Preparing for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination
The Pharmacist Qualifying Examination is based on seven entry-level competencies, required by pharmacists beginning to practise, which were developed in 2014 by The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). These competencies are assessed through related questions or practice-based scenarios. On each examination, there will be a number of questions (for Part I) or stations (for Part II) relating to these major competency areas:
- Ethical, Legal and Professional Responsibilities
- Patient Care
- Product Distribution
- Practice Setting
- Health Promotion
- Knowledge and Research Application
- Communication and Education
- Intra and Inter-Professional Collaboration
- Quality and Safety
The detailed competency statements are shown in the section “Qualifying Examination Blueprint“.
Both formal education and practice experience prepare you for the Qualifying Examination and licensure as a pharmacist. In order to determine any additional learning needs prior to taking the examination, you should compare the knowledge and skills that you have already acquired with the competencies as outlined in the Examination Blueprint. You are in the best position to determine how much and what kind of preparation is necessary for you.
In addition to your university education and personal learning, the ideal tool for acquiring Canadian pharmacy practice skills is to undertake “hands on” practice experience working in a Canadian pharmacy setting with direct patient care services. Practice experience will offer insights into Pharmaceutical Care practice, the Canadian Health Care System, jurisprudence and ethical issues, as well as commonly seen aspects of therapeutics.
Remember that inadequate language proficiency will affect your performance. Language proficiency at a professional level is essential for your preparedness for the Qualifying Examination.
You are also advised to become familiar with the reference materials (References – Part II (OSCE) Stations) that will be used in Part II (OSCE) stations, so that you are able to use them effectively during the examination.
Once you have identified your learning needs, it is your responsibility to find suitable reference sources, materials and/or additional experience to prepare for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination. Click here for a partial list of Pharmaceutical References and Learning Resources (review guides, textbooks, federal legislation and internet resources). This list is not intended to serve as a handbook or complete overview, nor should you assume that these references are the source of the examination questions.
It is important for candidates who are unsuccessful in an examination attempt, to focus on improving behaviours and learning with actions and strategies that are closely linked to the goal of achieving success. This involves undertaking those activities and improvements that will make a significant difference for the next examination attempt. Simply retaking another examination, without making improvements, will not achieve a successful outcome. It is crucial to give serious consideration and assess the effect that completed learning activities and remediation efforts have made in improving one’s readiness to take the next examination.
While PEBC may provide information about some resources that support development of pharmacy practice competencies, PEBC does NOT sanction or endorse any particular review course, study guide or textbook as a preparation for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination.
The sample questions and stations are provided as illustrations, to assist you to become familiar with the examination format and phrasing style. NO questions, stations or content from previous examinations are available.