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Pharmacy Technician

The mission of CDI College's Pharmacy Technician program is to ensure the education and the competency for future pharmacy technicians. It is facilitated by knowledge, professional development and relationships amongst CDI College students, instructors, and practicum hosts at both community and institutional pharmacies.

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 a community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, and small business. Students will also develop real-world workplace skills like communication and customer service, which they will put to use in their mandatory practicum placements in a community pharmacy and a hospital pharmacy.

Pharmacy Technician is a regulated health profession under the auspices of the College of Pharmacists of BC. Upon completion of the Pharmacy Technician program in British Columbia, graduates are able to write exams with the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) and the College of Pharmacists of BC.

The Pharmacy Technician Program of CDI College has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) for a four-year term, from January 1st, 2016 to December 31st, 2019.

Admission Prerequisites
  • High school graduation or equivalent, successful completion of Biology 11 AND Chemistry 11 AND Math 11 AND English 12
  • Applicants who do not have Grade 12 English from a North American school must pass with the minimum score one of the approved equivalency exams as indicated in the NAPRA Language Proficiency requirements
  • Passing score on the CDI College entrance exam
  • Provide a negative criminal record check
  • Provide completed immunization report showing current immunization and free of communicable diseases
  • A minimum keyboarding speed of 25 words per minute
  • Interview with campus director, 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 the Pharmacy Technician program, minimum grade of 70% in each of the final exams (theory and practical) and achieve a Pass on Pharmaceutical Calculations.

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

*The Minimum Score above and in the program outline already accounts for the Standard Error of Measurement (SEM).

CDI College, Burnaby
Pharmacy Technician Teaching Staff
Waeel Ameen, R.Ph., Pharmacy Technician Program Coordinator
Kuldip Notay, R.Ph.T., Hospital Pharmacy Technician
Debra Blasco, R.PhT, BA, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education
Jason Wong, R.Ph., Alternate Instructor
Amani Ma’ayah,  R.Ph., Alternate Instructor

For more information, visit 

Program Courses

CESE - Career and Employment Strategies
This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview.
PT900/PT95 - Practicum
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: a practicum in a community pharmacy setting one in an institutional (hospital) pharmacy setting. Successful completion of both components is a mandatory criterion for graduation.
PTEX - Final Review and Comprehensive Exam
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.
PT250 - Jurisprudence
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.
PT240 - Inter and Intra Professional Skills
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
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
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.
PT210 - Compounding
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.
PT200 - Community Pharmacy
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.
PT150 - Pharmaceutical Calculations
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
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
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
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.
PT110 - First Aid/CPR/Medical Emergencies
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
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.
SSSE - Student Success Strategies
This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.