Canadian Pharmacist License: Guidelines for Foreign Pharmacy Graduates

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PEBC exams information to get pharmacist license for Foreign Pharmacy Graduates in Canada. This guide will provide you with all the information (including PEBC evaluation exam and PEBC qualifying exam information) required to become a pharmacist in Canada.

If you are graduated in pharmacy in a country other than Canada and U.S.A and would like to get a pharmacist license in Canada there are some procedures you should follow. They are,

  1. First of all your back home degree should be evaluated by Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. (PEBC, Canada)
  2. Then you have to pass two exams conducted by PEBC called ‘Evaluating Exam and Qualifying Exam’.
  3. Once you pass the above two exams (PEBC Evaluation and Qualifying exams) you will be given a certificate called ‘Certificate of qualification’ by PEBC
  4. Now it’s your turn to choose which province you would like to practice and obtain English score according to that province regulation
  5. Next you have to finish sufficient hours of training in the pharmacy (usually there are 2 stages of training, studentship and internship)
  6. Finally, pass the Law exam (Jurisprudence exam) and get the ‘Pharmacist License ’.

Let us explain you how each procedure follows:

I. Evaluation of Pharmacy degree by PEBC:

One important thing you all must know is, to practice pharmacy in Canada, all applicants trained outside of Canada must have PEBC’s ‘certificate of qualification’.
Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is the national certification body for the pharmacy profession in Canada. Evaluation of documents is the first step you start with to get certificate from PEBC which includes the evaluation of certain documents to make sure that you have a degree in pharmacy that is acceptable to the PEBC.

Documents required for Evaluation:

  • Application form with Fee
  •  Documents to support identity such as, birth certificate or Marriage certificate
  • Immigration record of landing (only if you are landed in Canada)
  •  University degree certificate
  • Transcript, (an original, current dated and mailed directly to PEBC office)
  •  Licensing statement (current dated letter from licensing authority stating that your license is in ‘good standing’.

Some Tips:

  •  Fill all parts of the application.
  •  Make sure you have signed the application.
  • Have signature on photograph witnessed by notary.
  • Submit the right amount of fee in Canadian Dollars.
  • All the required documents are certified by Notary Public, commissioner for oaths etc., but not by a Consulate.

II. Evaluating and Qualifying exams:

Evaluating Exam:
Once the Document evaluation is done, next step is to pass Evaluating exam. This exam is designed to determine if you have completed a program of study comparable to that of Canadian standards. It will evaluate your knowledge in all areas of current pharmaceutical education in Canada. PEBC Evaluating exam will be administered twice during the testing year. It is two-day exam with 3.5 hour multiple-choice exam. You are only eligible to take the exam when your Document evaluation is completed.
Note: There are 2 separate application forms and Fee for ‘Document evaluation’ and ‘Evaluating Exam’.

Some Tips:

  • If you want to take the exam with out any delay, apply both for ‘Document Evaluation’ and ‘Evaluating Exam’ otherwise you may miss the deadline for submission of your exam application.
  • If you are not in a rush to take the exam but would like to complete ‘Document Evaluation’ process, you can still apply as you have 5 years to pass the Evaluating Exam.

Need more information about Evaluating Exam? Click here

Qualifying Exam:
Qualifying exam is the final exam to pass for PEBC certification. You must pass your Evaluating exam to be qualified for qualifying exam.Qualifying exam (Part I and II) is comprehensive and objective.

Qualifying Exam – Part I is a multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam. It is a 2 days (3.5 hr/day) written exam. Questions in Part I basically related to pharmacy practice.

Qualifying Exam Part II: This part of the qualifying exam is an ‘Objective structured clinical examination’ (OSCE), and it is taken on a different day than part I. It consists of a series of 7-minute tasks or ‘stations’ simulating common and/or critical practical situations. These simulations often involve interactions with a standardized ‘patient’ ‘client’ or ‘health professional’. For more information, click here

III. Certificate of Qualification by PEBC:

Once you pass 2 parts of qualifying exam, you get PEBC Certification. PEBC certification alone is not enough to practice pharmacy in Canada. That is only a part of licensing process. Next part is to get the license in the province you desire to work. Every province has its own regulation to provide the license. Each province in Canada has additional requirements such as, practical experience, language proficiency and law exam etc. to be a licensed pharmacist in that province.

Basic procedures followed in Ontario are available in our website. If you like to know more about licensing procedures in province other than Ontario, check individual State or Provincial Regulatory Authorities of Pharmacists in Canada .

IV. English Fluency Exam:

Language proficiency is one of the requirements in licensing process here in Canada, but each province has their own options for type of English test you take and score you should get. For example, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, accepts, TOEFL (IBT), TOEFL (CBT) with TSE, MELAB (Michigan English Language assessment battery, IELTS (International English Language Testing system) Academic module, Can Test (to be taken only in Canada). French tests, such as TestCan, Test of Business French. (only in Ontario) For updated information click here

V. Structural Practical Training:

Before you start training in the Pharmacy, you have to register with that province’s regulatory body. Each province has its own guidelines for registration.

Registration in Ontario

In Ontario, there are different stages of registration as you go ahead with each step. Different stages of registration in Ontario are,

1. Pre-registration
2. Registration as a Student
3. Registration as an Intern
4. Registration as a Pharmacist

Stage 1: Pre-registration:

All applicants must Pre-register with OCP as the first step in the licensure process. Once the ‘pre-registration’ process is done, you will be assigned with a number ‘Student number’ with which you will contact the college for follow-ups.

NOTE: Pre-registration status with OCP expires five years from the date of pre-registration. To reactivate your file, you will be required to submit a Pre-Registration Form and fee again.

Stage 2: Registration as a Student:

To be registered with the College (OCP) as a ‘Student’, as per current regulation, you have to either complete all the PEBC exams with valid English Language Fluency or complete a part of IPG (International Pharmacy Graduate) program which is offered by the ‘University ofToronto’. This requirement might change with time, however, if you pre-register with the OCP, you will be informed all the changes. Once you are registered with the College as a ‘Student’, you can perform all the controlled acts, such as, ‘dispensing’ ‘Selling’ or ‘compounding’, in the pharmacy during your studentship.

Tip: Remember that once you pass your English, it should be valid till the end of the licensing process. So, plan your English accordingly. Usually English is valid for 2 years. While working as a student you can plan to take law exam as it is valid for four years in Ontario.

NOTE: ‘Studentship’ is a part of your official training in the pharmacy (either Community or Hospital) under the supervision of a registered pharmacist (Preceptor).

To be registered with the college as a student you have to submit:

As an International Pharmacy Graduate, you have to complete a minimum of 32 weeks of studentship. Based on your previous pharmacy experience in Canada, numbers of exams you have completed from PEBC so far, weather you have taken any IPG program , college takes decision how long you should do your studentship.

• Studentship application form
• Studentship application fee

Stage 3: Registration as an Intern

Once you have successfully completed your ‘studentship’, you have to register with the College as an ‘Intern’. Internship training is bit advanced where you will be working independently as pharmacist. Duration of Internship is usually around 12 weeks or 600 hours, but that decision will be taken by the college. One thing you must remember here that, your English proficiency should be still valid to be registered with college as an Intern.
To register as an Intern with the college, you have to submit:
• Internship application form
• Internship application fee
• Valid English proficiency
• Validity of the affidavit of good character since you pre-register with the college

VI. Final procedure is to pass ‘Jurisprudence exam’ and register as a Pharmacist:

To reach this state, you have to pass one final exam is called ‘Jurisprudence exam’ also called ‘Law exam’. As every province has it’s own regulating body, passing this exam is must to be registered as pharmacist in that province. For list boards please check Provincial Regulatory Authorities of Pharmacists in Canada
Jurisprudence Examination Information for Ontario
•General Information •Examination procedure •Examination policy •Examination format •Jurisprudence seminar

General Information:

The pharmaceutical Jurisprudence exam is based on the Ontario College of Pharmacist’s standards and policies, and Federal and Provincial acts and their regulations, which control the production, distribution, advertising, sales and use of drugs in Ontario. This exam is to assess the student knowledge, ability to interpret and apply all legislation that impacts on current pharmacy practice in Ontario. One must pass this exam to be registered as pharmacist.

Examination Procedure:

1. This exam is held 4 times a year 2. Duration of the exam is 2 ½ hours 3. The National Drug Schedules and Summary of Federal and Provincial Laws will be provided in the exam (Open Book model), so you should be familiar with the schedules, but don’t have to memorize them. 4. Although this exam can be taken at any stage in the registration process, it is recommended to pass this exam before ‘Internship’. 5. The passing mark is determined by summing up the minimum performance level across all items for a particular test. 6. Every candidate who fails the exam is provided with feedback for each section on the exam and the overall performance relative to the group. This feed back gives an idea that which areas you need to focus. 7. There is no specific passing score for this exam. Pass score depends on the degree of difficulty of the questions on that exam that means what percentage a student will answer the questions correctly.

Examination policy

1.this exam is valid for 4 years from the date of passing 2.student can attend this exam at any stage in the registration process 3.applicants can write this exam a maximum of 3 times in a year 4.results will be available with in 4 to 6 weeks 5.Specific acts focused in the exam are, Regulated Health Professions Acts and Code Pharmacy Act and Regulations Ontario College of pharmacists Bylaws and Policies Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act and Regulations Drug Interchangeability and Dispensing Fee Act Ontario Drug Benefit Act and Regulations Food and Drugs Act and Regulations and Schedules Controlled Drug and Substances Act and regulations and Schedules 6.This exam is also offered in French.

Examination format:

Jurisprudence exam is a written exam with multiple choice questions. Following Acts and Regulations are covered in the exam. Percentage of questions on each area is,
1. Federal Drug Schedules and their sales, storage, prescription and record keeping requirements. (This section is open book and Drug schedules will be provided in the exam). Requirements for narcotic and controlled drug prescriptions (33 %) 2. Filling and labeling prescriptions (transfers, copies, faxing, mailing etc.) (17 %) 3. Billing and pricing of prescriptions (8 %) 4. Opening / closing of a pharmacy, ownership, advertising, accreditation standards etc, (12 %) 5. Ethics, standards and professional responsibilities (17 %) 6. Others such as registration requirements, complaints, discipline, scope of practice etc., (12 %)

Some model questions are given on Ontario College of Pharmacists website, click on the following link for more information.

Final step……….

After completing your internship, the law exam (Jurisprudence exam) and the PEBC certification exams with valid English fluency score, you will be finally registered with the college as a ‘pharmacist’. To be registered with the college as a ‘pharmacist’, you must submit:

Application for Certificate of registration as a pharmacist
Pharmacist application fee
Pharmacist annual fee (to renew your license, you have to pay fee to college every year)
Structural Practical Training Fee (studentship and internship training )


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