportunity to contribute to the Australian healthcare system while pursuing their career goals. To get professionals’ help to pass this exam, you can choose Elite Expertise. The online platform has been specifically designed for overseas pharmacists to practice and register in Australia through a knowledge stream.

  1. English Proficiency: You must demonstrate English language proficiency by taking an approved English language test, such as IELTS or PTE Academic. Achieving the required scores is essential for overseas pharmacist registration in Australia.

  2. National Registration: Once your qualifications are approved, you can apply for national registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia. This registration allows you to practice as a pharmacist in the country.

  3. Internship: To gain practical experience in the Australian healthcare system, you'll typically need to complete a supervised internship. The duration and requirements for the internship may vary depending on your qualifications and the state or territory in which you intend to practice.

  4. Further Assessment: If your qualifications and experience are not directly equivalent to Australian standards, you may be required to complete additional assessments or courses to bridge the gap.

  5. Ongoing Professional Development: Continuous learning and professional development are crucial for practising pharmacists in Australia. You must engage in ongoing education to stay updated with the latest developments in the field.

Challenges and Future Trends

Becoming a practising pharmacist in Australia, especially as an overseas-trained professional, presents its own set of challenges. These include:

  1. Adaptation to the Australian Healthcare System: Overseas-trained pharmacists must familiarise themselves with the Australian healthcare system, including local regulations and practices.

  2. Continuing Education: Staying updated with the latest advancements in pharmacy practice and medications is crucial. Pharmacists must invest in continuous learning to maintain their expertise.


Becoming a practising pharmacist in Australia is a rewarding but challenging journey, particularly for overseas-trained pharmacists. The role of a practising pharmacist in Australia encompasses medication review, reconciliation, education, and quality assurance, all aimed at optimising patient outcomes.

For overseas-trained pharmacists, the path to registration involves qualification assessment, English proficiency testing, internship, and ongoing professional development. While challenges exist, dedication and perseverance can lead to a fulfilling career as a practising pharmacist in Australia.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, practising pharmacists play a vital role in ensuring the safe and effective use of medications. Their expertise and commitment contribute to improved patient care and outcomes, making them valuable members of the healthcare team in Australia.

If you are seeking guidance to pass the KAPS Exam and ensure overseas pharmacist registration in Australia, contact Elite Expertise!