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 practice 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. The practice-based registration requirement is met when a candidate demonstrates their readiness to safely and independently practice as a pharmacist according to validated standards set by the profession. Candidates with practice performance deficiencies identified through their PACE assessment will be offered guidance to support their individualized development prior to being reassessed by a different assessor.

As of January 18, 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 are required to successfully complete PACE. The SPT Program will continue for current interns and students who had already started their SPT. 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 deficiencies 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

Questions about PACE?

Please contact regprograms@ocpinfo.com or 416-962-4861 ext. 2297.