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About Middlecat

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  • Birthday June 29
  1. Middlecat

    Calling all Pharmacists!!

    Hi, Just thought I'd give a recent example of the experience of a UK pharmacist moving to Australia - Sydney. We came over in the first week of December. I had passed the CAOP and knew that I needed to get my provisional license from AHPRA, then complete my 152 hours, then apply for my full license, then get a job. First thing to note is that it is very hard and often quite sould destroying but it is possible. I applied for provisional license as soon as we arrived in Sydney (1st week December). The office for AHPRA is on the 51st floor on George street and it's very flashy. However a flashy office doesn't mean anything as they are grnerally under experienced, unknowledgable pen pushers who are usually on breaks and don't knwo the answers to any questions I asked them! Sorry...rant over. So I was granted my provisional license about 6 weeks later. It took me only 3 days to find my supervised practice in a community pharmacy. I did the usual of walking the streets handing my cv in. My advice is to avoid the metro area and head to the suburbs. Please also be aware that when doing your supervised practice your pay is likely to be quite low (I was getting around $18 per hour when an average community pharmacist gets between $30-40 per hour). I was only offered part time too so 20 hours a week meant 8 weeks to complete. This shouldn't worry you though because I very quickly realised it wasn't the supervised practice that would delay the process, rather AHPRA. ALso, because they took so long to grant me a provisional license (paper work!!!!- apparently it takes them weeks to sign a form!) I was working but it didn't count toward my hours so I ended up in total doing about 220 hours because I had been working for 3 weeks before they granted me my provisional license. After you have completed 75% of your hours you can apply for the oral exam. I personally thought this was very straightforward. I had prepared thouroughly but was only asked 4 questions. An ethics question, a review of a Cd prescription, and 2 questions on scheduling of medicines i.e. OTC and POM. It lasted for about 20 minutes max. I found out just over a week later that I had passed and then immediately submitted my application for full license. This (ridiculously) took them another 4 weeks. So in total, I was registerd at the end of March having started in the first week fo December. 4 months start to finish. Luckily my husband had a job. A few other notes: This is only the experience of NSW/Sydney. I have heard that other states AHPRA offices are better. When contacting AHPRA they rarely respond and found the lady who deals with pharmacistst to be very rude (a jumped up pen pusher on a power trip might be fair?). One line emails in response. The guys on the reception desk in the office....I sympathise with them. THey get so much grief from frustrated people asking why it is taking so long and they can't really supply the answer. Bottom line...It is long and difficult but doable. Now on to job hunting. I can only speak from my experience but I have been offered two positions in 2 weeks. One hospital, one community. I took the hospital job and will be starting in a week or so, once they have received the criminal check from UK. Tip - bring your immunisation certificates. They will need to see them or you will need to get a blood test at your expense to prove them. Hope this paints a slightly brighter picture. It is possible but AHPRA are a bit of a shambles at the moment. I think that's a fair summary. Also for your reference: Community pharmacists in Sydney earn around $30-40 per hour. Grade 1 hospial (equivalent to Band 6 UK) ear around $55-60k Grade 2 (equivalent to bank 7) earn $77-85k Grade 3 (Band 8) $90k plus. That's my experience anyway. Best of luck to all!
  2. Middlecat

    Calling all Pharmacists!!

    hi all, any update on finding the supervised practice? We arrive in Nov and my wife needs to get her practice out of the way....is there an option to work for free maybe? thank
  3. HI, Please try not to worry. I had my medical in Manchester and they found a small nodule (??) on my lung. THey referred me to the hospitol where I had another (and i must say...far better xray). It turned out to be nothing at all and the medical although referred when it got to Sydney, was passed within a month of going to Australia. Yes it was a pain but I was just relieved that it was nothing, as I'm sure yours is. Also as a poster above wrote, when I phoned the health place in Australia they said that TB was the main thing they looked for in the lungs. I do think it was a little bit overkill by the medics in Manchester but hey ho, in the end it was just a delay. Best of luck.
  4. thanks roundmuose and good luck with the future!
  5. Wow, roundmous I hope it works out for you. My wife is a hospitol pharmacist and teh main applicant. We applied on Dec30 2009 and were granted on April 7th. I woudl definitely suggest chasing this up in the hope that you get your visa before July 1st. We didn't have to fill out a form 80 though so as DIAC have indicated, it may be that which is holding it up. Also based on yours and Craig and Zoe's points above, i'm getting a little concerned now regarding the job situation. It's hard enough to get the supervised practice doen but if there is no job at the end of it it is going to be difficult. The fact that they have seemingly removed pharmacists from the new list also indicates that they no longer need them in Oz. hmmm lots to ponder. Has anyone here got any ideas on the length of supervised practice for experienced pharmacists. I understand that the minimum used to be 4 weeks but now since the pharmacy councils have merged it is controlled by a different board. Has this changed at all? Any clear guidance would be appreciated. We arrive in Oz in early Nov but leave the UK for an extended honeymoon in August. We haven't even clearly decided where we are going yet, we are going to sopend a week in Perth, a week in melbourne and then a week in Sydney before flying back to teh one we preferred. I know this may seem silly as a week is no where near long enough to find the fell of a city but it's the best approach we could think of! Good luck to all. Dean
  6. Middlecat

    iPhone Contracts/PAYG in Aus

    Hi all, Do we really have to wait 2 years of working before we can get contract mobiles in Oz? That seems like a long time! Thanks, Dean
  7. Middlecat

    Priority Processing Groups 1-4..Where are U now?

    Hi all, Update!!!!!! Case officer allocated on Feb 25th. Application processed further also on Feb 25th. Medicals done on Feb 13th. Meds finally sent to HOC after various stupid mistakes by panel doctor: March 15th Med for Mariella finalised: 22nd March, Dean's were referred. Dean's meds finalised: 29th March. Police check uploaded early March and confirmed on 29th March. All documents except medicals and police check changed to 'met' status when checking online on 09/03/2010. All documents changed to met status including PCC and medicals: 06/04/2010 VISA GRANTED: 07/04/2010!!!!!!!!! In total: Days to CO: 57 Days from CO to Grant: 41 - Could have been much quicker if medicals hadn't been delayed by a month due to stupid panel doctor. HOC said they were processing medicals about 7-10 days after receipt. Mine was referred and took just over a week to be finalised. Visa came about one week after that! Leaving in August. Yipeeeeeeeeee!
  8. Hi all, Just for information. My medicals arrived in Sydney on 15/3/2010. i called to check on their status and teh lady told me there was a backlog of in excess of a week. This morning the medicals have been processed, (22/3/2010). My wifes medical all shows as finalised, mine has been referred! Typical. I half expected it because despite being completely healthy, the med centre decided to refer me as there was something on my Chest xray. Having been to the consultant at the hospitol I was told it was absolutely nothing (equivalent of a birth mark) and that I had a healthy diaphragm for someonw of my age. In summary - my medical was fine but because I had some extra bits of paper in there to document the chest consultation, it has been referred! So frustrating! Either way, just wanted to give an update on medical processing times. I've been refreed today so will update when finalised. Hopefully not too long! Oh and I am the secondary applicant. My wife (primary applicant passed straight through). Not sure if that s relevant! Thanks, Dean
  9. Middlecat

    What's happening to my medical?

    Hi Southerngent, Thanks fopr advice. I appreciate I am being slightly impatient. My rationale is that there are several recent examples of people having their medicals show as received, finalised etc within a matter of days of them arriving in Sydney. I guess I was hoping for a similar thing. Thanks, Dean
  10. Middlecat

    What's happening to my medical?

    Hi all, Had both our medicals couriered to Sydeny last week. I've trackes them on DHL and knwo that they arrived and were signed for last Friday 12/3/10. This I thought was great news as both medicals were ok hence I thought they would show as received, then change to finalised a few days later and before too long, my CO would give me the golden ticket! This unfortunately hasn't happened as of yet. When checking my visa status online, there is no difference at all. The medicals still appear as 'required' and there is no information to say that they have been received or processed etc. Previous posters have said how quickly their medicals are being processed so I was just a little dissapointed to not have any status updates. Any recent experiences or advice? Should I chase this up? Thanks, Dean
  11. Middlecat

    Visa Granted today 175 CSL

    When did you egt a CO Sparksy? Congrats!!!!
  12. Middlecat

    Quick Question about HOC

    I'd be interetsted to know this too! Also, when checking status of visa online, after you've logged in the first page says processing commenced, application processed further etc. Below the names of the applicants it states: Medical required (or something like that). I'm sure it used to say mediacal required and also police clearance certificate required but now I think the police clearance thing has disappeared. I did upload my PCC check 3 days ago but when I check on the document checklist it still says required for the PCC and the medicals. Could it be that they have accepted the PCC already but have failed to update the checklist as so often happens? I do have a CO by the way. Medicals are being posted this Frday. It's a bit annoying because there were various things to be completed with my medical (all of which turned out to be nothing!). I've now gotten all of these things completed, took the letter to the panel Doc and expected him to post them immediately (on Monday). This wasn't the case because he saidf to keep costs down they only courier once a week and that is a Friday. How annoying. I paid 14GBP per person for courier so I don't really care about keeping their costs down! lol!. Anyway, any update would be appreciated. back to Richjste's question...How do you know when the medicals have been receieved? Does it appear online? Thanks, MC
  13. Middlecat

    Calling those who applied on their own

    Hi all, I wrote this in a seperate thread but thought it might be useful here. Hope it helps! I applied without an agent and have just been give a CO!!! here is a complete breakdown of how I applied for the visa. 175 PR visa. Hope it helps. Note : you must have a positive skills assessment before applying for the 175 online. The form itself online is pretty straightforward. It took me about 1-2 hours to complete. Once you submit it you're given a reference code and then you can track it online. The only confusing part of the form for me was about non migrating dependents and other family. We are a married couiple with no children (yet!!!!!) so the only migrating people are my wife and I. We entered brotheres and parents (not migrating) in the other family section. I guess this is for the DIAC to be aware of wpersons who might potentially be moving to Oz at a future date but are not directly part of this application. Other than that, the form was straightforwards. My understanding is that if you have any children who are not migrating with you, they would be entered in the 'non-migrating dependents section'. it is all quite self explanatory on the form! You can save the form and come back to it before submitting. I think you have 28 days to complete it and you don't pay until the end! Just to let you know that as Melanie said, we had about 40 pages certifed by a very kind solicitor and it cost 30 pounds. previously we had been going to the magistrates courts and paying 25 per time but to be honest, my advice is get all the docs you ned together in one bundle and call a few solicitors. I called about 6 of them and the price varied substantially so definitely worth shopping around. Also, there is a lot of information on this forum regarding certifying documents. As far as I can tell (I'm pretty sure this is accurate) 1.)If the original is in colour, and you scan the document in colour - NO NEED TO CERTIFY. So for example - Birth certificates, education certificates, IELTS - all fine as they are in colour. 2.)If the original is in Colour and it is a black & white scan - Need to certify as the scan is in B&W 3.)If the original is B&W - NEED TO CERTIFY. Having said all of the above, I still had all of my docs certified as didn't want to leave the DIAC with any possible reason to delay my applicationm (ask for more infor etc). Whilst I'm ranting on here it's probably beneficial to tell you exactly how I did my application (175 visa applied 30/12/09). I scanned in all the docs and uploaded them all as colour scans saved in .JPG format. This format is an basically an image (like a photograph). So effectively what I have done is uploaded photos of all of my documents. Please be clear though, you need to scan the documents in i.e. you can't take a photo of the document with a camera and upload that - That would definitely not work! When uploadeing the documents I named everything seperated by an underscore and clearly stated what it was e.g. Birth_certificat_Dean Passport_bio_Mariella etc. When I uploaded the photo I simply scanned in a passport photo and uploaded that as .JPG. When checking the status of my application it says 'Processing commenced' which is the first thing it says as soon as you lodge the application. When looking at the documents list it still says next to each document 'required'. This is because a case officer hasn't looked at the file yet so even though I have uploaded everything I think I need (except medicals and police checks), because no one has looked at it yet it still says required so nothing to worry about there! I plan to front load the medicals and police checks in about March to hopefully speed things up. What front loading means is that you have the medicals and police checks done off yoru own back i.e. before a case officer has contacted you and requested you do them. This is a slightly risky strategy because the medicals and police checks have a validity period of 12 months so if my visa isn't granted and activated (i.e. I've been to Australia) in the 12 months from when they are done, I'll need to get them re done. The reason people front load is in the hope tyhat when a case officer is finally allocated, they will have everything they need so hopefully they can process it quickly. I have heard stories on here of people going straight to Grant. Any questions on how I did it please PM me as it is quite fresh in my mind. I spent many hours perusing this site and am extremely grateful for all of the help I have been giving. It really is an excellent resource. Hope this helps. Cheers, Dean
  14. Hi all, My 'Overseas penal clearance' required appeared online at the same time as the medicals. Interestingly, I haven't been able to use the links online for the online forms (police check, medical and radiographer forms) For some reason the link is dead. I'm pretty sure I've used the correct forms ie the 160 and 26 but not the forms specific to my application. I'm sure it doesn't matter. At least I hope not! Thanks, Dean
  15. Hi all, Reallygreat news. Thank you all for sharing your experiences. Regarding the police check, I meant I have uploaded it today. It still says required at the moment! Thanks, Dean