Maternity Leave: How to Manage Your Registration

Maernity leave registration pharmacists

Not going near the cytotoxics because you’ve got a bun in the oven?

Having a baby is a steep learning curve and that’s before you even get to hold that precious bundle.

You’ve got a million things to do, appointments to make and you can’t eat anything that you desperately want to. Oh and make sure you add navigating Centrelink and the Paid Parental Leave application to your ever-growing to-do list to match your ever-growing stomach.

But what do you do with your AHPRA registration while you’re on maternity leave?

The Pharmacy Board has no specific policy for Pharmacists taking maternity leave. As far as we can see there are two options to consider and weigh up.

1. Maintain general registration

If you choose to maintain general registration you will have to meet all of the usual requirements:
  • attain 40 CPD credits for the CPD year (1 Oct – 30 Sept);
  • maintain your professional indemnity insurance; and
  • maintain recency of practice (150 hours over 1 year OR 450 hours over 3 years).

Pros

  • You can return to work whenever you choose.
  • You keep your hand in and your brain ticking over by completing CPD which can be a lovely break from nappies, bottles and trips to the park.

Cons

  • The cost of registration, professional indemnity insurance and CPD can quickly add up.
  • The pressure of completing 40 CPD credits can be intense towards 30 September.
  • If you take a break longer than three years (if say you have two kids back to back) then you may not meet the recency of practice requirements (see below).

What happens if you don’t meet the CPD requirements?

You can still apply to the Pharmacy Board for general registration however you will have to notify them that you have not completed your CPD credits and provide details of the CPD you have completed. The Board will consider your application and decide whether you can re-register and if they place any conditions on your registration.

Helpful Hints

If you are only practising for part of the year you may be eligible for reduced membership rates with some of the professional bodies. You would then be eligible for members rates for their CPD events.

Try to complete your CPD requirements as early as possible in the CPD year. If you’re due later in the year try to complete your CPD credits before the baby arrives. Honestly, CPD will be the last thing on your mind once that baby arrives.

If you’re struggling to find time to complete CPD listening to podcasts in the car is a great option to get some Group 1 CPD credits. Not so easy if your baby particularly hates being in the car or if you have older kids who want to talk over the top of it.

2. Non-practicing registration

If you elect to have non-practising registration you don’t need to hold professional indemnity insurance, meet the CPD requirements or the recency of practice requirements.

Pros

  • Lots of money saved at a time when you aren’t exactly flush with cash.
  • No stress come September when you realise you have a month to complete all of your CPD credits.

Cons

When you decide to return to work you’ll need to apply to the Board for general registration which will involve:

  • proving your eligibility for registration;
  • proving that you’re still competent to practice;
  • completing 40 CPD credits for the year before your application.

The Board will consider your application and decide whether they place conditions on your registration such as supervised practice.

This can take time which can be frustrating particularly if you need to return to work quickly or have a job lined up.

What happens if you take an extended leave from work?

If you take more than three years off work you’ll no longer meet the recency of practice requirements (150 hours over 1 year OR 450 hours over 3 years).

Regardless of which type of registration you’ve held during that period, you’ll have to notify the Board.  They’ll then determine whether you may hold general registration and whether any further action is required, such as supervised practice, CPD and assessments.

Weighing it all up

There’s no one right option as everyone’s situation is different.

Weigh up your options, talk to your partner, consider your plans for work and make a decision about what works for you.

But most importantly enjoy those newborn snuggles.

Maternity leave registration pharmacists

References:

Pharmacy Board of Australia Registration Standard: Recency of Practice

Pharmacy Board of Australia Registration Standard: Professional Indemnity Insurance Arrangements

Pharmacy Board of Australia Registration Standard: Continuing professional development

Pharmacy Board of Australia Frequently Asked Questions: Continuing Professional Development for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Interns

As always this information is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. When making a decision about your registration you should take into account your personal situation, and consult professional advice including advice in writing from AHPRA.

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