Residency and residents

In 2017, SHPA’s launched its two-year Foundation Residencies, designed to develop an early career hospital pharmacist’s competence and practice performance to Advancing – Stage I (Transition Level) of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016.

A residency is a formal, structured experiential learning program for pharmacists. Formal experiential training, like that provided by a residency program, consolidates initial education and training and progresses the early career practitioner towards advanced practice. Theoretical knowledge gained without application in practice is unlikely to develop a competent, flexible pharmacy workforce that can adapt to the changing future needs of patients and the health system.

Further structured support along the continuum of a pharmacist’s professional development promotes the building of knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours for expert practitioners and future leaders.

There are currently more than 200 registered Foundation Residents across 44 accredited hospital sites around Australia.

Launched in 2019, SHPA’s two-year Advanced Training Residencies (ATRs), targeted towards pharmacists with general foundation level expertise and experience in hospital practice seeking to advance their practice towards Advancing – Stage II (Consolidation Level) of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016 and provide expert care and service delivery in their defined practice area.

FAQs – SHPA Residencies

In general, Foundation Residents are early career pharmacists, likely one to three years post full registration. However, this does not exclude pharmacists with more years of practice experience, especially those pharmacists who are new to hospital pharmacy practice after working as a pharmacist in a different practice setting.

Advanced Training Residents are pharmacists with three to seven years of hospital experience who may have prior experience in a defined practice area and are seeking to specialise or advance their practice, or have been recently recruited to a senior pharmacist/leadership role without significant experience in the area and are undertaking an ATR to support their professional practice and development in their new role. Pharmacists with more than seven years of experience may also be suitable for an ATR if they are moving into a defined or specialised area of practice.

No. Pharmacy residency programs have existed in the United States for more than 50 years with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists first establishing an accreditation process and standards for residencies in hospital pharmacy in 1962.

In addition to the United States, pharmacy residency programs are commonplace in other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Singapore. The International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) highlights the importance of foundation training infrastructures such as residency training as well as advanced and specialist expert development in Goals 2 and 4 of its Workforce Development Goals (International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Pharmaceutical workforce development goals. The Hague: International Pharmaceutical Federation; November 2016. Available from

Hospital pharmacy departments or other pharmacy service providers who have been accredited by SHPA to offer a residency program have demonstrated their compliance with the SHPA Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Residency Programs. This means SHPA has verified the pharmacy service’s support for Residents and their development, the skills and experience of pharmacy staff, their breadth of pharmacy services, and the pharmacy service’s overall commitment to professional development.

Foundation Residencies – accredited sites

Advanced Training Residencies - accredited sites

SHPA requires accredited Foundation Residency programs to offer a breadth of clinical and practice experiences to residents across the two-year program. Whilst the curriculum offered may be unique to each site, core components involve six-month rotations in a medical specialty; a surgical specialty; operations/support; and a breadth rotation. Preceptors who oversee Resident practice are experienced in their focus area and will often have additional qualifications in clinical supervision and training.

Each Advanced Training Residency pathway will have a defined practice area (generalist or specialist in scope) and utilise the SHPA Practice Area Framework or Common Framework to design a local workplan. Advanced Training Residents may not necessarily have defined rotations – their workplan will align strongly with the defined practice area and have a minimum of 18 months of the two-year program spent in a working environment directly linked to this area. AT Residents will also be supported by a pharmacist mentor with expert practice in the area and have input from a mentor outside of the pharmacy profession or organisation to provide external support and insight into their role and performance. Assessment and evaluation of Resident performance development over time will be in accordance with the evaluation tools outlined in the SHPA Foundation Residency and Advanced Training Residency evaluation and assessment matrix.

All Residents undertaking an SHPA Residency Program must be SHPA members for the period of the residency. Residents are also required to register with SHPA.
All Residency Program Leaders and Advanced Training Mentors are also required to maintain SHPA membership for the period of the residency.
The requirement to have SHPA membership does not apply to non-member Residents who joined the SHPA Foundation Residency Program prior to January 2020.

Pharmacy Residents are recognised as a pharmacy service team member with core responsibilities and defined workload and service expectations, but with additional learning and development requirements. This means Residents are expected to commit to extra learning as part of the residency to support their own professional development.

Compulsory attendance at an annual seminar will incur a fee. Some accredited pharmacy services may provide financial support for their Residents to attend; others may expect the Resident to cover their own costs. Accommodation and travel may be an additional cost. There may be other expenses associated with undertaking a residency program.

Accredited residency programs may have different recruitment processes for their Residents. Not all residency programs may advertise externally for recruitment of Residents. Pharmacists interested in residency may wish to discuss opportunities for residency directly with an accredited site. SHPA is responsible for overseeing the quality of residency programs and the pharmacy service compliance with the Accreditation Standards, but is not involved in recruitment of Residents

In this Section

Foundation Residencies

Foundation Residencies

Practice-based experiential training for early career pharmacists, or pharmacists entering hospital pharmacy practice via other pharmacy environments.

Advanced Training Residencies

Advanced Training Residencies

An accredited pathway for specialty development, with Practice Area Pathways based on SHPA's Specialty Practice streams as well as a generalist ATR Common Framework.