To migrate to UK, US or Canada is one of the dreams of young pharmacists in Nigeria. This maybe attributed to the lucrative salary you can earn as a pharmacist in these countries when compared to what they are paid in Nigeria. Others maybe to obtain extra degrees such as MBA or MPH (Masters in Public Health) in the host countries.
However, when thinking of migrating to UK from Nigeria as Pharmacist, bear in mind that you will need to work to make a living. Then, the question is, “are you qualified to work as a Pharmacist in the UK with Nigerian Pharmacy degree?”.
The answer to the above question is “NO”. In fact, in the real sense, any pharmacist that wants to work in a country different from where the Pharmacy degree was obtained will need to write a conversion exam.
Example, If you studied in UK or wherever and want to practice in Nigeria as a Pharmacist, you will need to enroll for the Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Orientation Programme (FPGOP) and write the PCN conversion exam to be licensed as a Nigerian Pharmacist.
Similarly, to migrate to UK and practice as a Pharmacist, you will need to enroll for Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) conducted by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
The GPhC is the Pharmacy regulating body in the UK just as PCN ( Pharmacy Council of Nigeria) is to Nigeria. Therefore, each country has a body that regulates the Practice of Pharmacy in her territory.
So, to migrate to the UK from Nigeria and have the full right to practice as a Pharmacist, you must pass through some processes that will qualify you to be licensed. Below are the steps and what it takes to practice as a Pharmacist in the UK as a foreigner.
Steps To Practice As A Pharmacist In UK As A Foreigner
The steps to take to be a licensed pharmacist in UK is same for every pharmacist that obtained his degree from outside of the EEA region. The steps includes;
1. Application for OSPAP eligibility evaluation
Before you will be eligible to apply for the OSPAP training, you will have to send your documents for qualification and experience verification. There is a non refundable fee of £687.00 for the processing of this application.
Your documents will be compared to the UK MPharm qualification by the UK ENIC organization.
A “statement of comparability’ is sent to the GPhc stating how your qualification is weighed up against the Master of Pharmacy in UK. If your documents are eligible, you can proceed to apply for the OSPAP. If not, you will need to complete an Mpharm education in the great Britain.
In addition to the that, you will also need to provide an evidence of English language competency.
2. OSPAP Application
During your application, you will need to choose from universities that offers GPhC-accredited OSPAP courses. They are;
- Aston University
- University of Brighton
- University of Hertordshire
- Kingston University London
- University of Sunderland
The GPhC will send your statement of comparability, notifying any school of your choice that you are eligible to apply for OSPAP. However, you must not wait for the GPhC, you can reach the school after knowing the status of your eligibility.
An OSPAP is a one-year, full time postgraduate diploma that will demonstrate that you have met the UK MPharm (Master of Pharmacy) degree qualification. Though, you will not be awarded the masters degree certificate.
3. Pre-registration training placement/ Internship
This is a 52 weeks training program that allows the pharmacist to work under the supervision of a tutor or trainees. It is equivalent to the compulsory 1 year internship training in Nigeria. Therefore, you will be paid while on this training. Also, it serves as a prerequisite that will qualify you to sit for the registration assessment and meet the criteria to be licensed as a pharmacist.
The pre-registration training is compulsory for both British and Foreign graduates. You can start looking for a place to do your pre-registration training while still on your OSPAP course or you can subscribe to the national scheme that absorbs you automatically after the training.
4. Registration assessment
The registration assessment is similar to the PEP (Pre-registration Examination for Pharmacists) exam in Nigeria. This assessment is one of the ways to ascertain that trainees can make professional judgements based on the knowledge they have acquired during the training.
This assessment consist of two question papers. Candidates must pass these two papers at one attempt but can have up to three attempts to pass the registration assessment. The exam is conducted twice in a year, June and September.
If you completed your OSPAP, your 52 weeks of pre-registration training/internship and the registration assessment exam, you are eligible to apply for license registration in UK as a foreign Pharmacist.
Note that you must complete these processes within 4 years, starting from the date you commenced your OSPAP training.
If you need more information with regards on how you can start the process and application, you can click the link below to get in touch with us.