Preparing for the Examination
The Qualifying Examination is based on nine entry-level competencies, required by pharmacy technicians beginning to practice, which were developed by The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA). These competencies are assessed through related questions or practice 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 available in the document “Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice” (NAPRA 2014). The weighting of each statement (i.e., proportion of the examination related to each competency) is shown in the section Qualifying Examination Blueprint.
Candidates are advised that PEBC assesses practice knowledge and performance in practice-like situations to determine whether or not candidates have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform safely and effectively in any practice setting. As a health professional, each pharmacy technician would be expected to gather and provide drug and health information in collaboration with the pharmacist or other health care professional. That means that, for example, a pharmacy technician could assist a patient to calculate the correct dose of a non-prescription medication that the patient has selected – and would ask the patient enough questions to determine whether or not a referral for additional advice is needed (e.g., if the patient has any allergies, any other medical problems, etc.). If any possible problems, such as these, were noted, the pharmacy technician would warn the patient not to use a product that might be unsafe without consulting the pharmacist or physician for advice regarding what would be safe and effective for them – and would not provide such therapeutic advice on their own. This is in keeping with the responsibility, as a regulated health professional, to protect the public.
Both professional education and practice experience in Canada prepare you for the Qualifying Examination and licensure as a pharmacy technician. In order to determine any additional learning needs prior to taking the examination, compare the knowledge and skills that you have already acquired with the competencies as outlined in the Examination Blueprint. Language proficiency at a professional level is essential for your preparedness for the Qualifying Examination. Also, seek feedback from qualified professionals when at work or in training.
You are also advised to become familiar with the Reference Materials that may be provided in Part II (OSPE) 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 Qualifying Examination. A partial list of 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.
The sample questions and stations on the website 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.
Please check the PEBC website from time to time for any additional information about resources and/or updated sample questions or stations.
While PEBC may provide information about some resources that support development of pharmacy technician competencies, PEBC does NOT sanction or endorse any particular review course, study guide or textbook as a preparation for the Qualifying Examination.