- Pharmacy in Canada
- Before You Come to Canada
- Becoming a Pharmacist in Canada
- Finding a Job in Canada
- Provincial and Territorial Regulatory Authorities
- Additional Resources
Pharmacy in Canada
A pharmacist is a regulated professional in Canada. To practise as a pharmacist, you must be licensed or registered by the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authority in the province or territory where you plan to work.
While the majority of licensed pharmacists are employed in community pharmacies, many others work in hospitals and other health-care facilities. A small number of pharmacists are employed with pharmaceutical companies, universities and government departments.
There are other rewarding occupations within pharmacy, such as pharmacy technicians and assistants. Pharmacy technicians are becoming a regulated health profession in many jurisdictions in Canada. Be sure to also research the requirements for pharmacy technicians with the pharmacy regulatory authority where you plan to work.
Before You Come to Canada
While you are waiting to go to Canada, there are many important things you can do to improve your chances of success.
The FCRO is an organization of the Government of Canada that provides you with helpful resources, such as the Planning to Work in Canada? workbook and the Working in Canada Tool. Use these resources to find and collect important information and to develop your job-search plan.
You will need to demonstrate your language proficiency in English or French. You can find information at the Centre for Canadian Language Benchmarks as well as on the pharmacy regulatory authorities’ websites, which will guide you to specific language proficiency requirements. If you need to improve your language skills, start before you come to Canada.
Your official education, work and identity documents are important. It is much easier for you to obtain your documents while still in your home country.
If your documents are not in French or English, verify the translation requirements set out by the pharmacy regulatory authority. You may have to use a professional translation service in Canada.
Becoming a Pharmacist in Canada
There are a number of requirements you must meet to obtain a licence to work as a pharmacist. You should contact the pharmacy regulatory authority in the province or territory where you wish to work before coming to Canada to clarify specific requirements.
Determine which documents are required and how they should be obtained, including documents regarding your current (or previous) licence to practise as a pharmacist in another jurisdiction. You may also be required to provide a criminal record check in Canada and other jurisdictions where you have worked. The information required can be found on the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authorities’ website.
You will be required to fill out application forms with the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authority and pay the applicable registration fees.
Academic Qualifications and Knowledge Assessment
Your education will be assessed to determine if it is the equivalent of a Canadian pharmacy education. All provinces and territories except Quebec require applicants to successfully complete the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) evaluating examination as well as the two-part qualifying examination. There will be additional application forms and fees associated with the required examinations administered through the PEBC. Determine the fees you will have to pay and all important dates since deadlines to apply for the examinations are usually at least three months before the test date.
Quebec applicants must follow the assessment requirements set out by the provincial pharmacy regulatory authority, the Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec (in French only).
During the assessment of your qualifications and knowledge, the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authority may determine that additional educational and training courses are necessary to prepare you for pharmacy practice in Canada.
You need to meet the language proficiency requirements for licensure as a pharmacist in Canada. The language tests that are accepted and the required scores can be found on the pharmacy regulatory authority’s website.
Jurisprudence competencies focus on the legal and ethical elements of the professional standards of practice and the code of ethics. You need to meet the pharmacy jurisprudence competencies for licensure as a pharmacist in Canada. Successful completion of a jurisprudence examination is required in each jurisdiction.
Practical Training in Canada
Before you obtain a licence to work as a pharmacist, you will need to gain practical experience in the Canadian pharmacy workplace. You will be required to go through a structured practical training program under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist for a period of time determined by the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authority.
Finding a Job in Canada
You should take time to research all job requirements and develop a plan for finding work.
Some universities, in partnership with the provincial or territorial pharmacy regulatory authorities, offer bridging programs.
- College of Pharmacists of British Columbia (CPBC)
- Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP)
- Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists
- Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPhA)
- Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP)
- Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec (in French only)
- New Brunswick Pharmaceutical Society (NBPhS)
- Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists (NSCP)
- Prince Edward Island Pharmacy Board
- Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board
- Northwest Territories Regulatory Authority
- Yukon Regulatory Authority
- Nunavut Regulatory Authority