Andrew Hanna Describes Pharmacist Prerequisites In Canada

In Canada, there are about over 42,000 licensed pharmacists. These professionals work in a variety of different settings such as community pharmacies, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry. Pharmacy is a rewarding job that brings the professional into contact with the public, helping them with their medical needs. Often, a pharmacist is the first line of defence against illness, giving recommendations to a patient regarding the safety and effectiveness of their medication.

The process of becoming a licensed pharmacist in Canada can be intimidating, but there are concrete steps that a professional can follow to receive this certification and begin work in the field. Andrew Hanna, a pharmacist from Ontario, explains the process of joining the field.

Educational Prerequisites

Pharmacy degrees are given only to highly skilled students. It takes five years of university study to receive an undergraduate pharmacy degree, with one or two years taking undergraduate courses and a four-year pharmacy program.

The four-year degree program helps students learn therapeutic knowledge and skills. They are educated in microbiology, pathophysiology, toxicology, pharmacology, and pharmaceutical care, among other disciplines.

Frequently, student pharmacists also take courses intended to help them with patients at different stages of life. Geriatrics, menopause, or pediatric specialties can be pursued, among others.


Programs Certified by CCAPP

All pharmacy schools in Ontario will be able to prepare you for work in the province. If you have studied in other provinces, you must make sure that you have followed all of Ontario’s requirements.


PACE does not provide training on the process of practicing in the field. Students need to have completed pharmacy school and an internship in Ontario in order to proceed.

The criteria for assessment include the ability to conduct patient assessments, the problems that could occur during drug therapy, clinical decision-making, and the implementation of care plans. The test also evaluates whether a pharmacist candidate is able to recognise when a patient’s difficulties are too great to be handled in the pharmacy itself.

Candidates need to be able to demonstrate proper verbal and non-verbal communication skills. They must also be able to complete documentation in a clear and organised manner.

Finally, a pharmacy candidate needs to be able to apply these regulations and ethical principles in practice.

Jurisprudence Exam


Language Facility

International Pharmacy Graduates

Trade Organisations

Pharmacists’ Importance in the Community

Andrew Hanna encourages all interested undergraduate students in Ontario to look into pharmacy as a career.

Originally published at on October 15, 2020.

I am a certified compounding pharmacist and the founder of the pharmacy Cotton Mill Pharmacy, a specialty pharmacy that compounds prescriptions for clients.