Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) Assessor Criteria


In PACE for pharmacy technician applicants, the assessor may be a pharmacy technician or a pharmacist (“pharmacy practitioner”) provided they meet the experience, conduct, practice, objectivity, training and commitment decision criteria of this policy as applicable to both types of practitioners.

Pharmacy technician applicants will be assessed using the Tool for Assessment of Pharmacy Technicians (TAPT).

Pharmacy practitioners who are interested in applying to be an assessor for PACE for pharmacy technician applicants should submit the community or long-term care based application form or the hospital based application form to the College.

Approved: February 2016

Revised: June 2021, May 2024

Reviewed: May 2023

For the purpose of Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (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.

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


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 provided by the College. College staff will review the application and (if available) the most recent practice assessment, and notify the pharmacy practitioner if they are eligible to be a PACE assessor. These practitioners will be required to complete the College’s Assessor Training to qualify to be a PACE assessor.

If two practitioners practising at the same practice site wish to share the responsibility and time commitment for assessing a PACE candidate, both practitioners 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 pharmacy practitioner who

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

b) Provides direct patient care for a minimum of 24 hours per week (or has applied with a co-assessor with whom they can share responsibility for observing a candidate for the required 24 hours of patient care 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 registrant 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) Has no open cases (reports, complaints) under investigation or review and has had no concerns listed on the Public Register that involve criminal conduct, ethical conduct, governability, sexual abuse, fitness to practice, delivery of quality healthcare or financial responsibility; and

c) Is an ethical practitioner competently engaged in the full scope of the practice of pharmacy; and

       d) There is no other evidence to suggest the practitioner will reflect negatively on the PACE model; 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 bias or conflict of interest 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. An assessor will continue to qualify to be an assessor if they:

i. Complete any further training as required by the College; and

ii. Abide by the College’s Code of Conduct for Assessors, Coaches, Mentors, Preceptors and Members of Working Groups, and Confidentiality Requirement for PACE Assessors; and

iii. Engage and maintain competence in using the relevant assessment tool.


Legislative references
Additional references

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