Overseas-qualified pharmacists

Important information about the Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP)

If you decide that you want to complete education and training in Great Britain so you can apply to register with the GPhC, we will first need to assess if you are eligible to complete an OSPAP course.

  • All courses starting in 2023 and 2024 are already oversubscribed, due to high demand and applications carried over from last year. This means that you are unlikely to be able to find a place to study during this time.
  • Check with your preferred university or universities about availability before submitting your application for OSPAP eligibility to us.
  • Complete all sections of your OSPAP eligibility application form, and provide all supporting documents with your application, including evidence of your English language ability. 
  • We will return incomplete OSPAP eligibility applications without processing them.
  • Your application processing fee is strictly non-refundable even if your OSPAP eligibility application is unsuccessful, or you cannot secure an OSPAP place at university. 
  • The eligibility letter you receive from the GPhC, once your eligibility application has been approved by us, is valid for two years. You will need to apply again if you’re unable to get a place within this time. 
  • Each university considers its own OSPAP course applications and makes its own offers of OSPAP places. We cannot secure an OSPAP place at a university on your behalf. 

About the overseas-qualified pharmacist route

This route to registration is for those who:

  • qualified as a pharmacist outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), or
  • hold an EEA pharmacist qualification which is not a 'relevant' qualification (other than a UK-recognised pharmacist qualification)

Directive 2005/36/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 September 2005 on the recognition of professional qualifications

Before applying to register as a pharmacist in Great Britain

Our factsheet Registering as a pharmacist in Great Britain: overseas (non-EEA) qualified pharmacists [PDF 214 KB] outlines what you will need and the steps to follow to apply to register as a pharmacist in Great Britain.

Before you can apply to register as a pharmacist with the GPhC via the overseas-qualified pharmacist route, you must complete:

  1. an Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP)
  2. foundation training (52 weeks) in England, Scotland or Wales signed off as satisfactory by your supervisor
  3. the GPhC registration assessment with a pass result

Meeting these criteria does not necessarily mean you will gain entry to the UK or find employment.

Before you start the qualifying process you should carefully consider information provided by the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) to see whether you will be able to get the necessary visas and work permits. Unfortunately we are not able to answer questions about these issues.

Assessment of your eligibility to apply for an OSPAP course

If you decide that you do want to complete education and training in Great Britain so that you can apply to register with us, we need to assess if you are eligible to complete an OSPAP course.

We will do this by considering your previous qualifications and work experience, your fitness to practise and your English language competency.

When applications reopen, we strongly advise you to contact your preferred provider for an update on their availability before applying to the GPhC for an assessment of your eligibility to complete an Overseas Pharmacists’ Assessment Programme, as OSPAP courses are often in high demand.

It is your responsibility to check when and where you can start an OSPAP course.

Applying for eligibility

You will need to complete an Applying for eligibility to complete an Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP) form so that we can assess your eligibility to apply for an OSPAP course. 

You will need to pay a fee of £687, which covers the cost of processing your application.

The application fee is non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful. 

You will receive an update within eight weeks of the date you submitted your application.  We will contact you about the status of your application once we have received enough documents to progress the application to the next stage. 

Important: we are unable to confirm receipt of individual supporting documents. You are strongly advised to submit any supporting documents by using a postal service that is both fully tracked and provides confirmation of delivery.

Please make sure you read the guidance that comes with the application form so you can provide all the information we need, in the correct form. You can find out more in our Registering as a pharmacist in Great Britiain: overseas (non-EEA) qualified pharmacists factsheet [PDF 228 KB]

English language skills

You may need to provide specifc evidence of English language competency as part of your application for assessment of eligibility to apply for an OSPAP course. See the application guidance to find out what you need to provide.

We will not process your application if you do not provide the required evidence of your English language skills.

Guidance on evidence of English language skills [PDF 672 KB]

Providing evidence of English language competency form [Word 1.1 MB] 

Assessing your pharmacy qualification 

If your pharmacy qualification is not assessed as equal to at least a UK bachelor’s degree in pharmacy, you must carry out an assessment of the syllabus of the degree that you studied. 

International comparative framework assessment [PDF 233 KB]

Applying for a training place using the Oriel system

As well as your OSPAP eligibility application, you will need to consider applying for a training place to complete after your academic course. Most training places are filled through the Oriel system.

You can find out more about the application process on the Oriel website.

Professional support

If you are considering working as a pharmacist in Great Britain, you may want to find a pharmacist who can support you. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is the professional body for pharmacists in Great Britain, and runs the RPS Mentoring platform.

Any RPS member can join the platform if they want to offer professional support as a mentor, or if they are looking to receive professional support.

You can join the RPS as an international member if you are a pharmacist based outside Great Britain.