Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE)

First approved: April 2018

Revised: June 2021

Reviewed: May 2023


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

Pharmacist applicants will be assessed by a pharmacist PACE assessor using the Ontario Pharmacy Patient Care Assessment Tool (OPPCAT).


Candidates for PACE must have met the education requirement to register as a pharmacist, and be registered with the College to be able to perform the authorized acts of the profession.


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.

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.


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.


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 assessment tool. 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 assessment tool 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.


After the assessor submits the assessment tool 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 and be allowed to move forward in their registration process.  Registration as a pharmacist 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.


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

Failed Reassessment

The candidate who has failed any PACE reassessment 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 and all subsequent reassessments (as per College by-laws).

Legislative references

College Contact: