Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE)

Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) is a new approach the College is introducing to assess pharmacist applicants’ entry-to-practice competence.

In PACE, a candidate’s ability to practise as a pharmacist in a practice setting is assessed by a College trained and appointed assessor who directly observes and supervises the candidate engaging in practice over a specified period of time. Following the assessment, guidance will be offered to candidates with identified practice performance gaps to support appropriate individualized development prior to re-assessment. The practice-based registration requirement is met when a candidate demonstrates their readiness to safely and independently practise as a pharmacist.

Beginning early 2018, all pharmacist applicants in Ontario applying for first registration as a pharmacist in Canada and who did not graduate from the University of Toronto or the University of Waterloo pharmacy degree program will be required to successfully complete PACE. Interns who have begun Structured Practical Training (SPT) will continue with SPT internship. The SPT Program will also continue for all pharmacy technician applicants. More information can be found in the PACE page of the College website.


PACE’s Step by Step Process

PACE is made up of four parts:

1. Orientation

  • The candidate has an orientation to the practice site, and time to observe the workflow and processes to familiarize themselves with these before engaging in practice.
  • Orientation lasts one week

2. Assessment

  • The candidate engages in the scope of practice of the profession over 70 hours on either a two-week full time or three-week part-time basis to demonstrate their competence during which time the PACE assessor is observing their practice against the PACE Assessment Criteria
  • The candidate will document examples and situations of their practice experience in an online portal.

3. Outcome

  • The candidate is notified of the outcome of the assessment (within two weeks):
    • Competence demonstrated; or
    • Development required (performance profile is included with the outcome notice)

4. Feedback & Plan Development (for candidates requiring development)

  • The candidate creates a self-directed learning action plan to address gaps in their competence
  • College staff provide support to the candidate in the development of their learning action plan
  • The candidate works with a coaching pharmacist to implement their plan

Next Steps

Following further evaluation, PACE is expected to replace the College’s current SPT Program as the approved practice-based registration requirement for all applicants. The Registration Committee has already approved a policy that recognizes that a candidate who has successfully completed PACE while registered as a student has also met the intern-level practical training requirement (i.e., SPT Internship).