Information for Overseas & Return to Practice Pharmacists


The EVOLVE Intern Programme is the next step to becoming a registered pharmacist in New Zealand for those who are registered overseas or who are returning to the workforce after a period away. To join the programme, you must either be:

  • An overseas registered pharmacist who has met the qualifications to be an intern pharmacist (as set by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand) or
  • A pharmacist who was formerly registered in New Zealand who is intending to return to the workforce

The initial point of contact before enrolling with the EVOLVE Intern Programme is the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. You will need to contact them for eligibility criteria.

Before you start your internship, you must have an Annual Practising Certificate (APC) issued by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. Overseas registered pharmacists will be issued an APC in the intern Scope of Practice. Return to Practice pharmacists who have previously held an APC in New Zealand or Australia will be issued with an APC in the pharmacist scope of practice with conditions on their practice.

Holding an APC means you are a registered health professional who works under the Health Practitioners Competency Assurance Act 2003. You must complete your internship within 2 years of registration within the relevant scope of practice.

You will undertake supervised practice under an approved preceptor at an approved site. The site is approved by the Pharmacy Council and the preceptor is a registered pharmacist who is trained and approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of New Zealand.


The EVOLVE Intern Programme is the gazetted pathway in New Zealand for registration into the pharmacist scope of practice. To be eligible to become a qualified pharmacist, you must successfully complete all components of the EVOLVE Intern Training Programme and successfully pass the Pharmacy Council Assessment Centre.

The EVOLVE Intern Programme runs from the 1st of February until the 7th of November each calendar year. Over the course of the programme, you will complete portfolio work, assignments and appraisals while working full-time under supervision in an approved site.

Interns are supervised by preceptor pharmacists and assessed to the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand competence standards during the intern year.

An intern in the programme must be employed by an approved community or hospital pharmacy with their training supervised by a qualified preceptor pharmacist. Click here to find out more about preceptor pharmacists.

Key information for those undertaking the EVOLVE programme?

As an Overseas Pharmacist or Return to work Pharmacist there are a number of requirements you must meet while enrolled in the EVOLVE Intern Programme. These must be met before being able to register in the Pharmacist Scope of Practice.

  • Applications for the EVOLVE Intern Programme open early November and close late January each year. There is only one intake per year for the programme.
  • A minimum of 1450 hours of supervised practice is required. This is equivalent to working full time.
  • Supervised practice hours are able to be recorded between 10th of January and 7th November of each calendar year, so long as the intern holds an APC and are enrolled in our programme.
  • A maximum of 84 hours per fortnight of supervised practice can be accrued.
  • Supervised practice must take place at an approved training site (community or hospital pharmacy) under an approved preceptor. This must be paid employment and cannot be a volunteer position.
  • Meeting the English Language requirements set by the Pharmacy Council ensuring all interns and pharmacists are able to communicate effectively and comprehend English sufficiently.
  • Attendance at the face-to-face Training Days during the year.
  • Successful completion of all coursework including portfolios, assignments and appraisals provided by EVOLVE.
  • Successfully passing the Pharmacy Council final Assessment Centre.
  • Payment of the Programme fee which covers all costs of the training programme, including attendance at and travel to and from Training Days and Assessment Centre.

How do I get started?

The Pharmacy Council of New Zealand is your first port of call. You will need to complete their requirements and be issued with an APC before you commence your internship. Click here to contact the Pharmacy Council.

Once you have been approved by the Pharmacy Council, you'll need to find an intern training site. Your training site will need to be an approved site and you will need a preceptor pharmacist. 

Your next step is to contact the EVOLVE Intern Programme team via email to let us know you have a training site and will be enrolling in the programme. Please email us at evolve@psnz.orgnz


EVOLVE Intern Programme Fees 2024 >