Specialty Practice FAQs

Please read these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about Specialty Practice. Please contact the Specialty Practice team if you have further queries.

Specialty Practice caters for all levels of expertise and career stages: 

  • pharmacy students and interns; 
  • technicians and assistants; 
  • early-career, rotational and generalist pharmacists; 
  • emerging leaders and specialists; and 
  • highly accomplished specialists and recognised leaders.

Interest Groups are the foundation and entry level of Specialty Practice. They are online communities of interested pharmacy students and interns; technicians; early-career, rotational and generalist pharmacists; emerging leaders and specialists; as well as members who are highly accomplished specialists and recognised leaders in the specialty.

Interest Group members have an online hub of information and resources relevant to the specialty, and a discussion forum where they seek advice, ask questions and share knowledge.

You can progress through any specialty as far as you want to match your practice. 

Join Interest Groups in all specialties relevant to your practice that you want to keep up to date with and connect with their online community. 

Consider progressing to the Practice Group in a specialty that you are accomplished and invested in and is the focus of your practice if you want opportunities to work with SHPA and the Leadership Committee on projects. You will still be a member of the Interest Group.

Progress to Leadership Committee if you would like to use your expertise to influence pharmacy practice in the specialty, help shape SHPA’s work in the specialty and be recognised as a leader. You will still be a member of the Interest Group and Practice Group.

Interest Groups are the entry level of Specialty Practice. You can enrol yourself into any Interest Group and find out more about them in the Specialty Practice portal in Online CPD.

Once you are in an Interest Group, you can learn more about joining the Practice Group or Leadership Committee if you want to deepen your involvement.

When referring to the three tiers of a specialty, the Interest Group, Practice Group and Leadership Committee, we use the term stream, i.e. the Cardiology stream comprises the Cardiology Interest Group, Cardiology Practice Group and Cardiology Leadership Committee.

Members of all tiers of the stream are members of the Interest Group.

No. Participating in SHPA Specialty Practice, at any level, is a free member benefit for all SHPA members.

Yes. All SHPA members, including students and interns, are eligible to join Interest Groups.

Students and interns cannot join Practice Groups or Leadership Committees. 

Yes. Technician members are eligible to join all tiers of Specialty Practice: Interest Groups, Practice Groups and Leadership Committees.

Technician members cannot Chair a Leadership Committee, except for the Technicians and Assistants Leadership Committee, which must be chaired by a Technician member.

Yes. There is no limit to the number of Interest Groups you can join. You can join all Interest Groups that are relevant to your practice, you can add more Interest Groups as your practice changes, and be unenrolled from Interest Groups that are no longer relevant.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
Aid and Volunteering*
Clinical Trials
Compounding Services
Critical Care
Dispensing and Distribution
Education and Educational Visiting
Emergency Medicine
General Medicine
Geriatric Medicine
Infectious Diseases
Leadership and Management
Medical Specialties*
Medication Safety
Medicines Information
Mental Health
Oncology and Haematology
Paediatrics and Neonatology
Pain Management
Palliative Care
Pharmacy Informatics and Technology (formerly Electronic Medication Management)
Rural and Remote
Surgery and Perioperative Medicine
Technicians and Assistants
Transitions of Care and Primary Care
Voluntary Assisted Dying
Women's and Newborn Health

*Interest Group Only

Your engagement with Specialty Practice can be tailored to meet your needs. Choose the level of engagement that reflects your practice in each specialty – join all of the Interest Groups that are relevant to your practice to access the online communities and discussion forums in these specialties; progress to the Practice Group or Leadership Committee in areas you specialise in.  

Members of Interest Groups who are accomplished and invested in the specialty and want to contribute to SHPA projects can apply to join the Practice Group to get involved and contribute. 

As SHPA’s pool of member expertise, Practice Group members work with SHPA and Leadership Committees on SHPA projects such as education, publications, advocacy and more. 

No. Interest Groups are the foundation of Specialty Practice – online communities of members who are highly accomplished and experienced in the specialty interacting with others who have less experience but a thirst for knowledge. 

Each Practice Group is a subgroup of the Interest Group and the Leadership Committee is a subgroup of the Practice Group.

Practice Groups are members who are accomplished and invested in the specialty, they might be a specialist or on the way to being a specialist, and want to contribute to SHPA projects and help develop pharmacy practice in the specialty. Practice Group members have opportunities to work on education events, publications, standards of practice, advocacy, provide expert opinion and more. 

Being a member of a Practice Group gives you a voice and opportunities to use your expertise, a wider reach and a platform to showcase your skills.

Practice Group members are eligible to nominate for election to the Leadership Committee.

Submit a Practice Group application with your CV and information about your expertise and experience in the specialty for review by the Leadership Committee.

When you join a Practice Group you will still be a member of the Interest Group and much of your activity in the specialty will still be as part of the Interest Group online community – i.e. the discussion forum. 

When SHPA or the Leadership Committee needs to utilise the expertise of the Practice Group for projects or expert opinion, they will do so via a dedicated Practice Group forum.

As a Practice Group member you will be eligible to nominate for election to the Leadership Committee.

Practice Group membership is indefinite, providing your SHPA membership remains current. You may request to leave a Practice Group at any time.

Each Leadership Committees is a dynamic and supportive group of SEVEN passionate leaders elected from the Practice Group. They meet monthly by videoconference and work with SHPA to develop and influence pharmacy practice in the specialty and support members of the Interest Group.

Leadership Committee members are elected from the Practice Group. If you would like to be elected, you can nominate yourself when the call for nominations is open.

A Leadership Committee term is THREE years, members can nominate for subsequent terms. There is no limit on the number of terms a member serves as a Leadership Committee member. 

You can continue to be a member of Interest Groups, Practice Groups and Leadership Committees even when you are on extended leave. As long as your SHPA membership is current, your Specialty Practice involvement does not need to change, except by your own choice, e.g. you would be unable to contribute to Leadership Committee meetings as a Leadership Committee member.

Specialty Practice can save you time. Through discussion forums you can tap into the expertise of peers and leaders across the country and learn from their practice. Specialty Practice can help you avoid replicating work that has been done already as members frequently share their procedures and guidelines.

Discussion forum posts are stored indefinitely and are searchable so, while reading forum posts daily is desirable, it is not essential.

Practice Group members can choose which projects to be involved in according to their capacity when opportunities arise.

Leadership Committee members attend monthly, one-hour meetings by videoconference, and take on additional roles that are not onerous, e.g. moderating the discussion forum or assessing Practice Group applications. More substantial roles, e.g. seminar lead or tutor, author of Standard of Practice are optional.

Yes, if your involvement in Specialty Practice informs your practice, it is CPD. Every time you learn something new, confirm existing knowledge, reflect on your practice, teach another member something – it is professional development and can be included in your CPD record.  

Being a Leadership Committee member is definitely something to include on your CV. Being elected as a Leadership Committee member recognises your leadership and expertise in the specialty.

Your discussion forum settings determine whether you receive an email for every post to a discussion forum you are enrolled in, or just one email per day that contains all posts for the day.  

Go to your user profile in Online CPD to change your preferences.

Alternatively, use rules and sorting functions in your email platform to divert discussion forum posts to a dedicated folder that you can check at a time of your choosing, thus keeping your inbox less cluttered.