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. PACE is based on the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) Entry-to-Practice Competencies for pharmacists.

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.

As of January 18, 2017, all registered pharmacy students who apply to begin the practice-based assessment requirement of their registration process in Ontario outside of their educational program will go through PACE. These applicants must successfully complete PACE while registered as a pharmacy student. The SPT Program will continue for interns and for students who have already started their SPT Studentship. The SPT Program will also continue for all pharmacy technician applicants. The pharmacist registration pathways provide specific eligibility for PACE and further guidance.

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