Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Where can I obtain accredited continuing education (CE)?
A variety of CE providers offer accredited programs. Check the program for continuing education units (CEUs) and for the name or logo of the accreditation body associated with the CEUs.

What types of learning activities can be used towards completion of continuing education (CE) hours?
A variety of learning activities can be used including live programs, reading materials, self-study modules, workplace learning. However, registrants need to be aware of that a minimum of 5 hours of continuing education (CE) must be accredited learning.

Why is continuing professional development important?
Undergraduate education provides the education necessary for entry to practice to a profession. However, a combination of both practice-based experience and life-long learning are necessary to develop and maintain the knowledge, skills and abilities that are necessary for professional competence throughout a professional’s career. Continuing professional development (CPD) is the process for acquiring new knowledge and skills throughout one’s professional life.

How many hours of continuing education (CE) are required in BC each year to renew a pharmacist license?
In order to maintain registration, pharmacists in British Columbia are required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of CE per year by submitting a minimum of 6 learning records to the College of Pharmacists of BC.

How many hours of continuing education (CE) need to be accredited?
Effective January 2016, of the 15 hours of CE required to maintain registration, a minimum of 5 hours of CE must be accredited

What is the difference between accredited and non-accredited continuing education (CE)?
Accredited CE programs have been reviewed by a recognized accreditation body (e.g., UBC CPPD, CCCEP and ACPE) to ensure that the program content is current, relevant, evidence based and unbiased. This ‘seal of approval’ provides pharmacy professionals with a dependable basis for selecting programs of high quality, which will meet their learning needs. Non-accredited CE programs are not necessarily inferior, but they have not been reviewed in order to assess their relevance to practice or quality of educational content.

Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program (CP3)

Will CP3 continue to use an online-classroom component?
The January 2023 and May 2023 instructional portion of CP3 will be delivered via an online medium. Delivery formats for future sessions will be re-assessed. In order to participate in online classes, students should ensure they have access to high-speed internet, a computer with a webcam, and a microphone.

Is the Structured Practical Training (SPT) practicum graded?
Yes, the practicum is graded using assessment processes established by the Office of Experiential Education at UBC.

Do I need to get any immunizations prior to beginning the SPT practicum?
All CP3 students must be registered with UBC Student Health Services and immunized according to the Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program Immunization Review instructions. This is a pre-practicum requirement. If a student fails to complete the above, they will not be eligible for their practicum. Certain vaccines may require multiple doses administered over a period of six months.  As such, prospective students are advised to ensure they have met as many immunization requirements as possible (outlined in Appendix A of the Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program Immunization Review) prior to applying to enroll in CP3.

What are the required texts?
The required texts are as follows:

  • Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS): Canadian Pharmacists Association 
  • Compendium of Therapeutic Choices (CTC): Canadian Pharmacists Association
  • Compendium of Therapeutics for Minor Ailments (CTMA): Canadian Pharmacists Association 

Please ensure they are the most recent version.

Why do I need a Work Permit for CP3?
The SPT component of the CP3 program is considered work by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), even though it is part of a course of study.

What happens if I am unsuccessful in my SPT practicum?
A failure in SPT will result in a failure of CP3. In the event that a student is unsuccessful on their SPT practicum, the student, if eligible, will need to repeat the practicum at the next available opportunity and pay the applicable fee. Whether the student is eligible for a subsequent attempt at SPT will depend on various criteria, including those determined by the College of Pharmacists of BC and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In some cases, students may be required to re-enroll in UBC CP3 prior to any subsequent SPT attempt. This includes students that do not begin their subsequent SPT attempt within one year of completing the classroom portion of CP3, and students that are unsuccessful in two SPT attempts since last completing the classroom portion of CP3.

What equipment/software does a CP3 student need to have for taking online pre-recorded and live lectures?
You will need a computer and high-speed internet access at home during the online portion of the program, as you will need it to attend sessions and complete many of your assignments online. You will also need a webcam and microphone (headsets are recommended to limit background noise). Your assignments will require the use of Zoom, UBC Canvas, Microsoft Word (or similar) or PowerPoint (or similar), as well as Adobe Acrobat, depending on the activity. 

Is the SPT program required for International Pharmacy Graduates (IPGs) or will the classroom modules suffice?
The SPT program is necessary for International Pharmacy Graduates to complete the requirements for licensure in BC.

What is the SPT practicum time commitment like?
Students complete 500 hours of SPT over 12.5 weeks, generally divided into 40 hours each week. Practicum scheduling including start and end date will depend on the practice site and/or practice educator. Students should expect to potentially work weekends and evenings. Students are also required to work on any statutory holidays that occur during the practicum period or make up the missed time to meet the required hours of the practicum.

Is it possible to secure a practicum placement for SPT before coming to Canada?
No, that is not possible.  Practice sites are assigned by the Office of Experiential Education during the classroom portion of CP3. This avoids unfairness in the placement process and minimizes conflicts of interest.

Will the CP3 program prepare me for the PEBC Qualifying Exams (MCQ & OSCE)?
The CP3 program prepares IPGs for pharmacy practice in Canada. Since the skills and competencies needed for practice are the same ones tested in the PEBC Qualifying Exams, CP3 graduates are well-prepared to pass the exams.

Where does the CP3 practicum take place?
You will be based off-campus in an outpatient pharmacy practice site for the 12.5-week SPT program. Placements can occur throughout the province of BC.  Students will be provided the opportunity to provide their preferred geographical preferences, however scheduling of practicums is dependent on both site and practice educator availability and therefore placement preferences cannot be guaranteed. While geographical preferences will be accommodated where possible, students should expect to be placed at practicum sites anywhere throughout British Columbia.

Can the CP3 Structured Practical Training (SPT) component of the full program be postponed or can the practicum start and end dates be changed?
No, students cannot delay the Structured Practical Training practicum. Changes are also not permitted to the practicum start and end date. The SPT practicum allows students to practice what they have learned in the online instructional modules in a supportive and non-threatening environment. Any gap between the online modules and SPT components of the program reduces the value of the practicum.

How many places are available in each CP3 session?
The maximum enrolment is 20 students per session. This allows us to provide students with individual support.

Can I take the PEBC or Jurisprudence exam during my SPT practicum? Can I miss time during my practicum for another commitment/event?
Students are discouraged from registering for any licensing exams or scheduling any other major commitment or event that conflicts with or takes place within the block dates of their SPT practicum. Any missed time pertaining to exams (e.g., studying, attending preparatory classes, traveling to the exam centre, and/or taking the actual exam) will not be considered an extenuating circumstance for missing time from practicum. Please note that SPT is a full-time practicum and will also require students to complete additional hours at home for self-study, completion of assignments, and preparing for patient care activities. Students should prioritize their practicum if their goal is to successfully complete SPT, and students are recommended to schedule these events for after the conclusion of their SPT practicum.

Will I be paid during the CP3 practicum?
Students are not permitted to receive any remuneration for their practicum experience. This avoids bias or unfairness in the placement process.

How can I get a Work Permit for CP3?
The Co-op Work Permit should automatically be granted with the Study Permit since experiential training is part of the course. If not, it can be applied for at the border at the time of entry, at the border after entry as part of a ‘flag poling’ procedure, or as a change of conditions to the Study Permit once you have arrived in Canada.

Is the CP3 practicum undertaken as a group or one-on-one?
Only one CP3 student will be placed at any given practice site at a time. This will maximize the time a student will spend with their practice educator.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) now requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). How do I get one?
CP3 Students are automatically issued an eTA along with their Study Permit.

What is the duration of the IPG visa granted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)?
All Study Permits become invalid 90 days after the completion of studies.

COVID-19: How will the pandemic impact CP3 and students?
The January 2023 and May 2023 instructional portion of CP3 will be delivered via an online medium. Delivery formats for future sessions will be re-assessed. In order to participate in online classes, students should ensure they have access to high-speed internet, a computer with a webcam, and a microphone. 

On the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) it states that a student doesn’t need a Study Permit for a course that is less than 6 months. Why do I need one for CP3?
You need the Study Permit in order to receive the Co-op Work Permit, which is required for the SPT program.

How long will it take me to receive a response for my application?
Applications will be responded to within 7 business days

What kind of activities will I participate in during the CP3 SPT program?
Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, you will complete activities typical of those dealt with by a practicing pharmacist on a daily basis. These activities include, but are not limited to, filling prescriptions, counseling patients, communicating with physicians and other pharmacies as needed, participating in administrative duties, educating patients on use of medical devices (blood glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, inhalers, etc.), and providing drug information when requested by patients, physicians and other health professionals.


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