Part I (MCQ)
Each question is worth one mark. Despite our best efforts to ensure that each new exam has the same level of difficulty, it is inevitable that some exams will prove to be slightly easier and some slightly more difficult. The specific number of questions that must be answered correctly in order to pass changes according to the difficulty of the exam. The standard setting process (see below) accounts for variations in difficulty from one exam to the next, so that pass-fail standards will be fair and comparable from exam to exam.
Part II (OSPE)
In Part II (OSPE), the non-interactive stations are computer-marked.
Interactive stations are marked by assessors, who record each candidate’s performance in a specific station on a station-specific checklist and rate the candidate’s performance in:
- Overall Performance
Assessors are trained to follow standardized criteria specific to the station task in providing these ratings.
Communications ratings for all interactive stations are based on standard criteria, for each of the following four factors:
- attending and responding to client’s needs, feelings and concerns, with a professional manner that treats clients respectfully (including greeting the client, eliciting the client’s questions and views, responding to the client’s concerns and inviting the client’s input and demonstrating, respect for the client’s views, feelings and needs)
- using an organized, logical yet flexible approach that focuses the interaction (including logical ordering and appropriate use of open and closed-ended questions to elicit relevant information and respond appropriately, listening and responding to the client’s input rather than following a rigid checklist)
- using non-verbal communication that engages the client and enhances dialogue (including appropriate body posture and facial expression, appropriate eye contact)
- using language and verbal expression that can be clearly understood by the client (including clarity of speech, accurate use of language, appropriate terminology)
Outcome ratings are based on the station objectives and competencies assessed and follow station-specific outcome rating guidelines, including:
- adequacy and relevance of information gathered and provided
- identification of the primary drug-therapy problem(s) and/or patient’s needs
- safety and effectiveness of recommendations and actions taken
Please refer to the Sample Stations for examples of station-specific Outcome ratings.
Overall Performance ratings used for all stations are based on standard criteria, including:
- the degree to which the problem is solved or tasks performed accurately and in accordance with best practices
- the quality of communications
- the accuracy of documentation, when required
- the accuracy and thoroughness of information gathered and provided
- the likelihood of an effective outcome for the patient
- whether or not the performance would result in any risk to the patient
- the extent of services provided as outlined in the relevant competencies shown in the Qualifying Examination blueprint
Your Total Score is the sum of your Communication, Outcome and Overall Performance ratings in all scored stations (excluding the pretest stations).The passing score (see below) and all candidate scores are transformed to a standardized score scale to account for changes in difficulty from exam to exam. This ensures that scores and pass-fail standards will be comparable from exam to exam.
Part I (MCQ)
The passing score on the PEBC Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination reflects the number of correct items a candidate must achieve to demonstrate the necessary knowledge level required to meet the minimum performance standard for the exam.
The passing score or cut-score is determined by a panel of subject matter experts who are selected to ensure that the process benefits from their experience, knowledge of the target population for the exam and diversity of practice.
Using a widely accepted method (i.e., the Modified Angoff), the panel first identifies the characteristics of candidates thought to be “borderline” or “minimally competent”. These individuals are thought to possess just enough knowledge to ensure that they can practice safely. With these characteristics in mind, panel members review each test item and estimate the proportion of minimally competent candidates that would get the item correct. The process provides panel members the opportunity to discuss their ratings and ultimately arrive at a value which reflects the difficulty level of the item for the borderline candidate. These ratings form the basis for establishing the cut-score for the exam.
Finally, it is the candidate’s ability or performance compared to the standard set for the exam that determines whether the candidate passes or fails, not a comparison of how the other candidates performed on the exam. There is no built-in passing or failure rate for the exam.
Part II (OSPE)
Based on a thorough review of the exam, station by station, a panel of practitioner experts familiar with the exam format and process follows a thorough and standardized process, led by an exam consultant, to determine the score that would be achieved by “borderline qualified” candidates for each scale in each station. The sum of these ratings across all scored stations in the exam becomes the passing score for that exam. This process is repeated for each exam and takes into account the variations in difficulty that may occur from one exam to the next.
Quality Assurance Processes for the Examination
The Qualifying Examination questions and stations have been developed, reviewed, and pretested by several independent groups of practising pharmacists and PEBC certified pharmacy technicians. They are then refined and reviewed again to ensure that they function as required for assessing competence.
Each form of the Qualifying Examination, Parts I and II, has been prepared according to the examination blueprint. It is then reviewed and approved for administration. PEBC exam staff perform and document quality control checks on each exam administration and scoring, ensuring that all procedures have been followed, that all data is complete and that scoring is accurate.
Detailed analyses are conducted of the scoring and standard-setting results to confirm the reliability and validity of the results. Measurement experts review all documentation and analyses to confirm the reliability of the scores and validity of candidates’ final standing.
Distribution of Results
Results are posted to the PEBC website within ten weeks of the exam. The results list contains the following information:
- The PEBC ID numbers of candidates who passed either, or both parts of the exam
- The PEBC Registration Number, if a candidate passed both parts of the Qualifying Exam
No other information appears on the results list. The list will appear in the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Exam section of the website.
To speed up the provincial registration of candidates whose licensure is waiting for PEBC certification, a list of successful registrants is forwarded to the provincial regulatory authorities at the same time as the release of individual results by email.
Results letters are then emailed to candidates within one week of the results list posting. The letter will inform you of your results on either, or both parts of the Qualifying Exam. Results will not be released by phone, so please do not call PEBC to ask for them. If you do not receive an email containing your results letter within one week of the results list posting please email email@example.com.
Scores are not reported, since score differences on a certification exam are not meaningful for the purpose of determining whether or not you were successful. Results are given on a pass/fail basis only. Either you have qualified or have not yet qualified for certification. Board policy does not permit the release of overall exam scores, passing scores, or question/station content, including correct/incorrect responses.
Feedback Reports for Unsuccessful Candidates
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada provides unsuccessful candidates with Qualifying Examination – Feedback Reports for either Part I (MCQ) and/or Part II (OSPE). These reports for unsuccessful candidates provide general feedback on a candidate’s performance according to the competency areas tested in the exam. This information is intended to help candidates to identify their areas of weakness so that they can focus further study and remediation accordingly, also keeping in mind the importance and weighting for each competency area in the exam (see Qualifying Examination Blueprint).
Feedback reports for unsuccessful candidates are emailed no earlier than eight weeks following the release of exam results. Feedback reports are not available for candidates who have passed the exam. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not been emailed your feedback report within nine weeks following the release of the exam results.
The exam is not designed to be educational or diagnostic. Therefore, the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is unable to provide more detailed feedback.
Re-Scoring of the Examination for Unsuccessful Candidates
Unsuccessful candidates may request, in writing, one, final re-scoring of either part of their exam. In this case, you must provide your PEBC Identification Number and the required fee. All such requests must be received within 60 days of the release of results of the exam. Later requests will NOT be accepted. Also, no requests for re-scoring of previous exams will be accepted.
This re-scoring is only to confirm correct data entry and tabulation of scores; it is not a re-assessment of your performance in Part II (OSPE).
The content, methodology, standards, or assessment criteria of the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination are not subject to review or appeal by failing candidates or their agents. (Refer to the section above: Quality Assurance Processes for the Examination).
Attempts at the Pharmacy Technician Qualifying Examination
Candidates are permitted a maximum of three (3) attempts for each Part of the Qualifying Examination.
After three unsuccessful attempts, if you are able to present evidence, acceptable to the Board, of successful completion of remediation according to Board specifications, the Board is prepared to consider your petition for one final (fourth) attempt. Remediation is only accepted if started after the date on your results letter and completed within one year of your final exam attempt. Documentation confirming completion of remediation must be received at PEBC at least three weeks before the date of the exam.
If you fail your fourth (final) attempt at either part of the Qualifying Examination, you will not be permitted to retake the Qualifying Examination and therefore cannot proceed further toward Board certification.
IMPORTANCE OF MEETING APPLICATION DEADLINE:
It is important to ensure that application form(s) for either part of the Qualifying Examination are received by the deadline dates, even if your eligibility to take either part of the Qualifying Examination is conditional upon receipt of required remediation. Please do not wait for PEBC to acknowledge receipt of the above documentation, prior to sending your application(s).
Applications received after the deadline will not be processed even if the pending documentation has been received prior to the exam dates.
If you withdraw before the start of an exam, it does not count as one of your attempts at the exam. Once you have begun an exam sitting, it does count as one of your attempts.
If you pass one part of the Qualifying Examination and fail the other, you may re-take the Part you failed at a future scheduled exam session. You must submit a new application and fee for the required part.
|Both Part I and Part II of the Qualifying Examination must be completed within a three year period of passing one Part of the Qualifying Examination. Candidates who do not successfully complete both Parts of the exam within three years will be required to retake and pass the Part that has already been completed.|
"No Standing" Status
If you must leave the exam early due to illness or another emergency situation and are unable to complete the exam, you may be granted a “no standing” status. The decision will be based on your written request and explanation along with valid documentation acceptable to the Registrar-Treasurer. In such circumstances, the sitting may be waived and not be counted as one of your attempts.
Candidates are strongly encouraged not to attempt the exam and to make an appropriate withdrawal if, prior to the exam, they are ill or have extraordinary circumstances, including bereavement, that may affect their performance on the exam.
Petitions for special consideration received more than seven calendar days after the exam (e.g., upon receipt of a notice of an unsuccessful exam result) will NOT be considered.
Candidate requests for a no standing on the basis of medical conditions or compassionate grounds (such as bereavement) will NOT be considered, unless received by the Registrar-Treasurer within seven calendar days after the close of the exam. In order for the request to be considered, the appropriate official documentation must be provided. A causal link must be made between the serious medical condition or compassionate circumstances and the effect on the candidate’s performance on the exam.
Once you pass both parts of the Qualifying Examination, your name will be entered into the Register of The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada and you will receive a Certificate of Qualification printed in either English or French (as you choose). Until your Certificate is prepared, your letter of exam results can serve as official confirmation of your Board registration.
Please notify the PEBC office in writing of any address changes so that your Certificate will not get lost. If you have not received your Certificate within four months of being registered, you should write to the PEBC office to notify them of this.
Reprinting of Certificates of Qualification
Candidates who require replacement of their Certificate of Qualification, must submit a written request to PEBC, providing a statutory declaration explaining the reason for a reprint, together with the administrative fee.
Once you are registered with the Board, you are entitled to use the approved official PEBC certificate designation:
- in English, “RPEBC-[PT]” (i.e., “Registrant of The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada”)
- in French, “IBEPC [TP]” (i.e., “Inscrit au Bureau des examinateurs en pharmacie du Canada”).