Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) Assessors

Approved: February 2016

Revised: April 2018

In the Regulations under the Pharmacy Act, students and interns must complete structured practical training under the supervision of a preceptor. Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) has replaced the studentship and internship as the structured practical training requirement for these applicants. For the purpose of PACE, preceptors are identified as “assessors” to emphasize their primary role in assessing a candidate’s performance to determine if they are competent for entry-to-practice as a pharmacist in Ontario. This policy defines who may be appointed to be a PACE assessor.


A pharmacist who has demonstrated that they have the appropriate experience, conduct, practice, objectivity, training and commitment will be eligible and qualify to be a College-appointed assessor for the Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE).

PACE assessors must continue to meet the decision criteria of this policy and demonstrate their competence as an assessor to maintain their appointment.


Pharmacists who are interested in becoming an assessor for PACE will submit an application form that the College will provide. College staff will review the application and notify the pharmacist within 10 business days if they are eligible to be a PACE assessor. These pharmacists will be required to complete the College’s Assessor Training to qualify to be a PACE assessor.

If two pharmacists practising at the same practice site wish to share the responsibility and time commitment for assessing a PACE candidate, both pharmacists must apply and be approved to be PACE assessors. Their request to be co-assessors must be included on their application form and confirmed each time they are matched with a PACE candidate. This policy will apply to both co-assessors.

Decision criteria

1. A proposed assessor will be considered eligible to be an assessor if:

i. They are a pharmacist who

a) Has been registered and practicing in the scope of practice in a Canadian jurisdiction for at least two years as a pharmacist providing patient care;

b) Provides direct patient care for a minimum of 24 hours per week; and

c) Incorporates continuing professional development into their practice; and

ii. They demonstrate appropriate conduct and are fit for practice by being a member in good standing with the College

a) Without any terms, conditions or limitations on their certificate of registration other than those applicable to all pharmacists in Part A of the Register; and

b) Meets the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics; and

iii. They are able to provide an objective assessment of a candidate through their

a) Understanding of the role of the College in serving and protecting the public; and

b) Agreement to declare any actual or perceived conflict of interest or bias with a candidate with whom they may be matched; and

iv. They practise in a site that is conducive to the assessment of competence where

a) The site is an accredited community or hospital pharmacy in Ontario that has a positive accreditation history with the College;

b) The site provides sufficient practice opportunities for the candidate to engage in the scope of practice of the profession and demonstrate the relevant entry-to-practice competencies; and

c) The site’s organizational structure permits an appropriate degree of side-by-side interaction between the candidate and the assessor (e.g., sufficient staffing and resources).

2. A proposed assessor will qualify to be an assessor if they also:

i. Complete the College’s Assessor Training, and any further training as required by the College; and

ii. Commit to:

a) Abiding by the College’s PACE Assessor Manual, Code of Conduct for PACE Assessors, and Confidentiality Requirement for PACE Assessors; and

b) Engaging and maintaining competence in using the Ontario Pharmacy Patient Care Assessment Tool (OPPCAT).

Possible Outcomes

PACE Assessor Criteria met

The pharmacist will be appointed to be a PACE assessor.

PACE Assessor Criteria not met

The pharmacist will not be appointed to be a PACE assessor. Pharmacists seeking further consideration may request to have their application referred to a panel of the Registration Committee.

Legislative references

Additional references

College Contact: Registration Programs