Navigating the International Student Stream Skills Assessment Outcome to Become Pharmacists in Australia

Sep 27, 2023
Become Pharmacists in Australia

Key Takeaway: 

  • The International Student Stream Skills Assessment by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is a mandatory process for international pharmacy students in Australia
  • Passing the assessment signifies readiness to contribute to Australia’s healthcare system, allowing candidates to apply for registration and pursue a fulfilling pharmacy career.

Introduction

Australia’s vibrant healthcare sector attracts a diverse pool of international students seeking to pursue a rewarding career as pharmacists. Aspiring pharmacists often opt for the International Student Stream Skills Assessment, a crucial step towards obtaining their professional registration in Australia.

Let us understand the process and significance of this assessment. 

Navigating the International Student Stream Skills Assessment Outcome to Become Pharmacists in Australia

  • Introduction
  • What is the Australian Pharmacy Council?
  • Significance of the Skill Assessment
  • Understanding the International Student Stream Skill Assessment
  • Who can Choose the International Student Stream Skill Assessment
  • The International Student Stream Skill Assessment Process
    • Before the Application
    • Application for the Skill Assessment Outcome
    • After the Application
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

What is the Australian Pharmacy Council?

The Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) is an independent and non-profit organisation that was founded in 1982. It acts as the national accreditation authority for pharmacy and training. Their primary functions include the following. 

  • Skill Assessment
  • Accreditation of Programs and Providers
  • Protection of Public Health

The Australian Pharmacy Council plays an integral role in maintaining high standards in the pharmacy sector and ensuring the delivery of safe and effective pharmacy practice, contributing to the overall protection of public health.  

Significance of the Skill Assessment 

The Australian Medical Council is committed to indigenous health and prioritises the improvement of health outcomes. The mission and vision of the Australian Pharmacy Council include the advancement and assurance of quality in pharmacy education. They also handle accreditation and assessment of education of the pharmacy sector nationally and internationally.

This role of the Australian Pharmacy Council creates safety, efficiency, and effectiveness in the pharmacy practice in the Australian context. They make sure that quality is not compromised at any point and make sure that they have respect, fairness, and transparency in everything that they do.

This is how Australia has one of the most reliable and robust healthcare systems in the world. 

Understanding the International Student Stream Skill Assessment

The International Student Stream Skill Assessment is a mandatory evaluation conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). Its primary purpose is to assess the qualifications and competencies of international pharmacy graduates intending to register as pharmacists in Australia. This assessment ensures that international students meet the standards required to deliver safe and effective pharmacy services in the country.

The International Student Stream Skill Assessment is the pathway that helps students in requesting a skill assessment outcome. This is applicable for the candidates who have completed their pharmacy degree at an accredited institution in Australia as an international student, or in New Zealand.

Who can Choose the International Student Stream Skill Assessment

The following eligibility criteria should be fulfilled if the candidate is choosing the International Student Stream Skill Assessment Pathway. 

The process is applicable if:

  • The candidate studied as an international student in Australia or a student in New Zealand.
  • The candidate holds a pharmacy degree that is either an approved program or a substantially equivalent qualification from Australia or New Zealand
  • The candidate wishes to migrate to Australia or begin or continue working as a pharmacist in Australia

The International Student Stream Skill Assessment Process

The candidate undergoes three main phases as part of the International Student Stream Skill Assessment:

  • The phase before the application
  • The phase of application for the skill assessment outcome
  • The phase after the application

Before the Application

Before the candidate applies for the International Student Stream Skill Assessment, it is important that he checks his eligibility to apply for the same. The candidate should make sure that he/she

  • Holds a pharmacy degree that is approved in Australia and New Zealand
  • Has studied as an international student in Australia, or studied in New Zealand

The candidate must also provide the required documents to the Australian Pharmacy Council. This is necessary to prove that he/she meets the eligibility criteria and verify the claims present in the application.

During this process, the candidate can seek help to fill out forms or for other things. If the candidate chooses a migration agent or a family member to communicate with the Australian Pharmacy Council, they should download and fill in the Agent Authorisation form which must be signed by the candidate and the nominated agent. 

Application for the Skill Assessment Outcome

The first step in the application process is creating an account in the Candidate Portal of the Australian Pharmacy Council with the name and address of the candidate. 

Once a candidate profile has been set up and a skill assessment eligibility check has been requested, the candidate may upload the required documents. The documents submitted should be accurate and correctly prepared. Then they may proceed to the fee payment. The payment will be accepted through debit cards and credit cards. The card used for the payment must be issued by a bank in the candidate’s country of residence.

After the Application

The Australian Pharmacy Council takes about 8 weeks to complete the eligibility check of a candidate. If the candidate leaves out any document or sends the wrong ones, there will be a delay in the process. 

The candidate must also provide other information as required by the Council. The candidate will be given 6 months to provide the additional information. 

After the process is complete, the Australian Pharmacy Council will email the candidate or the agent a copy of the skill assessment outcome. 

When the skill assessment outcome is received,  the candidate can use it to apply to the Department of Home Affairs to support a visa application. 

Conclusion

The International Student Stream Skills Assessment serves as a gateway for international pharmacy graduates to realise their dream of becoming pharmacists in Australia. Through rigorous evaluation of academic qualifications and other factors, this assessment ensures that the Australian healthcare system continues to benefit from skilled and competent pharmacists from around the world. By understanding the process, staying determined, and seeking support when needed, aspiring pharmacists can confidently navigate this assessment and embark on a fulfilling and impactful career in the Australian pharmaceutical landscape.

FAQs

Q: Can I apply for the skill assessment outcome if my degree is not complete?

Ans: No. Candidates with incomplete degrees are not eligible for a skill assessment outcome.

Q: What is the processing time for the International Student Stream Skill Assessment?

Ans: 12 weeks.

Q: What is the cost of the International Student Stream Skill Assessment?

Ans: AU$1310

Q: Is the skill assessment outcome required for pharmacist registration?

Ans: A Skill Assessment Outcome is for visa and migration purposes only. It is not required for pharmacist registration.

Q: Can Indian students study pharmacy in Australia?

Ans: Yes. Students aspiring to pursue a Bachelor of Pharmacy in Australia need to meet two essential eligibility requirements: the English Language Proficiency Test and the Academic criteria.

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.