English Language Requirements – PSI

Language competence requirements apply to all qualified pharmacists who have completed their training outside of Ireland and who are seeking registration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland. If you have qualified from a non-English speaking country and/or have completed your qualifications through a non-English speaking country, you will need to sit an English exam prior to obtaining PSI registration. A pharmacist’s language competence must enable them to communicate effectively to  comprehend and treat patients as well as discharging professional obligations as a pharmacist.

At Med Pharm, we strongly recommend that you complete the English exams before moving to Ireland and do not opt to work as a pharmacy technician. There are a number of reasons we recommend sitting the English exam prior to moving to Ireland not least because there is a difference of at least €30,000 in salary between what a pharmacy technician and a pharmacist earns in Ireland.


The PSI Council accept the following criteria as being satisfactory to assure language competence:

1) Training to become a qualified pharmacist has been carried out in a country that has English or Irish recognised as an official language of that country.


2) The applicant has lived and practiced in a whole-time capacity as a registered pharmacist for three out of the preceding five years in a country that has English or Irish recognised as an official language. (Satisfactory independent evidence must be provided if relying on this criteria)


3) A certificate issued by an internationally recognised body or authority, recognised by the PSI Council, attesting that the holder has attained a standard of competence in the English language. The PSI Council has approved language standards that must be met by an applicant in completing one of the recognised international language tests – an applicant may choose which of these tests s/he wishes to undertake.

The Council reviewed its current exams and scores at its meeting on 20 September 2019 and adopted the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) C1 level as the minimum required standard for language proficiency, and recognised the following bodies’ language scores as satisfactory evidence of compliance with competence requirements.

Click here for a list of the difference English language exams and results required in order to obtain PSI registration.

The test(s) must have been undertaken no more than two years prior to the date of submission or the applicant must provide satisfactory independent evidence of having resided and worked/studied on a full-time basis in an English-speaking environment** since having completed the evaluation. There is an allowance of super-scoring for two examinations (of the same format) within six-months only. To avail of super-scoring, applicants must meet or exceed the base-score (see table) per component and overall for the exam to be considered valid. Across the two sittings, applicants must meet or exceed the required minimum score as defined in the table. Examples of super-scoring are available. Applicants must meet or exceed the minimum score in each component, in addition to meeting the minimum total score. All components of the IELTS, TOEFL, CAE, and OET tests must be attempted at the same sitting.

Applicants must arrange to have the Test Report Form, in respect of the IELTS or TOEFL, sent directly to the PSI by the test centre where the applicant undertook the evaluation. Statements of results for the CAE and OET should be shared through the respective examinations’ online results portals.

  • * Pass means a Grade D or above on ordinary or higher level papers 1. Applied Leaving Certificate will not be accepted.
  • ** English is an official language of the country in which an applicant has resided and worked/studied on a full time basis since having completed the evaluation (refer CIA – The World Fact Book). Only countries listed on this website as having English as a first language will be recognised for this purpose.

The above information is courtesy of the PSI.