What are the benefits of being an Accredited Pharmacist?
An Accredited pharmacist is a medication management expert, providing advice on the appropriate use of medications by individuals living in the community or in Residential Care Facilities. Accredited pharmacists can enjoy a flexible, varied and challenging career, a combination so many professionals desire but is actually difficult to find.
An accredited pharmacist can provide a variety of Medication Management Review (MMR) services including Home Medicines Reviews (HMR), Residential Medication Management Reviews (RMMR), and Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) services, all of which require them to put their in-depth clinical and therapeutic knowledge, and excellent communication and problem-solving skills to good use every day.
Being an accredited pharmacist offers you the flexibility of working as either an employee pharmacist (for a pharmacy, MMR business) or as an independent contractor providing MMR services to pharmacies, GPs, Residential Care Facilities, correctional facilities and community health centres to name just a few. Another exciting career path that is gaining some momentum in Australia is the incorporation of accredited pharmacists in GP clinics. This allows the accredited pharmacist to become an integral part of the healthcare team and apply their vast clinical knowledge to medication related problems quickly and effectively.
Becoming an Accredited Pharmacist is an excellent career choice if you:
- enjoy working with people from all walks of life
- have excellent communication skills
- have a thirst for knowledge
- enjoy educating people about their medications and health
- have excellent problem-solving skills
- like to think outside the box
- desire flexibility in your work
How do I become an Accredited Pharmacist?
If you are interested in providing Medication Management Review (MMR) services, you must be a registered pharmacist and you must be accredited by an appropriate organisation. In Australia, the two organisations that accept applications for MMR accreditation are the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA). The accreditation process ensures pharmacists have the required competency and clinical knowledge to provide HMRs to the highest of standards.
The AACP accreditation process requires candidates to complete the following:
- Stage One (preparatory) Course by an approved provider. Candidates have the option of completing this course online or face-to- face.
- Communication Module that focuses on communication, collaboration and adherence, and includes a 12-question MCQ assessment (pass mark 75%).
- 40-question, open-book clinical MCQ assessment (pass mark 75%)
- Four hypothetical case studies comprising two HMRs and two RMMRs
Further information about the AACP accreditation process can be found on the AACP website.
The SHPA accreditation process requires candidates to complete one of the following:
- Certified Geriatric Pharmacist (CGP) credential
- Certification as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) by the US Board of Pharmacy Specialties
- M Clin Pharm or M Pharm Practice plus credentialing by the National Alliance for Pharmacy Education
Further information about the SHPA accreditation process can be found on the SHPA website.
Becoming an accredited pharmacist requires a commitment to career-long learning. Once accredited, pharmacists must undertake reaccreditation (annually for AACP associates, varied requirements for SHPA accredited pharmacists) to demonstrate that they have remained current with their knowledge and practice.