A UK-based pharmacist is to be offered a scholarship to work in Australia for up to a year under a new joint scheme by pharmacy bodies in both countries.

The scheme, which is a joint venture between the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA) and the World Pharmacy Council (WPC), is an exchange programme which will enable a pharmacist to experience pharmacy practice in Australia and share their experience of practice in their home country.

It is intended to inform the exchange and development of community pharmacy services in WPC member countries, according to the NPA.

The programme is an exchange, which means an Australian pharmacist will also come to the UK.

It will last for a minimum of four months, and a maximum of one year, with a scholarship of $Au50,000, equivalent to £26,000.

The scholars will be expected to present to the annual conference of the World Pharmacy Council about their experience and learning of community pharmacy practice and how it might be progressed.

Applications are open until 16 March, with applicants expected to have:

  • Completed an undergraduate pharmacy qualification and be registered with the GPhC or PSNI
  • Have been working for fewer than five years in a pharmacy role
  • Be currently employed in an independent community pharmacy role
  • Be a citizen of a World Pharmacy Council member country
  • Be able to start their exchange within six months of receiving their scholarship.

Opportunity for ‘professional growth’

The programme is funded by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and the UK pharmacy who takes on the Australian pharmacist will not need to pay them, as they will also receive a scholarship.

In a statement on the NPA website, it said: ‘This is a great opportunity to add a global context to your ongoing development, expand your network and open up different opportunities for professional and personal growth.

‘Community pharmacy practice varies in different countries, and you will have the chance to identify opportunities to develop your practice as well as becoming an advocate for your profession. Immersing yourself in another health environment will strengthen your transferable employability skills like adaptability, confidence, resilience, self-reliance, problem-solving, collaboration and decision-making.’

It comes after The Pharmacist learned that 20 pharmacists have been offered a ‘golden handshake’ from NHS England as part of the scheme of new GP partners.