We advise all prospective students to review accreditation requirements in detail.
Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada provides licensing information, self-assessment tools and a centralized document repository for International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs).
If you are an International Pharmacy Graduate who wants to work in Canada, Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada will help to explain the licensing process for International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs).
Here, you will find tools to help you:
- understand the practice of pharmacy and the licensing requirements in Canada,
- determine whether you are ready to proceed with the application process to practise pharmacy in Canada, and
- identify areas where you need to improve your pharmacy skills and knowledge.
In brief, Applicants must complete the following steps to become a licensed pharmacist in Canada.
We advise all prospective students to visit International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs) for detailed accreditation guidance.
Enrol 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 enrolment in the Gateway be the first step in the licensure process. If you wish to practise in Québec, the enrolment 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.
Academic Qualifications and Knowledge Assessment
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) will assess your qualifications and competence for entry-to-practice through a series of evaluations: a Document Evaluation, an Evaluating Examination and a Qualifying Examination in that order. The process is different for candidates educated in the United States if they received their pharmacy degree from a program that has been accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE.) Candidates applying to the province of Québec will have their education and training assessed through an in-depth file review to determine if additional training is required.
Your personal identification documents, pharmacy degree, educational transcripts and licensure statements will be evaluated by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC.) If your educational credentials and licensure statements are acceptable, you will be eligible to write the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.
The Qualifying Examination will determine if your knowledge, skills and abilities are suitable for practising pharmacy safely and effectively in an “entry level” position.
This exam has two components; Part I is a Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) format and consists of two consecutive half-day sittings. Part II of the Qualifying Exam is presented in an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). This part of the exam consists of a series of interactive and non-interactive “stations” simulating common and/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 patient’s drug-therapy problems, communicating effectively, and working with other health professionals.
Apply to a Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (PRA)
You must formally apply to the Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (PRA) in the province or territory in which you want to work. While PRAs have many similar requirements, each jurisdiction may have variations or unique conditions for licensure.
Structured Practical Training (SPT)
Each Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (PRA) requires that candidates complete a training program in a licensed pharmacy. This ensures that IPGs will have experience in a pharmacy patient care setting that meets the national entry-to-practice competency standards. Each province has a different requirement for the number of hours of structured practical training you will need to complete.
This is the last step in the licensure or registration process. The Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (PRA) will confirm that you have successfully completed all of the requirements to be licensed. You will be charged a fee for your licence and you will need to renew your licence and pay a fee each year. The yearly renewal fee may not be the same as the initial registration fee. You will also need to purchase and maintain personal professional liability insurance coverage, which helps pharmacist pay legal costs in the event of a lawsuit.