Seeking Licensure to Practise as a Registered Pharmacy Technician
Gaining licensure to practise as a registered pharmacy technician (i.e., in an “entry level” position) in those provinces that regulate pharmacy technicians involves the following:
- Pharmacy technician education
- PEBC Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Qualification
- Fulfilling the requirements of a Provincial Regulatory Authority
Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to confirm their eligibility to register with the Provincial Regulatory Authority prior to applying for any of PEBC’s processes or examinations. More information is provided below.
PEBC Pharmacy Technician Certificate of Qualification
PEBC grants a certificate as evidence when you have successfully passed the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination, thus meeting a national evaluation standard of entry-level competence (knowledge, skills and abilities needed to practise safely and effectively). This evaluation is based on the practice competencies defined in “Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice” (NAPRA, 2014).
Pharmacy Technician Certification Pathway
To complete PEBC’s certification process, you must demonstrate completion of the educational requirements and pass both Parts of the PEBC Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination. The educational requirements may be met through a number of different ways.
Candidates who have graduated from a pharmacy technician or pharmacist program accredited by Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), would be considered ‘Direct-entry Candidates’ who are eligible to proceed immediately to the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination. This group of candidates also encompasses candidates who have successfully completed specific exams, identified below.
For international candidates (either educated as pharmacy technicians or pharmacists abroad), there is a new evaluation process that is currently being developed which must be completed before becoming eligible to take the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination.
These are candidates who have successfully completed any ONE of the following:
- Pharmacy technician program that, at the time of the applicant’s graduation*, was accredited by CCAPP (i.e., graduating 2008 or later from an accredited program that has achieved either provisional [the initial CCAPP step for existing programs] or full accreditation status);
- PEBC Pharmacist or Pharmacy Technician Evaluating Examination;
- Pharmacist degree program accredited in Canada or the United States.
*Note: candidates may apply for the Qualifying Examination before graduation, however their application will be conditional pending confirmation of graduation at least 4 weeks prior to the exam. If candidates fail to graduate, they will not be permitted to take the exam.
Candidates who completed their education outside of Canada are eligible to proceed through the new evaluation process. The process will incorporate a review of candidates’ qualifications and require completion of a portfolio that will determine whether they completed an acceptable program and to assess their readiness to take the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination.
To be eligible for this new evaluation process, candidates must have completed an educational program outside of Canada designed to prepare the candidate to become a pharmacy technician or pharmacist.
Note that the new evaluation process is different than the transitional pathway for ‘in-the-profession’ candidates, which PEBC previously required candidates to demonstrate completion of 2000 hours of practice experience. The transitional pathway is now closed. Candidates who previously engaged in PEBC’s certification process through the transitional pathway are not eligible to complete the new Evaluation Process.
Due to the pandemic, PEBC has had to delay launching the pilot until the spring of 2021. Please continue to visit PEBC’s website in 2021 for more updates.
Registration and Licensure by a Provincial or Territorial Regulatory Authority
Registration and the granting of a provincial or territorial licence provides evidence to the public of the individual’s overall qualification, practice training, and readiness to begin practice as a pharmacy technician in that jurisdiction. PEBC certification alone does NOT give an individual the right to practise pharmacy as a pharmacy technician.
For further information regarding registration and licensing requirements contact the regulatory authority in the province or territory where you are seeking licensure.
Although PEBC has no language proficiency requirements, language proficiency does affect candidates’ performance in the Pharmacy Technician Evaluation Process & the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination (Part I and Part II). Effective written and verbal communication skills, at levels satisfactory for a health professional, are essential for practice and for success in taking the PEBC examinations.