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New mandatory bridging program for internationally educated pharmacist graduates

March 31, 2021
University of Alberta program is set to launch in fall of 2021.  

The Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta (U of A) have partnered to create an Alberta bridging program for internationally educated pharmacist graduates (IEPGs).

The U of A’s Certificate to Canadian Pharmacy Practice (CCPP) program will launch in fall of 2021. The goal of the program is to build upon and further develop knowledge and skills and prepare IEPGs to be competent and confident practitioners, prepared to enter pharmacy practice in Alberta. Transitioning pharmacist practice from one jurisdiction to another can be challenging, especially when moving from one country to another. Completing this program will support this transition by building IEPGs’ confidence to use their knowledge and skills to meet the health needs of Albertans. Graduates of the program will be prepared to provide quality and safe person-centred care, particularly in Alberta’s dynamic healthcare environment as well as diverse settings across Canada’s healthcare system.

Starting April 1, 2021, all new applicants to the provisional pharmacist register who are internationally educated are required to enroll in the fall intake (September) of the U of A’s CCPP program. For more information about the CCPP program, please refer to the ACP website.

While each individual has their own situation and circumstances to consider, ACP is encouraging IEPGs to complete the CCPP program prior to applying to ACP’s provisional pharmacist register. To apply for the initial offering of the CCPP program, you must meet the requirements outlined on the ACP website.

For IEPGs who wish to apply to the provisional pharmacist register prior to completing the CCPP program, only do so if you have a realistic plan. Make sure to consider the time commitment required to complete the CCPP program and the Structured Practical Training (SPT) program while on the provisional pharmacist register. Keep in mind that the term for a provisional pharmacist is only two years. If your term expires as a provisional pharmacist, you may be required to redo the SPT program and the Ethics and Jurisprudence Exam should you choose to reapply to the provisional pharmacist register.

If you are currently a provisional pharmacist who registered with ACP prior to April 1, 2021, the new rules do not affect you and you are not required to enroll in or complete the CCPP program (unless the term of your practice permit expires). If you registered as a provisional pharmacist between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021, you are not required to complete the CCPP program, but you are still required to complete each level of the SPT program with an experienced preceptor.

For questions about the CCPP, visit the U of A website. If your question is not answered from the website, email