Registration Procedures for International Pharmacy Graduates
The role of provincial governments and The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) in licensing
Each province in Canada is responsible for issuing a license to practise pharmacy in that province. All provinces, except Quebec, require applicants educated outside of Canada to have The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Certificate of Qualification.
This Certificate is a major requirement for licensing in each province, but the Certificate alone does not mean you have the right to practice.
In addition to the PEBC Certificate of Qualification, each province has additional licensing requirements. These may include practical experience, English or French language skills, and jurisprudence examinations. You must contact the regulatory authority of the province in which you choose to practice to receive full information about their requirements. The contact information for the provincial and territorial regulatory authorities is available on the PEBC website.
for the addresses of the provincial and territorial regulatory authorities.
How to receive your PEBC Certificate of Qualification
As an international pharmacy graduate, you must follow the 2-step Evaluation Procedure before you can take the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination. Once you have favourably completed the two steps, you will then be eligible to take the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination.
Steps to Achieve PEBC Certification
Step 1: Document Evaluation
The PEBC must evaluate certain documents to ensure you have a degree in Pharmacy that is acceptable to the PEBC. The minimum requirement is a four-year undergraduate degree in pharmacy. If your documents are favourably evaluated, you must then take the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.
To have your documents evaluated to determine if you are eligible for the Evaluating Examination, please see the section entitled Document Evaluation Application Procedures.
Step 2: The Evaluating Examination
This examination is to determine whether or not you have completed a program of study comparable to that taught in Canada.
Once your documents have been favourably evaluated, you have up to five years to pass the Evaluating Examination.
Step 3: The Pharmacist Qualifying Examination, Part I (MCQ) and Part II (OSCE)
After your documents have been favourably evaluated and you have passed the Evaluating Examination, you can then take the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination, Part I (MCQ) and Part II (OSCE). You will receive information from PEBC about the Qualifying Examination after you pass the Evaluating Examination.
The Qualifying Examination is designed to assess the competencies required for safe and effective practice. The examination is held twice a year and candidates may elect to take both parts of the Qualifying Examination at the same time, or each part at separate times.
The Qualifying Examination – Part I is in a multiple choice question (MCQ) format.
Part II of the Qualifying Examination is a practice-based examination designed in the format known as an “objective structured clinical examination” (OSCE), and is taken on a different day. The OSCE consists of a series of 7-minute tasks or simulations which are based on common and critical practical situations. For more information on this examination, see The Qualifying Examination section of the home page for pharmacists on the PEBC website.
The Board reserves the right to change, without notice, any information or requirements contained herein.
Language Proficiency Requirements
Language Proficiency Tests are not required by the PEBC. However, Provincial Regulatory Authorities do require these tests.
Pharmacists seeking licensure must meet the respective provincial requirements in order to become licensed within an individual province. Therefore, candidates for licensure are advised to contact the regulatory authority for the province in which they are seeking licensure to receive full information regarding language fluency requirements.
Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada
Beginning August 20, 2014, all international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) who wish to obtain a licence to practise pharmacy in Canada will follow a new procedure*. The term IPGs refers to pharmacists who have obtained their pharmacy education outside of Canada.
Canada’s pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs) have entrusted their national association, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA), to develop a new, streamlined national approach to facilitate the licensure process for IPGs.
This program – the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada – will now be the first point of access rather than the PRA. To help IPGs navigate the licensure process and facilitate their preparation for licensure in Canada, the Gateway provides a website with key information online and by telephone support and features two self-assessment tools which assist IPGs to make an informed decision before starting the process to become licensed as a pharmacist in Canada. For IPGs wishing to practise in Canada, the process of obtaining a licence begins with enrolment in the Gateway.
As a key collaborator in this program, The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) will continue its involvement in the areas of document evaluation and the delivery of the Evaluating and Qualifying Examinations.
PEBC is pleased to collaborate with NAPRA in the delivery of this new program and believes the Gateway presents a simple, transparent and safe way to facilitate the pathway to licensure for IPGs wishing to live and work in Canada.
*This does not apply to IPGs whose applications for Document Evaluation were received by PEBC prior to August 20, 2014.
Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for Canadian Immigration Programs
Express Entry for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class Applicants
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is designated by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada as of January 6, 2014 to provide Educational Credential Assessments (ECA) for Principal Applicants intending to apply under the “Express Entry for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class” for immigration to Canada and for whom Pharmacist would be the primary occupation for their application to immigrate to Canada. Please see the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for more information.
In addition to applying for Document Evaluation, applicants under the “Express Entry for Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and Canadian Experience Class” must complete the online application for an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) Report.
- An ECA can give you early feedback on how your credentials compare to those in Canada. This report may also be a benefit when you are looking for a job; however, be mindful that being assessed does not guarantee you will get a job in your field or at a certain level. Please check www.jobbank.gc.ca to learn more about the job market outlook for your occupation in the specific region where you plan to settle. This is critical as currently there is NOT a shortage of pharmacists in urban centres across Canada.
- An ECA also does not mean that your work experience and professional credentials are automatically recognized or will be recognized for licensure in Canada. If you work in a regulated profession, you must still go through the process of getting your licence in the province or territory that you plan on settling in. Regulatory authorities determine an applicant’s readiness for licensure by assessing and recognizing “qualifications” which may include an assessment of education, experience/competencies and language proficiency in addition to other requirements.
- If you plan to work in an occupation that is regulated in Canada, you should contact the regulatory authority in the province where you plan to live as soon as possible. They can give you information about the process for being licensed, including steps you can take before you leave your home country.
On behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), PEBC is responsible for assessing the authenticity and equivalency of the primary pharmacist qualification – the candidate’s pharmacy degree. After PEBC has completed the Document Evaluation process, PEBC will generate an ECA Report which will be emailed directly to the candidate. It is the candidate’s responsibility to submit the ECA Report to CIC, since CIC only accepts original assessments directly from applicants.
Immigration to Canada
For all matters regarding immigration, please contact your local Immigration Authorities directly. PEBC cannot provide information or answer questions about immigration and cannot provide help with training, employment or living accommodations.