Language Competence Requirements

Language competence requirements apply to all qualified pharmacists who have completed their training outside of Ireland and who are seeking registration with the PSI.

A pharmacist’s language competence must enable them to communicate, understand and treat patients, and to discharge professional obligations as a pharmacist in Ireland.

The legislative basis for these language competence standards are derived from the Professional Qualifications Directive as implemented by the European Union (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2017, the Pharmacy Act 2007 (as amended) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (Registration) Rules 2008 to 2017.


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 as a registered pharmacist for three out of the preceeding five years in a country that has English or Irish recognised as an official language.


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 at its meeting on 7 December 2017 affirmed the following tests and scores as acceptable for this purpose.

Language Requirements

English Test/ Certificate
  Minimum Score
International English language testing system (IELTS)
Academic format
Overall Band
Test of English as a foreign language
Internet based test (iBT)
Speaking 23
Listening 25
Test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL)
Paper-based test
Listening 59
TWE (test of written English)
TSE (test of spoken English)  
Total 590
OET    All components
Certificate issued by the State Examinations Commission attesting that the applicant has passed at least six subjects in the Irish Leaving Certificate examination with English or Irish being one of the subjects that has been passed in that examination*.

Applicants must meet or exceed the minimum in each of the individually scored components, in addition to meeting the minimum total score. All components of the IELTS, and iBT-TOEFL fluency tests must be attempted at the same sitting. The test must have been undertaken no more than two years prior to the date of submission or the applicant must provide evidence of having resided and worked/studied on a full time basis in an English speaking environment** since having completed the evaluation. 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.

  • * 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.