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Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technician jobs are rewarding and fulfilling. Canada's growing pharmacy industry demands highly trained individuals like those who have graduated from CDI College's Pharmacy Technician diploma program.

This program teaches students the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the ever-changing pharmacy industry. Pharmacy tech students learn about compounding, computer processing, dispensing, mathematics, drug/body interactions, and drug delivery systems among other subjects. Additionally, students practice their customer service skills and learn about different pharmaceutical environments such as retail, hospital, and small business. Students will also develop real-world workplace skills like communication and customer service, which they will put to use in their practicum placements in workplaces in hospital and community pharmacies.

Pharmacy Technician is a regulated health profession under the auspices of the Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP). Graduates of this program will attain competencies specified in the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice and the Canadian Pharmacy Technician Educators Association (CPTEA) Educational Outcomes for Pharmacy Technician Programs in Canada. Graduates will also be eligible to apply to write the certification examination offered by the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) and to register with the ACP.

Admissions Prerequisites
  • Grade 12 diploma or equivalent (transcript required) with successful completion of Biology 30 AND success completion of Chemistry 30 AND successful completion of Math 30-1 or 30-2 AND successful completion of English Language Arts ELA 30-1 or 30-2
  • Passing score on the CDI College entrance examination
  • Provide a criminal record check
  • Provide completed immunization report showing current immunization and free of communicable diseases
  • A minimum keyboard speed of 30 words per minute
  • Interview with program coordinator, or designate

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate and receive a diploma, a student must obtain an overall average of at least 70% in this program, minimum grade of 70% in each of the final exams (theory and practical), and meet the zero tolerance criteria in the Pharmaceutical Calculations module as required by the regulatory body.

Practicum Requirements - Institutional and Community
Students will attend practicum in both community and institutional (hospital) pharmacies.

International Student and English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants who have graduated from high school or post-secondary programs outside of North America must demonstrate English language proficiency for program admission (including English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia). This standard is based on NAPRA recommended tests and scores. In addition, all international transcripts and credentials will be assessed through IQAS prior to enrolling.

Admission to the CDI College Pharmacy Technician diploma program is dependent on producing one of the following test scores prior to signing enrolment contracts and documentation.

Test Details Minimum Score
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-based test Speaking 21
Writing 22
Reading 20
Listening 19
Total 86
Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) Written Composition (Writing) 80
Listening Comprehension (Listening) 77
Grammar, Cloze, Reading, Vocabulary, Comprehension (Reading) 79
Oral Component (Speaking) 3+
Total 78
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic format Speaking 6
Writing 6
Reading 6
Listening 6
Overall Band 60
The Canadian Test for English Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST) Speaking 4.5
Writing 4.0
Reading 4.5
Listening 4.5

CDI College, Edmonton City Centre
Pharmacy Technician Faculty
Terra Young, RPhT (Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator & Instructor) -, 780-424-6650
Jamil Ramji, BSc, BSP, ACPR, CTE - Instructor
Tamiza Manji-Dhanani, RPhT – Instructor 
Alanha Davidson, RPhT - Instructor

The Pharmacy Technician Program of CDI College – Edmonton City Centre has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council of Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for a three-year term from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018.

Program Courses

PT250 - Jurisprudence (25 hours)
This course will guide the student through industry related legislation and standards that govern the pharmacy profession, including provincial and federal laws, regulations and standards, and scope of practice.
PT210 - Compounding (75 hours)
Students will become efficient at preparing pharmaceutical preparations and accurately completing the necessary documentation to meet and maintain standards. The student will practice various mixing techniques and standards of commercial compounding, become proficient at accurately calculating, measuring, and weighing ingredients to compound. Proper and timely cleaning and maintenance of compounding equipment will be stressed. In addition to the theory and technical skills covered in this course, students will be expected to continue to apply the appropriate standards of practice and apply the principles of professionalism expected of a pharmacy technician. Assessment of professionalism will be conducted through observation of the student in the lab environment.
PT150 - Pharmaceutical Calculations (100 hours)
This course is designed to provide students with the mathematical skills needed in the preparation of prescription products in a pharmacy setting. The course will allow the student to become familiar with different systems of weights and measures, methods of expressing strengths, dosage calculations, compounding calculations accurate fluid measurement, and basic principles of pharmacy business math.
PT140 - Pharmacy Software Applications (100 hours)
This course explores how to use the Windows operating system to create and manage files and folders. Students will be introduced to the Internet and the world wide web and will learn how to use these two information resources to conduct healthcare related research. With this foundation in place students will then learn to use pharmacy software for dispensing medications, accessing patient profiles (creating new or updating), and managing third party billing information.
PT130 - Fundamentals of Pharmacology (100 hours)
This course is designed to introduce the student to the fundamental concepts of pharmacology, dosage formulations, routes of drug administration, and OTC medications. It will enable the student to understand the role of drugs in individualized patient care and will introduce the student to the recognition and association of generic and trade names of common and/or important medications in community and hospital pharmacy practice. Students will learn various mechanisms of drug action and understand pharmacokinetic processes that affect drug/body interaction. They will learn the procedure for administration of pharmacologic agents as well as learning to identify major drugs by drug class. Students will know drug indications, therapeutic uses, side effects, administration routes, and common dosages.
PT120 - Introduction to Pharmacy (50 hours)
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the pharmacy profession, the role of the Canadian pharmacy organizations, standards of practice, legislation, and ethical best practices. A brief history of the role of pharmacies in society and the pharmacy technician will be covered. Students will be introduced to the nature of drug benefit plans, both public and private, along with accepted billing practices. Finally students will become familiar with the prescription filling life cycle.
SSSET - Student Success and Strategies (25 hours)
This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
CESET - Career and Employment Strategies (25 hours)
This course introduces to students job search planning, preparation, execution, and employment interview follow up. Students will also learn how to use social media technologies in promoting and maintaining an active and positive digital profile. In addition to learning career-oriented skills, students will learn how to apply effective interviewing skills in a job interview.
PT901 & PT951 - Community and Institutional Practicum (320 hours)
Practicum (on-the-job) experience is an essential component of the Pharmacy Technician training experience. It provides real-world practical training in a pharmaceutical setting, allowing the student to gain a better understanding of employer and customer needs and expectations. The practicum is divided into two components: four weeks of practicum in a community pharmacy setting and four weeks in an institutional (hospital) pharmacy setting. Successful completion of both components is a mandatory criterion for graduation.
PTEX - Final Review and Comprehensive Exam (25 hours)
Students will write a final exam in the last week of the Pharmacy Technician program. The examination will include a practical component and a comprehensive theory exam. The practical exam includes all skills taught throughout the program.
PT240 - Inter and Intra Professional Skills (25 hours)
Students will have the opportunity to interact with students and faculty from other health profession programs throughout the program. This course will help students facilitate their development of team work; improve their critical thinking skills and broaden their knowledge of patient care communications.
PT230 - Institutional Pharmacy (75 hours)
Students will learn the various types of drug distribution systems in hospitals and institutional settings and the procedure for managing drug inventory. Students will become familiar with the process of receiving drugs and record keeping, as well as the drug delivery systems that may be used in long-term care facilities. Students will be introduced to provincial formularies and central supply lists. Students will also be exposed to current literature analysis and presentation of modern concepts in drug distribution; drug information systems; application of data processing to decentralized pharmacy services; and administrative principles peculiar to an institutional pharmacy.
PT220 - Aseptic Technique and Sterile Products (100 hours)
This course is designed to provide students with a chance to learn the basic principles of microbiology and the reasons why reducing microbial contamination in a pharmacy are necessary. Students will learn how to control microbial contamination by using both chemical and physical means. Students will learn basic principles of infection control. Students will also learn aseptic techniques in preparation of pharmaceutical products. Students will be introduced to basic microbes such as bacteria (pathogenic and non-pathogenic), viruses, and fungus and the diseases they cause.
PT200 - Community Pharmacy (75 hours)
Students are introduced to dispensing techniques and procedures with emphasis on the role of the pharmacy technician in the community pharmacy in relation to the role and responsibilities of the pharmacist. The student will be introduced to the components of a typical prescription using both computerized and manual system of preparation. The student will learn how to completely fill a prescription in a laboratory setting. Pharmacy equipment, inventory management, dispensing techniques will be demonstrated, explained, and practiced in the lab. Occupational health and safety issues will be discussed.
PT110 - First Aid/CPR/Medical Emergencies (25 hours)
This comprehensive course includes everything covered in Emergency First Aid and CPR as well as a wide range of other first aid topics that will provide participants with advanced knowledge and skills required to prevent further injury.
PT100 - Anatomy and Physiology (50 hours)
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to discover explore and understand basic human anatomy and physiology. A holistic model will be used to demonstrate how body systems work together, how they are impacted by disease, and how pharmaceuticals are used to improve health.