Background and governance

The Australian and New Zealand College of Advanced Pharmacy (ANZCAP) is a landmark program recognising career progression and specialty skills, enabling Australian and New Zealander pharmacists and technicians from all practice settings to be recognised for their experience and expertise. 

Launched in September 2023, ANZCAP supports pharmacists and technicians working in Australia and New Zealand to track and plan their career toward Pharmacist Resident, Pharmacist Registrar and Pharmacist Consultant (Fellow) recognition, conferring certification and use of ANZCAP post-nominals – ANZCAP-Res., ANZCAP-Reg. and FANZCAP – and advancing the profession as a whole. 

The ethos of ANZCAP could be understood as ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. ANZCAP inspires every practitioner to be the best they can be, providing a clear framework and intuitive tools for any pharmacist, early career pharmacist, technician and student to carve their own path toward specialty impact and personal fulfilment.  

Completion of a portfolio and the conferral of ANZCAP post-nominals enables the achievements of practitioners to be clearly and concisely understood by their employers and peers, by government, by healthcare colleagues and by the patients in their care.  

ANZCAP is a joint initiative of the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) and the New Zealand Hospital Pharmacy Association (NZHPA). 

The journey to ANZCAP 

While ANZCAP builds upon previous recognition frameworks, it is the largest, most inclusive and most innovative program of its kind in Australia pharmacy.  

Research began in 2020 through a series of qualitative surveys, workshops, focus groups and expert consultations, which revealed demand for a recognition program that was accessible, affordable, informed by a robust academic framework, relevant to current practice standards, embraced by employers and respected by peers.  

The research findings informed ANZCAP’s multi-lateral development, led by a Delphi research advisory council whose insight shaped the structure of Learning Experiences (LXs), which include details, criteria, reflection, goal development evidence and user and/or collaborator declarations, in line with the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia (2016).  

By requiring the completion of both Core and Elective LXs before submitting a portfolio, ANZCAP was able to balance requirements across different clinical activities -- across care settings and at different levels of seniority -- something that had not yet been achieved through comparable programs. 

Further, a second innovation requiring a mix of Autonomous (completed solo), Collaborative (completed with a workplace peer) and Endorsed (supported by evidence from a third party institution) LXs, ensures participants include a blend of workplace experiences, and provides clear measures against which submitted portfolios can be both assessed and audited. 

Rounding out the program development, SHPA undertook modelling to ensure equitable and affordable access, significant investment in a custom-built IT platform that was intuitive and accessible, and engagement with stakeholders across health care, government and universities to ensure the purpose of ANZCAP was broadly understood from day one. 

In addition to two-year Training Programs, and the Independent Program for any pharmacist to chart their own course, in late 2024 ANZCAP will expand to include Pharmacy Technicians, concurrent with the release of new competency standards, a testament to the program’s commitment to inclusion which will positively impact scope of practice across the profession. 

Governance framework 

ANZCAP Advisory Board 

Formed in 2022, the ANZCAP Working Group comprises leading SHPA members, supported by the SHPA Workforce Transformation Team, who provide advice and guidance on policy, process, risk analysis, standards, quality assurance, audit and other governance matters.  

Dr Kate O’Hara (Chair)

Sian Dawson (NZHPA)

Tara Clayson-Fisher

A/Prof Jacinta Johnson

Professor Lisa Pont

Kate Ziser

ANZCAP Standards Advisors

ANZCAP Standards Advisors are academic leaders from the profession appointed in 2024 to oversee key ANZCAP processes and provide advice to the ANZCAP Advisory Board and SHPA. These include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Auditing submitted portfolios against conferred recognition, including those for pharmacists whose initial recognition was via the Foundation Program. 
  2. Requirements to achieve renewal of recognition (annual). 
  3. Requirements to achieve periodic re-credentialling of recognition in nominated practice areas. 

ANZCAP Directors of Pharmacy Advisory Committee 

Formed in 2024, the Directors of Pharmacy Advisory Committee comprises hospital pharmacy leaders from across Australia, to advise on direct and clear use of recognitions in the workplace, and inform innovations and improvements in ANZCAP programs and initiatives.