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Canada has approximately 33,000 licensed pharmacists. Of those, 24,000 work in 8,600 community pharmacies and 5,600 work in hospitals. Pharmacists also work in the pharmaceutical industry, governments, colleges and universities and associations.
What do Pharmacists do?
Today’s pharmacists are highly respected as the medication management experts of the health care team. They collaborate with patients, their families and other health care providers to benefit the health of Canadians. The pharmacist’s traditional role is expanding, and pharmacists across Canada deliver a range of innovative services, including medication reviews, chronic disease management, immunization services and wellness programs. Most provincial governments have approved pharmacist prescribing with varying scopes of authority, a service that complements the care provided by a doctor and can result in more convenient refills, less time spent dealing with prescription changes and collaborative medication management.
Becoming a Pharmacist in Canada
In order to become a licensed pharmacist in Canada, you need:
The profession of pharmacy is regulated on a provincial and territorial level. The regulatory authorities are directly responsible for granting pharmacist licenses, assessing the competency of pharmacists and ensuring public safety. For a detailed look at the specific provincial licensing requirements in every province, visit the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA).
International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs)
Requirements for licensing of internationally trained pharmacists can be found on the PEBC website. To help IPGs successfully complete the licensing requirements, several programs are available:
PEBC Certification Process for International Pharmacy Graduates
There are 3 steps to achieving PEBC pharmacist certification:
|STEP 1: Enroll in the Gateway – You must enroll in the Pharmacist Gateway Canada. go to website http://pharmacistsgatewaycanada.ca|
|STEP 2: DOCUMENT EVALUATION – You must pass this evaluation of your educational and professional credentials to be eligible to write the PharmacistEvaluating Examination.|
|STEP 3: THE PHARMACIST EVALUATING EXAMINATION – You must pass this written examination to be eligible for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination – Parts I and II.|
|STEP 4: THE PHARMACIST QUALIFYING EXAMINATION, PART I (MCQ) and PART II (OSCE) – Your final step to qualifying for certification with PEBC. When you have passed both Parts of the examination you will be certified and registered with PEBC.|
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.
E.g: For Alberta Province Following Process Needed.
STEP 1: Enroll in the Gateway: Enrolling in Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada allows you to begin your application for a licence. You will create an account and you will be given a candidate number. You will provide information such as your name, address and date of birth. With this account, you will be able to see any of your documents that are stored in the database. You can also track your progress throughout the licensing process. Before you enrol, you should understand all of the steps and requirements.
Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (PRAs) across Canada support that enrollment in the Gateway be the first step in the licensure process. If you wish to practice in Québec, the enrollment is optional, but you may want to consider its advantages and try the self-assessment tools. It is strongly recommended that you use the self-assessment tools before enrolling in the Gateway. These tools will help you to understand the Canadian licensing process and the realities of the work environment. They will also help you to identify areas of pharmacy where you may need more education or experience. These tools will assist you in determining your readiness to pursue any steps in the process.
STEP 2: Document Evaluation: You must pass this evaluation of your educational and professional credentials to be eligible to write the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.
Once if u pass Document evaluation you can apply for Evaluation Exam or If you wish to write an upcoming Evaluating Examination, you must correctly submit all documents and fees for Document Evaluation and the Evaluating Examination by the deadline for the exam you have chosen. If we do not receive your documents on time, your Evaluating Examination application will be applied to the next Evaluating Examination
You will need to submit the following to be considered for Document Evaluation:
Additional documents or information may be requested in support of the application. Incorrectly submitted documents will delay the evaluation of your qualification.
STEP 3: The Pharmacist Evaluating Examination:
You must pass this written examination to be eligible for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination – Parts I and II.
The PEBC examination consists of two tests on consecutive days, each with 150 multiple choice questions on pharmaceutical science and pharmacy practice. The pass mark is 60 per cent. It can be taken in January or July every year.
Examination Subject Areas (Blueprint):
On the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination, you will be examined in the following subject areas, shown below. These subject areas were revised in 2015.
The approximate percentage of questions for each of the four major subject areas represented on an examination is shown in parentheses.
BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES (15%)
Genomics and Molecular Biology
Physiology/ Functional Anatomy
PHARMACEUTICAL SCIENCES (25%)
Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems
Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics
Toxicology and Clinical Toxicology
Biotechnology and Pharmacogenetics
PHARMACY PRACTICE (50%)
Clinical Sciences (35%)
Clinical Biochemistry/ Laboratory and Diagnostic Testing
Pharmacotherapeutics (including Prescription, Non-prescription and Complementary Therapy)
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Patient Care Process (Assessment/ Intervention/ Monitoring/ Follow-up/ Documentation)
Special Populations (including Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Pregnancy and Lactation)
Professional Practice Skills (15%)
Prescription Processing and Product Preparation (including Non-sterile and Sterile Compounding)
Communication/ Patient Counselling
Literature Evaluation/ Research Methods/ Evidence-Based Decision Making (including Pharmacoepidemiology)
Medication/ Patient Safety Practices
Collaborative Patient Care
BEHAVIOURAL, SOCIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE PHARMACY SCIENCES (10%)
Pharmacy Management (including Financial, Personnel, Marketing, Quality Improvement, Risk Management and Workplace Safety)
Canadian Healthcare System
Payment : E.g: For Alberta Province
Salary : E.g : In Alberta province
English Language proficiency exam
You need to pass an English language proficiency exam, such as IELTS. Strangely, this applies even to UK candidates who have English as their first language. If you wish to work in the Quebec province you will need to pass a French language proficiency exam instead.
Another exam you need to pass is the jurisprudence exam for the Canadian province in which you wish to work. This tests your knowledge of Canadian pharmacy law and ethics, which varies substantially between provinces. It is generally offered several times a year in most provinces.
Studentship and internship You need to undertake (usually) a studentship and an internship in your chosen province. Most provinces require you to undertake a studentship, which is a taught course, often six months in duration, at the faculty of pharmacy for the province. An internship is compulsory for all provinces, and may vary in length between three and 12 months.