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If pharmacy is your main occupation and you are looking to immigrate to Canada through the Express Entry system, you will have to get your Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC).
The PEBC certifies the qualifications of -
Based in Toronto, the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is a non-profit organization and the national certification body for pharmacists. With 50+ years of experience, the PEBC assesses the qualifications and competence of candidates for being licensed by the provincial regulatory authorities in pharmacy occupations.
The PEBC contributes to the health and wellness of Canadians through providing excellence and leadership in the assessment of individuals for the pharmacy profession.
Internationally recognized as a leader in the competency assessment of pharmacists, the PEBC makes a significant contribution to the profession of pharmacy.
The PEBC has a key role to play in ensuring the safe and effective delivery of progressive health care in Canada.
Assessment of qualifications by the PEBC are provided for those entering to practice, along with those seeking to re-enter the profession of pharmacists in Canada. The continuing competence of an individual to remain in the profession is also established by the PEBC.
The PEBC provides a comprehensive - as well as relevant - assessment process for pharmacists to serve as a basis for establishing a national licensing standard.
The Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report for immigration purposes for an Express Entry candidate with ‘pharmacy’ as their main occupation will also be obtained through the PEBC.
Those intending to immigrate to Canada and work as pharmacists will have to secure a PEBC Certificate of Qualification for pharmacists. This will be needed as per the licensing requirements for entry-to-practise applicants and must be secured by the applicant irrespective of whether they are trained in Canada or overseas.
As pharmacists jobs come under regulated occupations in Canada, all Canadian provinces, with the exception of Quebec, have the licensing requirement in place.
The PEBC follows a comprehensive certification process, thereby ensuring that pharmacy technicians and pharmacists entering the profession have the required abilities, skills, and knowledge to safely and effectively practise pharmacy in Canada.
The quality of individuals entering the profession is an important factor to ensure the delivery of safe and effective health care to Canadians.
As per Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) code, a pharmacist is someone who gives prescribed medications and provides consultative services, to individuals as well as health care providers.
A pharmacist might either be employed in pharmacies (retail or in a hospital), or be self-employed. Industrial pharmacists, on the other hand, participate in the research, development, manufacture, and promotion of pharmaceutical products.
Pharmacists have their occupation code as NOC 3131 in the Canadian labour market. Job titles that come under the occupation of pharmacists are -
Exclusions, that is, occupation that don't come under the occupation of pharmacists include - chemists (NOC 2112), Pharmacy technicians (NOC 3219), Pharmacy and drugstore managers (NOC 0621), Pharmacy aides (NOC 3414), Pharmacologists (NOC 2121), Chiefs of pharmacy and pharmacy directors (NOC 0311), and Pharmaceutical sales representatives (NOC 6221).
You will need a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy to work in Canada as a pharmacist. Practical training under the supervision of a pharmacist will also be required.
All of the 10 provinces and three territories in Canada require an individual to be duly licensed by their own licensing authority before allowing an individual to practise as a pharmacist in that province/territory.
Alberta College of Pharmacists
College of Pharmacists of British Columbia
College of Pharmacists of Manitoba
New Brunswick College of Pharmacists
Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board
Registrar, Professional Licensing, Department of Health and Social Services
Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists
Department of Health, Government of Nunavut
Ontario College of Pharmacists
Prince Edward Island College of Pharmacists
Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec, Service d'admission à la pratique
Saskatchewan College of Pharmacists
Professional Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Government of Yukon
If you intend working in Canada as a pharmacist and require a license to practice, you will have to get an assessment done by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada.
You would need a license if caring for patients in a hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy, long-term care facility, or other practice settings.
If you would be working in Canada in a position that does not require a license, you can get an assessment through any of the designated organizations - WES, ICAS, ICES, or IQAS - instead. A PEBC assessment will not be required in that situation.
For instance, no licensing is needed to work in the pharmaceutical industry where you might need a pharmacy job, but as such don't require a license to practise pharmacy.
An individual that received their pharmacy degree from outside of Canada or the US will have to acquire PEBC certification before they can work as pharmacist in Canada.
Before you begin the certification process, you will have to register on the Pharmacists’ Gateway Canada. Once you have successfully been registered, you will be issued a National Identifier Number.
The three-step process to get a PEBC pharmacist certification -
You must pass the evaluation of your credentials - educational as well as professionals - to be eligible for appearing for the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination.
The evaluation of documents is required to ensure that you do have a degree in Pharmacy that is acceptable. The minimum requirement to be fulfilled is that you have a four-year undergraduate degree in pharmacy.
You will have to pass the Pharmacist Evaluating Examination to be eligible for the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination - Multiple Choice Question (MCQ Part I) format, followed by Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE Part II).
When you successfully clear both Parts of the Pharmacist Qualifying Examination, you will be certified and registered with the PEBC.
As such, the PEBC does not require you to clear a language proficiency test - such as the IELTS, TOEFL etc. However, the province or territory that you want to practise in might have their own language proficiency requirements.
An Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for immigration purposes might be required if you are applying for Canadian permanent residence through the Express Entry system.
Three programs come under Canada’s Express Entry. You will need an ECA for immigration purposes if applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
An ECA from the PEBC will be needed if an individual is applying under the FSWP or CEC of Express Entry wIth ‘pharmacist’ as their main occupation.
Document Evaluation must be completed before you can submit an application for the ECA Report. The evaluation of your documents will establish if your undergraduate degree is the equivalent of the basic education requirement to work as a pharmacist in Canada.
The ECA Report application will be added to your Portal account after the evaluation.
The amount that you can expect to pay is given below. All fees are in Canadian dollars.
ECA Report Request
Qualifying Examination - Part I (MCQ)
Qualifying Examination - Part II (OSCE)
After the submission of the required documentation, the PEBC will take up to 8 weeks to complete the document evaluation. An ECA Report can be requested only after the evaluation of the documents has been completed.
The PEBC is the road to licensure for individuals looking to live and work in Canada as a pharmacist. Nevertheless, a proper certification by the relevant provincial and territorial government will be required before you can practice within that province/territory as a pharmacist.
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada is the first step in your journey to immigrate to Canada as a pharmacist.