There are many reasons why a UK qualified pharmacist may decide to move to Ireland – perhaps you did your studies abroad and you’re returning home; you want to be closer to family; or maybe you want to experience the beautiful scenic offerings of the country. No matter the reason, there are a number of steps you will need to take before you can start practising as a pharmacist in Ireland.
In order to work as a pharmacist in Ireland, whether as a full-time or locum pharmacist, you must be registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). This is the country’s statutory and professional body responsible for regulation of pharmacists and community pharmacies.
The registration process for UK qualified pharmacists has changed since Brexit. According to the PSI website, applicants with pharmacist qualifications from the UK must now follow the ‘Third Country Qualification Recognition’ process.
“Third Country” means all countries other than countries in the European Union/European Economic Area.
This route of registration is a two-step process. The first step is an application for recognition of your qualification. The second step is an application for registration.
To begin the registration process, your qualification must be recognised as “appropriate for practice” in accordance with Section 16 of the Pharmacy Act 2007. This Act regulates the practice and profession of pharmacy in Ireland.
If you hold qualification gained in the UK, which would have been automatically recognised under the Professional Qualifications Directive before 31 December 2020, with training that commenced before 31 December 2020, you may be eligible to proceed to recognition in a one-step process under Rule 18 (1).
To apply under this route, you will need to complete the application form, along with supporting documents, and return it to the Registrant and Customer Relations Team, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, PSI House, 15-19 Fenian Street, Dublin 2, D02 TD72.
If you are not eligible to apply under this route, you will need to follow the qualification recognition assessment which is made under Rule 18(2). This process involves four stages.
Firstly, you will need to complete an application form, a certificate of identity form, and a statutory declaration form. With these, you will be required to submit all relevant supporting documents, plus a non-refundable fee of €1,500.
If your qualification is successfully recognised, you will need to sit an equivalence exam. This exam takes place twice a year.
Depending on your results achieved at this Equivalence Exam, you may be able to progress directly to Stage Four (see below) or may be required to enter into an adaptation period working in a pharmacy under the supervision of a tutor pharmacist. This adaptation period may vary.
After completing your adaptation period, you can then take the Professional Registration Examination (PRE). This exam will confirm that you possess the correct knowledge, skills and competencies that are required for practice as a pharmacist in Ireland. You must pass this in order to complete the qualification recognition process.
Once you have received confirmation that your qualification has been recognised by the PSI, you are eligible to move onto step two: applying for registration. You can apply to register as a pharmacist in Ireland by using the PSI online registration portal.
The registration portal contains instructions and information videos to assist with your application.
In order to register with the PSI, you will be required to prove your proficiency in the English language by complying with one of the three criteria recognised by the PSI Council as being satisfactory to assure language competence.
*It should be noted that provision of evidence of language competence is not required to be provided under the qualification recognition process.
As a first time registrant, you will be required to pay a registration fee of €540.
Following this, an annual continued registration fee of €380 will apply.
Clarity Locums offers to pay the annual registration fee for pharmacists on our Clarity Select programme. Find out more here.
As a registered pharmacist in Ireland, you will be expected to engage in continuous professional development (CPD) to maintain and enhance your skills and knowledge. The PSI provides guidelines on the CPD requirements, which include a combination of structured and unstructured learning activities.
CPD is managed by the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP), which was established in 2013 by the PSI. Through overseeing the management and delivery of CPD, the IIOP ensures that these developments meet the emerging needs of patients and the wider healthcare system.
You will find a range of resources on their website to aid you in the use of the Core Competency Framework, which will give you structure and guidance when reflecting on your CPD throughout your career.
We have a number of CPD courses that can be accessed through the CPD Hub on the Clarity Locums app or website.
Anyone who wishes to work in Ireland is required to have a Personal Public Service (PPS) number. This is a unique reference number that helps you access social welfare benefits, public services and information in Ireland.