Frequently Asked Questions: IPG

Q:Is the SPT practicum graded?

Yes, the practicum is graded using assessment processes established by the Office of Experiential Education.

Q:Do I need to get any immunizations prior to beginning the SPT practicum?

Starting September 2019, all CP3 students must be registered with UBC Student Health Services and immunized according to the Canadian Pharmacy Practice Program Immunization Review Instructions document.  This is a pre-practicum requirement.  If a student fails to complete the above, they will not be eligible for their practicum.

Q:Why do I need a Work Permit for CP3?

The SPT component of the CP3 program is considered work by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, even though it is part of a course of study.

Q:What happens if I am unsuccessful in my SPT practicum?

A failure in SPT will result in a failure of CP3. In the event that a student is unsuccessful on their SPT practicum, the student, if eligible, will need to repeat the practicum at the next available opportunity and pay the applicable fee. Whether the student is eligible for a subsequent attempt at SPT will depend on various criteria, including those determined by the College of Pharmacists of BC and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences. In some cases, students may be required to re-enroll in UBC CP3 prior to any subsequent SPT attempt. This includes students that do not begin their subsequent SPT attempt within one year of completing the classroom portion of CP3, and students that are unsuccessful in two SPT attempts since last completing the classroom portion of CP3.

Q:Are CP3 students eligible for the Translink U-Pass?

Unfortunately, no, CP3 students aren’t eligible for a U-Pass since this is an adult continuing education program and CP3 students do not pay AMS student fees. The cheapest transit option is to get a monthly Translink card. The card & the cash register receipt should be saved to use as an income tax deduction.

Q:What is the success rate at the Qualifying Exams after completing the CP3 course?

The average success rate for CP3 graduates on their first attempt at the Qualifying Exams is 87%. The success rate for candidates who do not complete a bridging program is approximately 40%.

Q:Is the SPT program required for IPGs or will the classroom modules suffice?

The SPT program is necessary for International Pharmacy Graduates to complete the requirements for licensure in BC.

Q:What is the SPT practicum time commitment like?

Students complete 500 hours of SPT over 12.5 weeks, generally divided into 40 hours each week.  Practicum scheduling within the practicum start and end date will depend on the practice site and/or practice educator.  Students should expect to potentially work weekends and evenings.  Students are also required to work on any statutory holidays that occur during the practicum period or make up the missed time to meet the required hours of the practicum.

Q:Is it possible to secure a practicum placement for SPT before coming to Canada?

No, that is not possible.  Practice sites are assigned by the Office of Experiential Education during the classroom portion of CP3.  This avoids unfairness in the placement process and minimizes conflicts of interest.

Q:Will the CP3 program prepare me for the PEBC Qualifying Exams (MCQ & OSCE)?

The CP3 program prepares IPGs for pharmacy practice in Canada. Since the skills and competencies needed for practice are the same ones tested in the PEBC Qualifying Exams, CP3 graduates are well-prepared to pass the exams.

Q:Where does the CP3 practicum take place?

You will be based off-campus in an outpatient pharmacy practice site for the 12.5 week SPT program.  Placements can occur throughout the province of BC.  Students will be provided the opportunity to provide their preferred geographical preferences, however scheduling of practicums is dependent on both site and practice educator availability and therefore placement preferences cannot be guaranteed.  While geographical preferences will be accommodated where possible, students should expect to be placed at practicum sites anywhere throughout British Columbia.

Q:Can the CP3 Structured Practical Training component of the full program be postponed or can the practicum start and end dates be changed?

No, students cannot delay the Structured Practical Training practicum.  Changes are also not permitted to the practicum start and end date.  The SPT practicum allows students to practice what they have learned in the classroom modules in a supportive and non-threatening environment.  Any gap between the classroom and SPT components of the program reduces the value of the practicum.

Q:How many places are available in each CP3 session?

The maximum enrolment is 20 students per session. This allows us to provide students with individual support.

Q:Can I take the PEBC or Jurisprudence exam during my SPT practicum? Can I miss time during my practicum for another commitment/event?

There is no guarantee that the practice site will be able to accommodate a request for absence, and any missed time must be made up within the practicum start and end date.  Students are requested to schedule their PEBC and/or Jurisprudence exams or other commitments on a date that does not fall within their practicum block.

Q:Will I be paid during the CP3 practicum?

Students are not permitted to receive any remuneration for their practicum experience.  This avoids bias or unfairness in the placement process.

Q:How can I get a Work Permit for CP3?

The Co-op Work Permit should automatically be granted with the Study Permit since experiential training is part of the course. If not, it can be applied for at the border at the time of entry, at the border after entry as part of a ‘flag poling’ procedure, or as a change of conditions to the Study Permit once you have arrived in Canada.

Q:Is the CP3 practicum undertaken as a group or one-on-one?

Only one CP3 student will be placed at any given practice site at a time.  This will maximize the time a student will spend with their practice educator.

Q:Are there financial assistance options available for CP3 students?

Financial assistance comes in several formats: loans, sponsorships and grants. We have outlined some options on our Resources page.

Q:Citizenship and Immigration Canada now requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). How do I get one?

CP3 Students are automatically issued an eTA along with their Study Permit.

Q:What is the duration of the IPG visa granted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada?

All Study Permits become invalid 90 days after the completion of studies.

Q:On the website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada it states that a student doesn’t need a Study Permit for a course that is less than 6 months. Why do I need one for CP3?

You need the Study Permit in order to receive the Co-op Work Permit, which is required for the SPT program.

Q:What kind of activities will I participate in during the CP3 SPT program?

Under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist you will complete activities typical of those dealt with by a practicing pharmacist on a daily basis. These activities include, but are not limited to, filling prescriptions, counseling patients, communicating with physicians and other pharmacies as needed, participating in administrative duties, educating patients on use of medical devices (blood glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, inhalers, etc.), and providing drug information when requested by patients, physicians and other health professionals.