National Competency Standards

About the Standards

Competency standards describe the individual practitioner’s skills, attitudes and attributes (e.g. values and beliefs) based on knowledge (gained through study) and experience (gained through practice) that together is considered sufficient to enable the individual to practise as a pharmacist. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and practice improvement programs are designed to help pharmacists identify and develop areas where improvements in their competence is needed. PSA is the custodian of the framework on behalf of the profession.


The National Competency Standards Framework undergoes periodic review to ensure it is consistent with the professional requirements of contemporary pharmacist practice, and reflects the expectations of Australian healthcare consumers.

Structure of the Standards

In contrast to earlier versions of the National Competency Standards Framework, the 2016 Framework contemplates the standards as forming a matrix where those that apply universally to all pharmacists regardless of their scope or area of practice are regarded to be on the horizontal axis applying equally across the areas of endeavour covered in Domains 3 and 5 and the remainder of Domain 4 which form the vertical axis.


This concept is illustrated here in this figure, and is intended to enhance understanding by the profession that the universally applicable standards are relevant to and apply across all areas of professional endeavour.


PSA CPD Planning Tool

The PSA CPD Planning Tool is an intuitive online tool that will support you to:


  • Identify competencies relevant to your scope of practice
  • Identify your professional development needs relevant to these identified competencies
  • Identify suitable CPD activities which address your professional development needs
  • Maintain your CPD plan ready for registration reporting and audit.


Implementation tools funded by the Pharmacy Board of Australia

The development of practice support tools was funded by the Pharmacy Board of Australia and facilitated by the Pharmacy Practitioner Development Committee (PPDC). These generic tools are intended to support the implementation of the 2016 National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia (the ‘2016 Framework’). The Board-funded tools are available to all pharmacists, pharmacy interns and pharmacy students.



Competency Standards mapping tool

The PPDC, on behalf of its member organisations, produced a mapping tool to support the implementation of the ‘2016 Framework’.


In developing the mapping tool, each competency standard in the 2010 (previous) version was considered at the Element level and recommendations were provided on the most appropriate set of Enabling Competencies in the 2016 Framework. The mapping tool can be accessed below:


The Competency Standards mapping tool

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