Training Programs

In 2017, SHPA’s launched its two-year Resident Training Program, designed to develop an early career hospital pharmacist’s competence and practice performance to ANZCAP Resident status in line with the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016.

A Resident Training Program is a formal, structured experiential learning program for pharmacists. Formal experiential training, like that provided by a SHPA Training 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 275 registered Resident candidates across 51 accredited hospital sites around Australia.

Launched in 2019, SHPA’s two-year Registrar Training Program (previously known as Advanced Training Residencies), targeted towards pharmacists with general foundation level expertise and experience in hospital practice seeking to advance their practice towards ANZCAP Registrar status in line with the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016 and provide expert care and service delivery in their defined practice area.

FAQs – SHPA Training Programs

In general, Resident candidates 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.

Registrar candidates 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 a Registrar Training Program to support their professional practice and development in their new role. Pharmacists with more than seven years of experience may also be suitable for a Registrar Training Program 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 training program have demonstrated their compliance with the SHPA Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Training Programs. This means SHPA has verified the pharmacy service’s support for Resident and/or Registrar candidates 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.

Resident Training Programs – accredited sites

Registrar Training Programs - accredited sites

SHPA requires accredited Resident Training Programs to offer a breadth of clinical and practice experiences to Resident candidates 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 candidate practice are experienced in their focus area and will often have additional qualifications in clinical supervision and training.

Each Registrar Training Program 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. Registrar candidates 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. Registrar candidates 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 Registrar candidate performance development over time will be in accordance with the evaluation tools outlined in the SHPA Resident Training and Registrar Training evaluation and assessment matrix.

All Resident and Registrar candidates undertaking an SHPA Training Program must be SHPA members for the period of the residency. Candidates are also required to register with SHPA.
All Training Program Leads and Registrar Training Mentors are also required to maintain SHPA membership for the period of the program.
The requirement to have SHPA membership does not apply to non-member Resident candidates who joined the SHPA Resident Training Program (previously referred to as the Foundation Residency Program) prior to January 2020.

Pharmacy Training Program candidates 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 Resident and Registrar candidates are expected to commit to extra learning as part of the program 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 candidates to attend; others may expect the candidate to cover their own costs. There may be other expenses associated with undertaking a training program.

Accredited training programs may have different recruitment processes for their Resident and/or Registrar candidates. Not all training programs may advertise externally for recruitment of candidates. Pharmacists interested in a training program may wish to discuss opportunities for joining directly with an accredited site. SHPA is responsible for overseeing the quality of training programs and the pharmacy service compliance with the Accreditation Standards, but is not involved in recruitment of candidates.

In this Section

Resident Training Programs

Resident Training Programs

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

Registrar Training Programs

Registrar Training Programs

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