Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) for Pharmacist Applicants

First approved: April 2018

Introduction

This policy defines the Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) approved as the practice-based registration requirement for pharmacists.

Principles
  1. Assessing applicants’ entry-to-practice competence supports the College’s mandate to serve and protect the public.
  2. The College’s registration requirements are fair, transparent, objective and impartial.
  3. Every College applicant’s professional training and development needs are unique, and any required learning should be individualized to address the applicant’s specific practice performance gaps and self-directed to instill the culture of life-long learning.
Process

All PACE candidates must complete the Orientation and Assessment phases. The outcome of the initial assessment will determine if they must continue in the PACE process.

PACE Assessors

A candidate selects a practice site location where an OCP appointed PACE Assessor is available.

To ensure an impartial assessment, every applicant and assessor must declare and provide details about any actual or perceived conflict of interest or appearance of bias during the PACE application process.

Orientation

The orientation is one week (35 hours) for all candidates. During this phase, the candidate has an orientation to PACE and the practice site, and time to observe the workflow and processes to familiarize themselves with these before engaging in a practice assessment. No pharmacy practice training is provided. This week of orientation may not be extended to ensure that all candidates have the same exposure to their PACE practice site.

Assessment

The assessment occurs over 70 hours on either a two-week full time or three-week part-time basis. During this period, the candidate engages in practice in the scope of the profession to demonstrate their competence. The candidate must document practice opportunities that demonstrate all competency elements on the OPPCAT. The assessor must observe the candidate whenever they are engaged in practice and review documentation. At the end of the assessment period, the assessor completes the OPPCAT and submits it to the College via the secure online portal.

No pharmacy practice training and no performance-related feedback is provided to the candidate. The 70-hour assessment may not be extended in order to ensure that all candidates have the same period to demonstrate their competency to their assessor.

If a candidate wishes to file an appeal based on procedural issues that were not satisfactorily resolved during the assessment period, the PACE Administration Appeals Policy outlines this process.

Outcome

After the assessor submits the OPPCAT to the College, a standardized scoring rubric will be applied to the ratings to determine if the candidate has either passed or failed PACE.

A candidate who has successfully completed PACE will have met the College’s practice-based registration requirement for pharmacists and be allowed to move forward in their registration process. Pharmacist registration must be completed within two years of a successful PACE outcome.

A candidate who has not successfully completed PACE will be provided with a performance profile and must continue in the PACE process until they have met this registration requirement.

If a candidate wishes to request a re-scoring of the assessment tool, the PACE Re-Scoring Policy outlines this process.

Development

In order to be eligible for reassessment, the unsuccessful PACE candidate must prepare a self-directed learning action plan. In addition, a coaching pharmacist who agrees to support the implementation of the learning action plan is required for most candidates.

Failed Reassessment

The candidate who has failed their PACE reassessment (i.e., second assessment) will be referred to a panel of the Registration Committee to consider what further education, examinations and/or training may be required.

The candidate must successfully complete the additional education, examinations and/or training ordered by the panel before attempting another PACE reassessment.

A PACE Reassessment Fee is charged for the second reassessment (i.e., the third assessment) and all subsequent assessments (as per College by-laws).

Legislative references

College Contact: Registration Programs