Information for overseas pharmacists

If you're looking for information about becoming a pharmacist in the UK, you’ve come to the right place. 

This page describes what you need to know, depending on where you’ve trained, and signposts you to further information.

Anyone wanting to work in the UK as a pharmacist must register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

EEA nationals

The GPhC is the regulatory body for pharmacists in England, Scotland and Wales. It also regulates pharmacy technicians. Registration with the GPhC does not provide the right to work in the UK.

Qualifications obtained outside the EEA

Applicants who hold qualifications obtained outside the EEA, or non-EEA nationals who hold European pharmacy qualifications (other than a UK-recognisd pharmacy qualification), must follow the GPhC Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) to apply for registration.

Further information for overseas (non-EEA) qualified pharmacists is available on the GPhC website.

EEA nationals with a European qualification

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) possessing a European pharmacy qualification and who wish to apply to register with the GPhC must first complete an information pack and provide the information requested. An applicant's route to registration will depend on how the competent authority describes the qualifications and/or work experience held by the individuals in relation to the relevant European Directives.

There are two possible routes to registration. Details are available on the GPhC website.

When the GPhC has verified the information requested, the appropriate application for registration form will be sent to the applicant.

Code of practice for ethical recruitment

Many NHS organisations contract with agencies to help with overseas recruitment campaigns, in line with the Department of Health and Social Care code of practice.

The code is clear that active recruitment from developing countries is unethical. See NHS Employers' website for more detail. The code of practice also includes key principles such as not requiring candidates to pay a fee up front. If you are asked to pay a fee up front for promises of NHS accommodation or work, please report the request to Action Fraud.

If you are thinking about coming to work in the UK, it is a good idea to read the guidance from the Government which includes information on:

  • avoiding scams
  • working rights and standards
  • what to consider when deciding whether to take a health or care job in the UK
  • where to go for further guidance, support or help in the UK
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