GPhC Route to Registration as a Pharmacist

STEP BY STEP GUIDE - Registering as a Pharmacist in the UK: internationally- qualified/ overseas qualified Pharmacists

Process of Registration for those who have completed the Pharmacy Degree from Overseas (outside the EU)

Anyone with a pharmacy qualification obtained outside Great Britain which is not a relevant European qualification (as described by GPhC), where the level of qualification has been assessed by UK ENIC (the United Kingdom National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills) as being equivalent to at least British bachelor’s degree standard, to be eligible for pharmacy practice in the UK, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Possess a pharmacy qualification that allows for practice in the country where it was obtained.
  2. Have completed at least three years of undergraduate study in pharmacy-related subjects, as evidenced by an academic transcript.
  3. Provide evidence of having passed an acceptable English language test, with scores that meet the GPhC's requirements (outlined in their guidance).
  4. Successfully complete a one-year accredited Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP).
  5. Complete a 52-week pre-registration training programme in the UK.
  6. Pass a registration assessment administered by the GPhC.

When someone applies for pharmacy practice in the UK, they have two academic years to start the OSPAP program. If they don't start the program during this time, they'll have to apply again. It's important to follow this timeframe to make sure the registration process is completed on time.

The information on this page is only relevant to you if:

      • you have a pharmacy qualification from overseas (non-EU)
Overseas Pharmacist Register in the UK
Overseas Pharmacist Register in the UK

How to register as a Pharmacist in the UK?

If you hold a Pharmacy Bachelors Degree from overseas, you can follow through the process below to register as a Pharmacist in the UK.

What educational and training requirements must I fulfill?

In order to become eligible to apply for registration as a pharmacist, you will need to complete the following:

  1. Successfully complete an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP).
  2. Complete 52 weeks of pre-registration training in England, Scotland, or Wales, which must be signed off as satisfactory by your tutor.
  3. Pass the registration assessment administered by the GPhC.

It's important to note that you must complete all three of these requirements and apply for registration within four years from the start date of your OSPAP course.

Step 1: Completing an OSPAP course.

An OSPAP course is a postgraduate diploma program that lasts for one year and is offered by certain universities in the UK. You can find a list of universities that provide OSPAP courses below or on GPhC website.

The course is specifically designed to provide the necessary education and training required to prepare you to work as a pharmacist in the UK, and to complete pre-registration training. You will be required to pay a fee to the university where you undertake the course, and you will need to consider how to support yourself financially during the study period.

Applying to complete an OSPAP course

The GPhC will review your qualifications and experience to determine your eligibility for an OSPAP course. You will need to fill out the "Applying for eligibility to complete an Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) form" provided by the GPhC, which will be used to evaluate your eligibility. Please note that a fee of £687.00 will be charged for processing your application form.

The Universities that provides of GPhC-accredited OSPAP courses

  • Aston University
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Hertfordshire
  • University of Sunderland

Due to the high demand and applications carried over from the previous year, all courses that are scheduled to commence in 2023 and 2024 have already been oversubscribed. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to secure a place to study during this period.

Evidence of English language competency

You will need to provide evidence of your English language competency as part of your application.

  • IELTS (Academic) with overall score of at least 7, and with no score less than 7 in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, at one sitting of the test.
  • Pharmacy Occupational English Language Test (OET) with a score of at least a B in each of the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, at one sitting of the test

GPhC will return incomplete applications without checking.

Step 2: Pre-registration training placement (52 weeks).

Trainees will spend a minimum of 52 weeks in a GPhC-approved training site, under the supervision of a tutor. During this period, they will develop their practice to meet a range of performance standards. The trainee's progress will be monitored and guided by their tutor, who will conduct progress reviews to verify their progress.

In order to be eligible to sit the registration assessment and meet the criteria for registration, both UK-qualified MPharm and overseas qualified OSPAP students are required to successfully complete the pre-registration training placement.

Finding a training placement

After successfully completing the OSPAP, you will become eligible to commence your pre-registration training placement. It will be your responsibility to find a suitable training placement and tutor, and once you have made the necessary arrangements, you will need to inform the GPhC by applying for entry to the pre-registration scheme.

Step 3: The registration assessment.

The registration assessment (test) is one of the ways GPhC test whether trainees can demonstrate that they understand how to apply knowledge appropriately and in a timely way, to make professional judgements in pharmacy practice. It also tests their number sense and that they can perform the calculations needed to practise as a pharmacist.

There are two registration assessments per year, in June and September. The registration assessment consists of two question papers. Candidates must pass both papers at one attempt but can have up to three attempts to pass the registration assessment. The assessment is carried out simultaneously in locations across the UK.

Step 4: GPhC Registration

Once you have successfully completed an OSPAP course + 52 weeks of pre-registration training + the registration assessment, you are eligible to apply to register with us as a Pharmacist. You will need to apply through the myGPhC online system.

It is important to note that you must apply for registration within four years from the date you start your OSPAP course.

The registration process can take some time, so careful planning and preparation are crucial to ensure a smooth and successful journey.

Alternative to OSPAP / Alternate Options for Pharmacists in the UK / What are the alternatives while waiting for OSPAP?

-- UK Pharmacy College Pathway --

Work in a Pharmacy part-time while completing the Pharmacy Technician Diploma - Go through Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP)


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