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How To Become A Pharmacist In Canada For International Pharmacy Graduates

How to become a pharmacist in Canada is a dream of most international Graduate pharmacists (IPGs). However, It is not surprising why most Pharmacist want to work in Canada. There are many reasons why you may want to practice in Canada.

One of the most outstanding reasons is that Pharmacy practice in Canada is lucrative. In other words, Canada is among the top five highest paying countries for pharmacists.1

Secondly, Canada is a good place to settle and work as a Pharmacist because there are so many job opportunities in Canada. Therefore, it is very easy to find a foothold of job securities in Canada since there are so many options at every point in time.

Also, Canada has the best universities in the world, hence, continuing a quality and sound education as a pharmacist will not be a great challenge.

Finally, working in a place with a stable economy, friendly environment, free health care, free public schools and safety is a dream of every human being. Canada has all these virtues at her disposal.2

If you are from other countries and have been asking questions on how to become a Pharmacist in Canada. Here, is a post for you. Take your time to learn the step by step guide of means of actualizing this dream of yours.

Step by Step Guide on how to become a Pharmacist in Canada

To become a Pharmacists in Canada as an International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) is more complicated than when you completed your Pharmacy education in Canada. Therefore, it is a process you must learn and follow religiously to give you a better opportunities of migrating. Here are the steps;

  1. Enroll in a Gateway
  2. Applying to the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC)
  3. Examination preparation
  4. Obtaining License to Practice in Canada
  5. Canada Visa application

Enroll in a Gateway

Enrolling in gateway is the first and a very important step through the licensure procedure. The Canadian Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities ( PRAs) consider this step as a guide to everyone who will wish to migrate to Canada from other countries. However, those that wish to practice in Quebec are exempted.

In any case, gateway enrollment can help you even if you wish to work in Quebec or any part of Canada. Some of the advantages of the gateway enrollment includes;

  • The gateway database helps you save your documents for easy retrieval.
  • They help you track your success throughout the licensure period.
  • This platform helps to access your level of knowledge in Pharmacy and help you with materials to improve.
  • The tools help prepare you and bridge your shortcomings such as language.
  • An insight of what to expect starting from your enrollment to the time of your travel.
  • It is a platform that helps you plan and make cost effective budgets.

The enrollment procedure is simple but step-wise. In other words, it is also important to read through the whole process at Pharmacist’s Gateway Canada before starting the enrollment proper.

Applying to the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC)

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is a body that is solely responsible for evaluation of Pharmacy graduates to make sure that they meet with the requirements of practicing in Canada.

To apply to PEBC, you are required to submit all your documents that will prove that you are a registered Pharmacist from your country.

Therefore, the document should contain a minimum of four years of undergraduate study in Pharmacy.

Also, it is important to know that passing the qualification exams of the PEBC does not give you the right to practice in Canada. Rather, the PEBC is a body that helps the Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities to evaluate graduates who are worthy to apply to any of the body for licensure.

PEBC Examination Preparation

The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada conducts two different types of exam which are;

  1. Evaluation examination
  2. Qualification examination

Evaluating examination

Once your documents are accepted by PEBC, you automatically qualifies to write the Evaluating examination. The Evaluating exam access you on the basic knowledge in pharmacy and serves as a prerequisite for the PEBC qualification examination.

Qualification examination

The qualification examination unlike the evaluating examination not only access your knowledge in pharmacy but also your skills and clinical knowledge that can help you practice efficiently.

This examination is into two parts; the MCQ part and OSCE part.

You can visit the PEBC site to learn more about these exams.

It is important to know that there is a program for IPGs that helps prepare them for the PEBC exams. This training is called the bridging program.

The bridging programs helps IPGs to learn how to communicate effectively with patients, to understand the work ethics and environment of Canada and also pharmacy knowledge obtainable in Canada.

International pharmacy graduate (IPG) program is offered by the University of Toronto, Ontario and University of British Columbia.

Obtaining License to Practice in Canada

The next step after being certified by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is to apply for licence to the Pharmacy Regulatory Authority (PRA) of the region you will wish to practice.

The PRA will offer a Structured Practical Training (SPT) to the student with a minimum of 1000 hours of study as an intern Pharmacist. Thereafter, an examination on jurisprudence and ethics is taken by the student.

This exam is to make sure that the prospective pharmacists understands the law governing the practice of Pharmacy in Canada.

Finally, successful students are issued the license to practice after paying some fee for the license.

Canada Visa application as a Pharmacist

The final step is to try to migrate to Canada. When you have passed all the necessary exams and is due for licensure, it is important that you start digging around and working your way into Canada.

However, as a pharmacist, the easiest ways you can apply to for Canada visa are;

  • Through a study permit
  • Express Entry Skilled Federal Worker Program
  • British Columbia PNP Skills Immigration for Healthcare Professionals and
  • Manitoba Provincial Nomination Program for In-demand Occupations

Nevertheless, there is no ironclad rule on the easiest way to migrate to Canada. But, applying for study permit has less application demand and is easier than other options above.

In Conclusion, it is important that you understand all these steps on how to become a pharmacist in Canada and as well be ready to be patient to the final step.

Good luck as you seek for greener pastures, the procedure may seem too tedious but it is obtainable.

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