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The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Processes and Examinations

What is PEBC?

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is the national certification body for the profession of pharmacy in Canada. PEBC evaluates the qualifications of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians on behalf of participating pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs). PEBC develops and administers examinations, including an Evaluating Examination for international pharmacy graduates and a national Qualifying Examination and issues Certificates of Qualification.

A Certificate of Qualification does not automatically allow you to begin working as a pharmacist. It only proves that you have the knowledge and skills that a pharmacist in Canada needs at the beginning of his or her career. Before you can begin practising as a pharmacist, you must meet many other requirements that are established by the pharmacy regulatory authorities (PRAs). For more information, see the Licensure Requirements for each province and territory.

Applying for PEBC Document Evaluation

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

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

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

U.S. pharmacy graduates follow a different process with PEBC. More information on requirements for U.S. graduates is available on our website.

The information you provide to PEBC, the results of your evaluations and the successful completion of PEBC examinations will be added to your Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada profile automatically. This information will be used later in the licensing process by the designated PRA without your having to resubmit.

1. Document Evaluation

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

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


Once your qualifications have been accepted, you are eligible to write the Evaluating Examination.


2. Evaluating Examination

The Evaluating Examination will assess your knowledge in all areas of current pharmaceutical education in Canada. Candidates are permitted three attempts at a PEBC examination, after which they are required to complete remediation prior to a fourth (final) attempt.

Once you successfully pass the Evaluating Examination, you may take the Qualifying Examination.


3. Qualifying Examination

This is the final step to qualify for certification with PEBC. The Qualifying Examination assesses your 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 you 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).

Part II is an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) which will evaluate your performance in a simulated practice environment.

 

Note: Both Parts of the Qualifying Examination must be successfully completed within a three-year period of passing one Part.

 

Part I—the MCQ Section
This first part of the Qualifying Examination consists of a computer-based test. The questions assess your understanding and application of pharmacy knowledge to patient situations. They also evaluate your 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 you have passed or failed. If you do not successfully pass the Qualifying Examination on your first attempt, you are allowed three additional attempts for each Part. Candidates are permitted three attempts at a PEBC examination, after which they are required to complete remediation prior to a fourth (final) attempt. Both Parts of the Qualifying Examination must be successfully completed within a three-year period of passing one Part. If you do not complete the process within this time process, you will be required to retake and pass the Part that has already been completed. When you have passed both Parts of the Qualifying Examination, you will be certified and registered with PEBC.

Beginning with the fall 2017 sitting of the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination, candidates who have previously been unsuccessful on Part II (OSCE) will be required to have already passed Part I (MCQ) before re-attempting the OSCE.
PEBC is able to accommodate a total of 3000 candidates annually for the spring and fall sittings of the OSCE.

 

Admission of candidates for the OSCE will be prioritized to accept those who are attempting the OSCE for the first time. If capacity is exceeded by the total number of applicants, eligible candidates will automatically be registered for the next sitting.


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 practice in Canada.

International pharmacy graduates must first register with the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada and then complete PEBC Document Evaluation and the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.

U.S. graduates: After registering with the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada, graduates of U.S. programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) may apply directly to PEBC for the Qualifying Examination. In order to be eligible to take the exam, you first must have your qualifications assessed. You must ensure that copies of your final transcripts, confirming successful program completion, are sent directly from the university to PEBC. In addition, if you have been licensed as a pharmacist, you must arrange for a licensing statement to be sent to PEBC directly from all licensing authorities.

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.

Instead, you should apply directly for the Qualifying Examination. Prior to applying to write the PEBC Qualifying Examination, U.S. graduates must enrol in the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada.

However, the information found in the “What you need to know” section is still important for you to consider if you wish to apply to practise pharmacy in Canada.

Information for Students
Candidates who are about to graduate from a 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.