Eligibility Criteria for the KAPS Exam in Australia

Sep 27, 2023 4 min read
Eligibility Criteria for KAPS Exam in Australia

Key Takeaways

  • An introduction to the Australian Pharmacy Council.
  • Understand the KAPS exam eligibility criteria.
  • Know the different documents required for the eligibility check and the KAPS exam.

The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences, also known as the KAPS exam, is a crucial examination for pharmacists seeking registration to practise in Australia. This exam is administered by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) and assesses the competency and knowledge of international pharmacy graduates, ensuring they meet the country’s standards. 

Table of Contents

What is the Australian Pharmacy Council?

The Australian Pharmacy Council holds a vision to lead accreditation and assessment of education in the pharmacy field on a national and international basis. The purpose of the Australian Pharmacy Council includes maintaining high standards of pharmacy education and assessing the competency of Australian and overseas pharmacists as it is important to protect the public and improve the healthcare sector in Australia. 

What is the KAPS Exam?

The Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) exam is a rigorous assessment conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). It evaluates the competency and knowledge of international pharmacy graduates who wish to become registered pharmacists in Australia. The exam aims to ensure that these graduates meet the necessary standards and possess the required qualifications to practise pharmacy in the country.

The KAPS exam consists of two parts: Part I and Part II. Part I focuses on testing candidates’ knowledge in pharmaceutical sciences, including subjects such as pharmacology, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacokinetics, among others. Part II assesses practical skills related to pharmacy practice, including patient care, medicines management, communication, and professional practice.

Clearing this exam enables them to work in various healthcare settings and contribute to the well-being of the Australian population.

Eligibility for the KAPS Exam

The KAPS exam includes a skill assessment process. To be eligible for this skill assessment process, certain eligibility criteria must be met. The candidate must have completed at least a 4-year full-time degree in pharmacy from a certified institution in your country. They also should have full and unrestricted registration in their country to be eligible to apply for the skill assessment conducted as part of the KAPS exam. 

Applying for a skill assessment is mandatory to all the candidates who have graduated from countries excluding Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the US or the UK.

Why are the Skills and Competency of Pharmacists Assessed?

The prime reason for this assessment for pharmacists is to ensure that they are eligible for entry-level pharmacy practice and can carry out safe and effective healthcare in the Australian context. The knowledge and competency of overseas-trained pharmacists are evaluated against Australian standards. 

The candidates have to take exams that thoroughly examine their skills and knowledge. 

The Australian Pharmacy Council also provides a skills assessment outcome for the Department of Home Affairs. This is the outcome that supports the pharmacists in their application for a migration visa. 

The Structure of the Skill Assessment 

This process of skill assessment has various steps. They are as follows.

  • Check if the candidate has the eligibility to apply
  • Gather the required documents to be submitted
  • Apply for an eligibility verification to appear for the. KAPS exam
  • Wait for the document verification process to be completed
  • Complete the registration for KAPS exam via the Candidate portal
  • Appear for the exam centre
  • Receive your skill assessment letter

During the eligibility checking process, providing the correct information when you apply is important to avoid delay in the process. Generally, the eligibility checking process is done within the time frame of 12 weeks. 

Requirements for Requesting a Skills Assessment Outcome

  • The candidate must pass the eligibility checking process successfully
  • Clear the KAPS examination

What are the Documents Required?

To apply for the Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) exam in Australia, international pharmacy graduates must submit various documents as part of their application process. These documents are essential to verify the candidate’s eligibility and ensure compliance with Australian pharmacy standards. The documents are required in two stages.

  • Eligibility check documents
  • Exam documents

Eligibility Check Documents

The documents to be submitted for the eligibility check process must be translated into English if the existing documents are not in English. The candidate must provide both original and English-translated documents.

The entire document should be translated. The translator must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. 

The documents required are as follows.

  • Passport: Both pages of the passport are to be included. The image must not be cropped.
  • Official photo-bearing document: An official ID document, including a photo issued by an overseas or Australian authority, is required as proof of identity.
  • Birth certificate: The birth certificate of the candidate must be provided. If he/she doesn’t have one, an alternate photo-bearing document can be provided.
  • Qualification certificate or letter of completion: The candidate should submit a qualification certificate or letter of completion if the certificate is not issued yet. In the case of more than one qualification, they should be combined into one file.
  • Academic transcript: Official transcripts or academic records from the university or institution where the candidate completed their pharmacy degree. All pages should be included in a single document.
  • Evidence of registration: This is to be provided for the evidence that you’re eligible to register as a pharmacist.
  • Evidence of work experience as a pharmacist (optional): Work experience as a pharmacist is not mandatory to be eligible for the KAPS exam. To support your visa or migration application, it would be helpful to provide evidence of your work history, demonstrating your relevant work experience.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (optional): Submitting this document can help you to get your work history assessed by the Australian Pharmacy Council. The resume or curriculum vitae submitted must be up-to-date.
  • Agent authorisation form (optional): This can be submitted if the candidate wants to nominate someone to communicate with the Australian Pharmacy Council. The APC Agent Authorisation form should be uploaded.
  • Evidence of name change (optional): For individuals who have undergone a name change, it is necessary to upload valid proof of the name change in the portal. Additionally, if any of your documents contain spelling errors in your name, you must have the organisation that originally issued them correct the errors before submission. Ensuring accurate and up-to-date information in your documents is vital for the application process.

Exam Documents

The exam documents consist of documents required for registering the exam and writing the exam.

  • A passport-sized photo 

The photo should be a full headshot of high quality in colour and taken within the last 6 months.

  • Special accommodation documents

These documents are to be produced in the case of candidates who have a disability or health-related issue and would like to add special requests like more time to complete the exam or more legroom at the exam desk if the leg is injured.

  • Primary ID 

The primary ID used by the candidate must be issued by their respective government and contain:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Recognisable photo
  • Signature

 

  • Secondary ID 

This document should contain:

  • Name and signature

OR

  • Name and a recognisable photo

Conclusion 

Successfully passing the KAPS exam is a crucial step for international pharmacy graduates, as it allows them to become registered pharmacists in Australia. This enables them to work in various healthcare settings and contribute to the well-being of the Australian population.

Meeting the eligibility criteria and preparing diligently for the exam are essential to ensure success. By clearing the KAPS exam and becoming a registered pharmacist, candidates can embark on a rewarding career, making a positive impact on the health and well-being of the Australian population and make a real difference to the community.

FAQs

Q: Is prior work experience as a pharmacist required to migrate to Australia?

Ans: No. Work experience is not mandatory to migrate to Australia as a pharmacist. 

Q: What is the validity of the eligibility check?

Ans: There is no expiry on the eligibility check.

Q: How much is the cost of KAPS exam registration?

Ans: The eligibility check costs AUD 1310, and the exam registration costs AUD 2230.

Dr. Akram Ahmad
Dr. Akram Ahmad
about the author

Dr. Akram Ahmad is a clinical pharmacist and lecturer with over 10 years of teaching and research experience across various subjects of medicine in India, Malaysia and Australia. He is an educationist and a medpreneur with extensive knowledge of the global healthcare diaspora. Through his articles, videos and engaging sessions, he always aims to impart unexplored knowledge about the healthcare world to interested students and professionals.