Pharmacy Technician

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This full time program prepares graduates for employment as pharmacy technicians in a variety of settings including community, hospital and long term care pharmacies. Graduates will have the skills, knowledge and abilities necessary to perform the technical and administrative functions required to provide patient-centred, outcomes-focussed pharmacy services. In addition, students learn to be responsible and accountable for ensuring patient safety and for accuracy and quality of product preparation and product release. Students learn to collaborate with other health care professionals in the promotion of wellness, disease prevention and chronic disease management. The program includes a practicum in a community and hospital pharmacy.

In British Columbia, Pharmacy Technicians are being regulated by the College of Pharmacists of BC. In order to become a Regulated Pharmacy Technician (RPT), there are four steps that must be completed. The first step is to complete an accredited Pharmacy Technician Program. For information regarding these other steps, please see the BC. College of Pharmacist's website. The Pharmacy Technician Program of Vancouver Community College has been awarded the status of Full Accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs for a five year term (2014-2019).

Program Hours: On campus: Full time, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 3: 30 pm. Practicum hours will vary depending on the site.

Program Status:
Accepting applications

Program one-pager
Start Length Credentials Campus Part- or Full-time
January 2019 and Sept 2019, May 2018 30 weeks Certificate Broadway Full-time

Apply Now

Apply Now

The first step, apply early. Students who have officially applied and met all admission requirements are sent a letter of acceptance approximately four to five months before the next available start date. A first payment is required to reserve a seat in the program.

Online Mail In Person
If you're ready and know the program you want, apply now. Download and complete the (PDF) application/registration form and mail it to VCC Registrar's Office Visit us at one of our campus locations.

After you apply, you can check application status to see if all of the requirements have been met or to update contact information. Please use the temporary login ID and Personal Identification Number (PIN) that you used to complete your original online application.

Program Description

Program Description

Graduates of the program will have acquired the knowledge and ability to:

  1. Perform the role of a pharmacy technician in accordance with current legal, ethical and professional standards.
  2. Incorporate knowledge of pharmaceutical sciences to provide optimal pharmacy services.
  3. Prepare pharmaceutical products safely and accurately using a variety of distribution systems.
  4. Perform drug purchasing and inventory management duties.
  5. Use technology applicable to pharmacy practice.
  6. Participate in quality assurance programs.
  7. Perform administrative functions to support the operation of the pharmacy.
  8. Communicate effectively in the workplace.

Graduates of the program find employment in hospital and community pharmacies.

Information about graduate outcomes

Instructional Activities, Design and Delivery Mode

This program is offered on a full time basis. Each semester must be successfully completed before enrolling in the next semester. A major emphasis of this program is active student participation. Throughout the program the instructor will encourage the students to become increasingly more self directed and responsible for their own learning. Students are expected to come to class well prepared for active participation in classroom and lab activities.

Instructional activities include lectures, guided discussions, group work, audio-visual presentations, demonstrations, dispensing labs, compounding labs, aseptic technique labs, case studies, role rehearsals and field trips. The lab component of the program provides the learner with the opportunity to integrate practice and theory in a simulated pharmacy setting.

Semester 1 focuses on community and long term care pharmacy practice. Semester 1 is 11 weeks in duration. Students must successfully complete all courses in Semester 1 before enrolling in Semester 2.

Semester 2 focuses on hospital pharmacy practice, including the preparation of sterile products. Semester 2 is 11 weeks in duration. Students must successfully complete all courses in Semester 2 before enrolling in Semester 3.

Semester 3 includes a practicum in a community and hospital pharmacy. Semester 3 is 8 weeks in duration.

Evaluation of Student Learning

Students’ progress in both the classroom and the lab setting will be evaluated. Theoretical concepts will be evaluated through quizzes, case studies, projects, presentations and written assignments.

Evaluation of practical skills will be based on checklists and practical exams.

Pharmacy Technician Faculty

Sue Aro, BSc (Pharm), RPh, MEd

Wayne J. Rubner, BSc (Pharm), RPh, PID

Sam Louie, BSc (Pharm)

Paul A.E. Polachek, BSc (Pharm), RPh

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements


VCC welcomes applications from Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

As Vancouver Community College is a post-secondary institution committed to educating adult learners, applicants should be 16 years of age or older or a graduate of a secondary school.

Please note that you must submit official transcripts and educational documents to support your application; unfortunately, we cannot accept photocopies or fax versions.

Program Specific

Missing prerequisites? VCC offers courses in Adult Upgrading and English as an Additional Language to help you meet your goals.
  • Grade 12 graduation or equivalent
  • English 12 with a B or equivalent and English language proficiency as determined through three years of full time, face-to-face secondary or post-secondary education at an accredited institution where English is the language of instruction and is also the one of the country’s official languages. (Please note: Institutional assessment tests are not acceptable for entry into the Pharmacy Technician program)
  • For those applicants who do not meet the English Language Proficiency requirements, only the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are accepted, as per the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs. The scores required are listed below.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), Internet-based test (iBT)
      • Speaking 23
      • Writing 25
      • Reading 22
      • Listening 21
      • Total 91
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test only
      • Speaking 6
      • Writing 6
      • Reading 6
      • Listening 6
      • Overall Band 6.5
  • Precalculus 11 with a C+ or higher, or Math 0871 with a C+ or higher or successful completion of the VCC Health Sciences Math Assessment with 80% or higher
  • Chemistry 11 or equivalent with a C or higher
  • Biology 12 or equivalent with a C or higher
  • Certified keyboarding speed of 35 net words per minute or higher with a maximum of 5 errors
  • Basic computer or word processing skills verified by either an employer or resume outlining computer skills.

Upon acceptance

  • A Criminal Record Check (CRC) is required in accordance with the Criminal Records Review Act. All individuals who work with vulnerable adults and/or children must complete a Criminal Records Check through the Ministry of Justice. Applicants to this program should be aware that some practicum placement in hospitals and schools may require completion of a Criminal Records Check indicating no relevant criminal record. After submitting an admissions application, applicants will receive by email a web link and unique college access code to apply and pay for a Criminal Record Check online
  • Proof of a negative TB skin test or chest X-Ray.
  • Up-to-date immunizations are highly recommended, and are required for practicum placements. Please check out Immunization Requirements

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Not available for this program

Recommended Characteristics:

  • Excellent command of the English language including reading, listening, speaking and writing skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of all ages
  • Attentive to detail, accuracy and organization
  • Ability to take initiative and handle responsibility
  • Good vision and hand/eye coordination
  • Good health with the ability to stand for a full working day
  • Flexibility to adjust to shift work

Applicants with a repetitive stress injury should contact the department regarding the physical requirements of this program and occupation.

Updated immunizations strongly recommended: measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis B vaccine and current influenza vaccination. Please review important health requirements for VCC health sciences students.

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule

Fees and Other costs

Application Fee $35
Tuition Fee $2804
Student Union Fee $89
College Initiative Fee $81
Student Union Health Plan Fee $146
Student Union Dental Plan Fee $146
U-Pass Fee $369
Other Costs
$21 - Graduation Fees
$112 - Campus Resource Fee
$191 - Material Fee
$500 - Approximate textbooks, supplies,
At the time of acceptance, a $300 non-refundable deposit will be required to hold your seat if accepted more than two months before the start date of the program. Full payment of the first installment will be required within two months before the start date.

For book lists and prices, check Bookstore.

Fees are approximate and subject to change without notice. Students are responsible for any increase in fees if advanced payments are made. The application fee is non-refundable. Fees are refunded according to the refund policy. For further clarification, see withdrawals and refunds information page.

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Program Highlights

Program Highlights

Course Schedule

Courses Schedule


Term 1

(PHAR 1115) Pharmacy Practice 1
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1125) Pharmacy Products
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1135) Pharmacy Calculations 1
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1145) Pharmacy Communications 1
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1155) Community Pharmacy
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1185) Pharmacy Management 1
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits  course outline

Term 2

(PHAR 1215) Pharmacy Practice 2
course schedule schedule
1.5 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1225) Pharmacy Products 2
course schedule schedule
2.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1235) Pharmacy Calculations 2
course schedule schedule
0.5 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1245) Pharmacy Communications 2
course schedule schedule
1.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1255) Hospital Pharmacy
course schedule schedule
3.0 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1275) Sterile Products
course schedule schedule
2.5 credits  course outline
(PHAR 1285) Pharmacy Management 2
course schedule schedule
0.5 credits  course outline

Term 3

(PHAR 1395) Practicum
course schedule schedule
10.0 credits  course outline