Easy Guide to Pharmacy Licensure in Canada

Written by World Document Services Feb 27, 2024

Guide to Pharmacy Licensure in Canada

Sailing across the path to pharmacy licensure in Canada can be a challenging journey, especially for international graduates. With its rigorous standards and complex regulatory requirements, understanding the process can seem overwhelming. However, with the right guidance and resources, international graduates can successfully navigate this path and achieve their goal of practicing pharmacy in Canada.

This guide aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the steps involved in obtaining pharmacy licensure for international graduates, outlining the requirements, examinations, practical training, and ongoing professional development necessary to pursue a career in pharmacy in Canada. By breaking down the process into manageable steps and offering practical advice, this guide seeks to empower international graduates with the knowledge and support they need to navigate the path to pharmacy licensure with confidence.

If you are planning to become a licensed pharmacist, a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from a college accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) is mandatory. The very basic requirement is to clear The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) in order to practice in every state. While every state may have different individual requirements for obtaining a pharmacist license. 

Essential Terms:

PEBC: Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.

CE: Continuing education.

CCCEP: Canadian council on continuing education in Pharmacy.

CCPP: Certificate to Canadian Pharmacy practice

CCAPP: Canadian council for Accreditation of Pharmacy programs.

NAPRA: National association of pharmacy regulatory authorities.

MCQ: Multiple choice questions.

OSCE: Objective structured clinical examination.

ACPE: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

OPQ: Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec.

NAPLEX: North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination

IPG: International pharmacy graduate.

CCAPP: Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs.

ACPE: Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

IELTS: International English Language Testing System.

OET: Occupational English Test.


Basic Requirements:

  • Pharmacy or bachelor’s degree recognized in Canada.
  • Documents evaluation from PEBC (Pharmacy Examination Board of Canada).
  • Clear 3 Multiple choices as well as practical exams that reflects your adequate knowledge about pharmacy in Canada.
  • The applicant needs to meet the language proficiency requirement for licensure via one of the two following pathways: I. Education; or II. Language proficiency testing.
  • Pursue an internship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist to gain hands-on experience in various aspects relating to pharmacy aspects.
  • Once you’ve passed all the exams and got enough training, you can apply for a license to practice as a pharmacist.
  • After getting Licensed, keep yourself updated with the upcoming changes in the rules-regulations or requirements of pharmacists.


Jurisprudence Examination

The rules governing pharmacy practice in Canada, particularly those pertaining to drug distribution and professional ethics, must be understood by pharmacists, according to pharmacy regulatory agencies. The term “jurisprudence” refers to this branch of pharmacy.
International pharmacy graduates must demonstrate during the licensure process that they are familiar with Canadian federal and provincial drug and pharmacy practice laws, rules, and the applicable province’s code of ethics.

Examination Policy

  1. From the date of successful completion of all the exams you have the validity of 4 years for Jurisprudence exam.
  2. Students can attend this exam at any stage during the registration process
  3. Applicants can appear thrice for this exam in a year.
  4. Results are declared within 4 to 6 weeks
  5. This exam is also presented in French.

Key Considerations:

  • The maximum number of attempts permitted for the exam is four.
  • Exams occur every 6 months i.e in January and June every Year.
  • It’s usually required that your educational institution directly sends your academic transcripts and other relevant documents to PEBC.
  • The evaluation of documents by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) typically takes tentatively 6 months to complete.
  • In the licensure process for pharmacy in Canada, candidates must achieve a score of over 60% to clear the exams successfully.
  • After successfully completing all the required licensing exams, candidates may need to clear a jurisprudence exam as part of the final steps towards obtaining pharmacy licensure in Canada.

Process for National Canadian Students:

  • Enrollment in pharmacists gateway Canada.
  • Gets a national ID No required to apply for PEBC documents evaluation
  • Creates a profile where candidates can track their progress using a licensure model.
  • Fee for enrollment in the gateway is $380.
  • Appear for all the 3 exams- Practical exam, clinical exam and the jurisprudence exam.
  • Internship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist for gaining hands-on experience.
  • Apply for the license.

Process for International Students:

Appear for all the 3 exams- Practical exam, clinical exam and the jurisprudence exam.

  • Evaluation
  • Helps in gaining eca scores
  • Basis of this score their Crs score rises.
  • Attains permanent residency
  • Practical exam, clinical exam and the jurisprudence exam.
  • Internship under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist for gaining hands-on experience.
  • Apply for the license.



The validity of your English proficiency test should last till the end of the licensing process post successful clearance of the proficiency exam. Usually English is valid for 2 years. On the other hand, the law exam is valid for four years in Ontario so you can plan it accordingly while working as a Student.

Essential Learning Resources for Licensing Exams.

You can be rest assured in this regard as you will be able to grasp handful of resources, study materials, guides peer groups such as:

  • PEBC Website: Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) website furnishes numerous exam details, study guides, and practice questions.
  • Study Aids and Flashcards: Utilize study aids and flashcards to reinforce key concepts, memorize drug information, and enhance recall during the exam.
  • Online Courses: Enroll in online courses like those offered by CanadaQBank or Toronto Notes for structured exam preparation.
  • Textbooks: Recommended textbooks covering pharmaceutical sciences, pharmacology, pharmacy practice, and jurisprudence are essential study materials.
  • Online Question Banks: Access online question banks offering practice questions and quizzes to help you familiarize yourself with exam formats and test your knowledge.
  • Interactive Online Modules: Explore interactive online modules and educational platforms offering multimedia content and interactive exercises to enhance your learning experience.
  • Professional Journals and Publications: Stay updated with the latest developments in pharmacy practice by reading professional journals, publications, and research articles relevant to your exam preparation.
  • Peer Support Groups: Join peer support groups or online forums where candidates share study tips, resources, and experiences, providing valuable insights and support throughout the exam preparation process.


Subscription based Drug Information Databases.

  • Micromedex- drug information database.
  • Lexicomp- drug information database.
  • AHFS DI Essentials- drug information database.
  • Up to date- Clinical decision support database.
  • Dynamed- evidence based, Clinical decision support database.


Some areas of Canada where your occupation is in demand:

  • Alberta
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Manitoba
  • Nova Scotia
  • Saskatchewan

Useful Links for The Aspiring Students:


Renewing as a pharmacy technician or associate (non-regulated member)

Renewal of the annual practice permit of the Pharmaceutical Assistants can be done via myACP.. The basic requirement for annual renewal of their practice permit each year is by completing annual Continuing Competence Program (CPP) requirements. The renewal is available from 1 October every year, for which your application for renewal of permit must be submitted by 30th November A non-compliance fee is assessed for late applications till December. Your existing practice permit gets terminated on 31 December, in case of failure of the renewal.

The PEBC opens gateways to licensure for those seeking to reside and practice as pharmacists in Canada. However, obtaining certification from the respective provincial or territorial government is essential to practice as a pharmacist within a specific province or territory. Embarking on the process with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada marks the initial stage of your Canadian immigration and visa journey to become a pharmacist in Canada.

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