After enrolling in the Gateway, candidates must register directly with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) to apply for Document Evaluation. If their qualifications meet PEBC’s requirements, then they may write the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.

The PEBC certification process for international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) has three steps:

  1. Document Evaluation
  2. Evaluating Examination
  3. Qualifying Examination

U.S. pharmacy graduates follow a different process with PEBC. More information on these requirements can be found on the PEBC website.

The schedule of fees involved in obtaining the PEBC Certificate of Qualification as well as the examination dates and application deadlines are available on the PEBC website

Some of the information/documentation candidates provide to PEBC and the results of the PEBC evaluations and examinations will be added to their Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada profile by PEBC. This information will be available to the pharmacy regulatory authorities to be used during the licensing process.

1. Document Evaluation

PEBC requires proof that candidates’ education and training in pharmacy is comparable to that of Canadian programs. Candidates must submit the required documents to PEBC for the evaluation of their educational and professional licensure qualifications.

Important to note: The minimum requirement is a four-year undergraduate degree in pharmacy.

Candidates are eligible to apply for the Evaluating Examination once their documents are favourably evaluated. 

The Document Evaluation results are valid for five years from the date on the results letter. This means that candidates have five years to successfully pass the Evaluating Examination.

2. Evaluating Examination

The Evaluating Examination will assess the following subjects: biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacy practice, and behavioural, social and administrative pharmacy sciences. Candidates are permitted three attempts at a PEBC examination. PEBC may consider a petition for a fourth and final attempt. Documentation confirming the completion of remediation must be submitted to PEBC to gain approval for a fourth attempt.

PEBC has a section on their website to help candidates prepare for the examination. This section includes the blueprint and syllabus of the examination, the examination design and style, and sample questions. It also includes a list of references and learning resources.

Once candidates pass the Evaluating Examination, they may apply for the Qualifying Examination (Parts I and II).

3. Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination is the final step to achieving the PEBC Certificate of Qualification. The Qualifying Examination assesses candidates’ competence (knowledge, skills and abilities) to practise pharmacy safely and effectively in an “entry-level” pharmacist position. Successful completion of the Qualifying Examination indicates that candidates have met the required standard of competence at entry-to-practice.

The Qualifying Examination has two parts: Part I consists of multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and can be completed online; and, Part II is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will evaluate candidates’ performance in a simulated practice environment. The OSCE must be completed in person.

Note: Both parts of the Qualifying Examination must be passed within three years of passing one part.

PEBC has a section on their website to help candidates prepare for the examination. This section includes the blueprint and syllabus of the examination, the examination design and style, and sample questions. It also includes a list of references and learning resources.

Part I—the MCQ Section
This first part of the Qualifying Examination consists of a computer-based test. The questions assess candidates’ understanding and application of pharmacy knowledge to patient situations. They also evaluate candidates’ ability to make decisions and solve problems.

For more information, refer to the PEBC website.

Part II—the OSCE Section
This second part of the Qualifying Examination consists of a series of interactive and non-interactive “stations” simulating common or critical practical situations in pharmacy practice. The scenarios often include interactions with actors portraying simulated patients, caregivers and health professionals and may involve:

  • identifying and solving a patient’s drug-therapy problem;
  • communicating effectively; and
  • working with other health professionals.

PEBC does not award specific scores to candidates who take the Qualifying Examination. PEBC only indicates whether they have passed or failed. Candidates are permitted a maximum of three (3) attempts for each part of the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination. PEBC may consider a petition for a fourth and final attempt. Documentation confirming the completion of remediation must be submitted to PEBC. Both parts of the Qualifying Examination must be passed within three years of passing one part. If candidates do not complete the process within this time period, they will be required to retake and pass the part that has already been completed. When they have passed both parts of the Qualifying Examination, they will receive their PEBC Certificate of Qualification. The PEBC Certificate of Qualification is required for licensure in most Canadian jurisdictions; however, it does not give the right to practise.

Beginning with the fall 2017 sitting of the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination, candidates who have previously been unsuccessful in Part II (OSCE) will be required to have already passed Part I (MCQ) before re-attempting the OSCE.

Who Can Take the Qualifying Examination?

The Qualifying Exam is taken by all graduates of Canadian university pharmacy programs as well as international pharmacy graduates wishing to practise in Canada.

Information for U.S. Graduates

Candidates from the United States who have graduated from a pharmacy program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) are not required to complete PEBC Document Evaluation or write the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.

US graduates can apply directly for the Qualifying Examination if they have enrolled in Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada. Candidates still completing their program may also apply directly for the Qualifying Examination, submitting the documents listed on PEBC website.  Final transcripts and a letter confirming program completion, if applicable, must be sent directly from the university to PEBC.  Candidates that have graduated from a pharmacy program and have been licensed as pharmacists must arrange for a licensing statement to be sent to PEBC directly from all licensing authorities. Those that have never been licensed must submit a statutory declaration as indicated on the PEBC website.

Information for Students

Candidates who are about to graduate from an international pharmacy program may enrol in Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada before they graduate.

U.S. undergraduates may complete their rotation in some Canadian provinces. U.S. undergraduates who are interested in completing their rotation in Canada must contact the appropriate pharmacy regulatory authority.

Information for Candidates Wishing to Be Licensed in Quebec

It is important to note that the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec (OPQ) has a different licensure process than the other Canadian provinces. OPQ does not require enrolment in Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada (Gateway) as it conducts its own evaluation for education and training equivalency. Enrolment in the Gateway is only required if the candidate chooses to obtain the PEBC Certificate of Qualification and include it as part of the evaluation for education and training equivalency. The PEBC Certificate of Qualification can be submitted to OPQ as part of the training and education equivalency application; however, it is not a requirement. It should be noted that the process by OPQ is independent of and prevails over the PEBC certification process.

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