"CDI trains and teaches you on a more personal level due to the smaller class size, so when it’s time for you to go out in the field, you feel more ready and confident." - Jessica W., CDI College Graduate

Program Info
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 mandatory practicum placements in workplaces in community pharmacies.

Pharmacy Technician is a regulated health profession under the auspices of the BC College of Pharmacists. 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.

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 (retail) 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
Computer-based test Writing 26
Test of Spoken English 50
Total 237
Paper-based test Test of Written English 5
Test of Spoken English 50
Total 580
Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) Written Composition 80
Listening Comprehension 77
Grammar, cloze, reading, vocabulary, comprehension 79
Oral Component 3+
Total 78+
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic format Speaking 6
Writing 6
Reading 6
Listening 6
Overall Band 6
The Canadian Test for English Scholars and Trainees (CanTEST) Speaking 4.5
Writing 4.0
Reading 4.5

CDI College, Burnaby
Pharmacy Technician Teaching Staff
Debra Blasco - RPT, B.A., Diploma in Adult Education (Program Coordinator, Instructor)
Salah Jazrawi - PhD, Pharmacology (Instructor)

For more information, visit bcpharmacists.org.
This program is 40 weeks in length.
Job Opportunities
  • Hospital Pharmacies
  • Community Pharmacies
  • Retail Pharmacies
"CDI trains and teaches you on a more personal level due to the smaller class size, so when it’s time for you to go out in the field, you feel more ready and confident." - Jessica W., CDI College Graduate
Program Courses

The program outline below is for British Columbia.Click here to see the outlines for Alberta.

Code Course Name Hours
  • SSSE Student Success Strategies 25

    • This course will introduce students to skills and concepts that will help them achieve personal, academic, and career success.
  • FCME Fundamentals of Computers 50

    • This course presents an introductory look at Windows 7 and its interface, tools and features. You will learn about the fundamentals of navigating and personalizing the interface, organizing files and folders, using media devices, and searching for information. This course relies heavily on practical hands-on activities that allow you to learn the concepts by practicing them on a regular basis.
  • FACE First Aid / CPR / Medical Emergencies 40

    • 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.
  • APPE Anatomy and Physiology 45

    • This component of the program is designed to introduce students to the structures and functions of the human body. Emphasis is placed on the various effects of the disease states of the body and the manner in which pharmaceutical products affect them.
  • PHSA Pharmacy Software Fundamental 75

    • Students are introduced to the use of pharmacy software in dispensing medications and will become familiar with the various software screen shots. Students will be able to enter the required information for patient profiles and look up particular patient profiles. Students will also be able to create or update new drug files and doctor information, as well as the third party billing information. Adjudicating a prescription online will also be covered.
  • IPYE Introduction to Pharmacy 75

    • Introduction to Pharmacy is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the pharmacy profession. This subject will introduce the student to the important role that they will play as a Pharmacy Technician. The student will review pharmacy history to see how pharmacies in general and their role as a technician have changed throughout the centuries. The profession of pharmacy as it is today will be examined from the context of the role of the pharmacy personnel, the structure of the various types of pharmacies that are in our society, and the laws, regulations and record keeping requirements governing the practice of pharmacy in the province.
  • JRPE Jurisprudence 25

    • This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the legislation and standards that govern the pharmacy profession. This subject will introduce students to the important role that they will play in a career as a Pharmacy Technician. They will also become familiar with provincial and federal laws, regulations, and standards of practice. They will be able to identify legal procedures for drug schedules, narcotics & controlled substances, and the importance or record retention by the end of the course. Finally, they will be given an understanding of the scope of practice of the pharmacy technician, including their limitations.
  • FPYE Fundamentals of Pharmacology 75

    • In this course, students learn various mechanisms of drug action and will gain an understanding of pharmacokinetic processes that affect drug/body interaction, the procedure for administration of pharmacologic agents, and will be able to identify major drugs by drug class. Students will learn about drug indications, therapeutic uses, side effects, administration routes, and common dosages. Students will be exposed to the work and language of the Pharmacy Technician and the context in which the technician’s work is performed. Current pharmaceutical care delivery systems and drug distribution systems are introduced.
  • PCSE Pharmaceutical Calculations 75

    • This course is designed to provide students with the mathematical skills needed in the preparation of parenteral products, community and hospital compounding. This course will allow the students to become familiar with the multiple ways of expressing strengths, systems of weights, and measurements currently used in pharmacy practice.
  • CPHE Community Pharmacy 75

    • Students are introduced to dispensing techniques and procedures with a great deal of emphasis on the role of the pharmacy technician in relation to the role and responsibilities of the pharmacist in a retail pharmacy. Students become familiar with the fact that they must complete many of the technical duties so that the pharmacist is available primarily for patient care. The student is introduced to the prescription and all of its components and the computerized and manual system of preparation and maintenance of patient profiles, as well as completion of third party billings. The student will become skilled at how to completely fill a prescription in a laboratory setting. Pharmacy equipment and dispensing techniques will be demonstrated, explained and practiced in the lab. This course is designed to expose the student to general principles of efficient inventory management in the community pharmacy.
  • CPGE Compounding 75

    • The student will review and practice the various mixing techniques and standards of commercial compounding and learn the necessity of, and limitations to, commercial compounding. Compounding will be taught through a combination of lectures, demonstrations and practical exercises. The student will become proficient at the use of torsion and electronic balances to accurately weigh ingredients to compound.
  • MSDE Microbiology and Sterile Products 75

    • This course is designed to provide students with 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/or physical means. Students will study basic principles of infection control. Emphasis will be placed on aseptic techniques in the preparation of pharmaceutical products.
  • IPHE Institutional Pharmacy 50

    • 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.
  • CRFE Final Comprehensive Exam 10

    • 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. The theory exam is composed of approximately 400 comprehensive multiple-choice items.
  • PRAC Practicum 300

    • Practicum (on-the-job) experience in the community setting is an essential component of the Pharmacy Technician training service. It provides the physical and human resources by which the trainee may build on their knowledge and skills in the pharmaceutical setting. Practical experience helps develop the student’s understanding of employer expectations, permits involvement in the educational process for both pharmacists and pharmacy employees, and fosters a cooperative effort between college and professional pharmacists.
  • CAES Career and Employment Strategies 25

    • In addition to learning career-oriented skills, students at CDI College also learn how to get a job in their chosen profession. That is why every diploma program includes our Career and Employment Strategies course. Our Employment Services Department will assist the graduate in resume writing, as well as preparing for job interviews. Our staff is sensitive to current job market trends and the needs of employers in each local market. Our graduates receive one of the most intensive job search programs available anywhere in North America. This course looks at the planning, preparation, execution, and follow-up stages of an interview.