Advanced Training Residencies

Are you ready to take the next step? SHPA supports sites nationally to deliver Advanced Training Residencies, the next stage in structured and accredited national training programs for hospital pharmacists.

For pharmacists, Advanced Training Residencies offer an accredited pathway for specialty development, with Practice Area Pathways based on the disciplines within SHPA's Specialty Practice program as well as a generalist ATR Common Framework.

If you are an Advanced Training Resident, click here to register with SHPA.

For hospitals, accreditation to deliver Advanced Training Residencies provides assurance your site has the commitment, capacity and capability to offer a broad range of practice-based experiences to the next generation of pharmacy leaders.

View accreditation information → 

What does an ATR offer Residents?

Ideal for practitioners with 3–7 years of foundation hospital experience, this two-year program will give Residents the opportunity to:

How are ATRs structured?

First made available to SHPA members for consultation in September 2019, SHPA has developed the Advanced Training Residencies Common Framework which supports development across all practice areas.

The common framework includes:

  • an outline of the core features pharmacy departments require in order to deliver an ATR pathway
  • activities and workplace-based assessments to support and demonstrate the Resident’s attainment of the required knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours to practice at a level equivalent to Advancing – Stage II
  • tools and templates to support the program.

Access the Advanced Training Residencies Common Framework (SHPA members only) and Evaluation and Assessment Matrix.

Practice Area Pathways

Further to the Common Framework, SHPA currently offers the following specialty Practice Area Pathways:

  1. Oncology and Haematology
  2. Geriatric Medicine
  3. Medicines Information
  4. Critical Care
  5. Paediatrics
  6. Mental Health
  7. Surgery and Perioperative Medicine
  8. Nephrology
  9. Medication Safety
  10. Emergency Medicine
  11. Infectious Diseases

Further pathways are in development, however hospitals may deliver their own training ATR program in practice areas outside these pathways by adapting the Common Framework.

Access the Common Framework and Practice Area Pathways (SHPA members only) → 

How do I become an Advanced Training Resident?

Your first step is to obtain a position in an accredited workplace with an SHPA-approved ATR pathway. SHPA does not allocate or appoint Residents. Some sites advertise Advanced Training Residency positions specifically, others appoint Residents from a pool of existing staff members.

If you are an Advanced Training Resident, click here to register with SHPA.

Registration provides you access to a suite of resources and tools through SHPA’s Residency Program Hub (see 'Resources and tools').


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) and provide expert care and service delivery in their defined practice area.

The ATR program is idea for pharmacists with three to seven years of foundation hospital experience. Prospective Advanced Training (AT) Residents may have:

  • completed an SHPA Foundation Residency, or

  • equivalent experience, defined as at least two years' post-registration hospital pharmacy experience, in an environment that provides suitable broad foundation experience for the relevant ATR practice area.

Pharmacists with more than 7 years' experience may also be suitable for an ATR if they are moving into a defined or specialised area of practice that is new for them.

Pharmacists may be interested in undertaking an ATR if they:

  • 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 in a position to undertake an ATR program to support their professional practice and development in their new role (the workplace may design an ATR program specifically for the pharmacist and their new appointment).      

The above reasons are examples only. SHPA anticipates there will be other circumstances to which an ATR is suited.

Each ATR must have a defined practice area which can be generalist or specialist in scope. Pharmacy departments developing their ATR programs should align any specialty areas to the SHPA Specialty Practice Streams (Specialty Practice). It is up to the individual pharmacy departments to determine the ATR pathways they wish to implement (based on organisational needs) and the recruitment processes.

Each individual’s ATR will be based upon one of the following documents:

  • SHPA ATR Common Framework: This is a generic developmental pathway that can be adapted to any practice area

  • SHPA Practice Area Framework and Knowledge Guide: This is a suite of documents that contextualizes and expands the Common Framework to defined practice areas

The SHPA ATR Common Framework can be applied to any ATR practice area to facilitate advancement. Where an ATR pathway maps to an existing SHPA model Practice Area Framework and Knowledge Guide, these should be used in lieu of the Common Framework to inform and develop the local ATR.

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 (Advanced Training Mentor) with expert practice in the area and have input from an external mentor (e.g. specialist medical practitioner, senior nursing staff, etc) 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 Advanced Training Residency evaluation and assessment matrix.

The Advanced Training Mentor for a given ATR pathway is required to demonstrate performance at Advancing – Stage II (Consolidation Level) or above in a practice area highly relevant to the ATR. If Advancing Practice credentialing has not been obtained, the proposed mentor will need to submit evidence demonstrating equivalent experience, which will be assessed by SHPA for approval.

The mentor is likely to be a senior pharmacist currently engaged in the practice area within the organisation, who will be directly supervising the AT Resident. One AT Mentor may provide support to more than one AT Resident if appropriate and practicable. If the organisation does not have a suitable senior pharmacist to lead the AT Resident, a mentor can be identified from another health network in Australia (preferably within the same state). Any sites unable to identify a suitable mentor should contact the SHPA for guidance.

Still have questions? Please refer to the FAQs – SHPA Residency Programs for more information or contact

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Program Approvals

Program Approvals

The Advanced Training Residency (ATR) pathways at the following hospitals have been approved by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.