Blend theory with experiential learning in our pharmacy assistant courses - 2021/2022

A Community Pharmacy Assistant is one of the vital members of a pharmacy. Their attention to detail, knack for problem solving, technical and interpersonal skills contribute to the success and operational effectiveness of a pharmacy. Fanshawe’s one-year Community Pharmacy Assistant program is designed to prepare graduates to achieve professional success in community pharmacies under the direction of a Registered Pharmacist or Pharmacy Technician.

What you learn in our pharmacy assistant courses

Students will learn concepts and problem solving strategies in the classroom that are later reinforced during lab components in Fanshawe’s state-of-the-art pharmacy lab and a community placement. Students also gain the skills to collaborate with other pharmacy health care professionals to ensure accurate patient record maintenance, process prescriptions, manage inventory, compound non-sterile products and assist customers with products sold in a community pharmacy.

If students wish to continue their education in the field of pharmacy studies, successful completion of this program will allow students to obtain advanced standing in Fanshawe's Pharmacy Technician program.

For admissions questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar Advising Centre at or 519-452-4277.


Admission Requirements - 2021/2022

Admission Requirements

OSSD with courses from the College (C), University (U),
University/College (M), or Open (O) stream WITH:
- Any Grade 12 English (C) or (U)
- Mathematics ONE OF:
      - Grade 11 Mathematics (U) or (M) 
      - Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U)
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
Academic and Career Entrance Certificate (ACE) WITH:
- Communications
- Core Mathematics
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
General Arts and Science Ontario College Certificate AND:
-Minimum final grade of 'C+' or 65 in the required courses stated above
Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate (GED) WITH:
-  The combined Language Arts - Reading AND Language Arts - Writing test results having a minimum average Standard Score of 520 AND:
-  Mathematics ONE OF:
        - Grade 11 Mathematics (U) or (M)
        - Grade 12 Mathematics (C) or (U)
(Note: minimum final grade required for each course is 65)
Mature Applicant with standing in the required courses and grades stated above

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in English by one of the following methods:

  • A Grade 12 College Stream or University Stream English credit from an Ontario Secondary School, or equivalent, depending on the program's Admission Requirements
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test with a minimum score of 79 for the Internet-based test (iBT), with test results within the last two years
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic test with an overall score of 6.0 with no score less than 5.5 in any of the four bands, with test results within the last two years. SDS Program Requirements. 
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test with a score of 60 in writing, reading and speaking and a score of 50 in listening, with test results within the last two years
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE) with a minimum score of 53, with test results within the last two years
  • A Cambridge English Test (FCE/CAE/CPE) with an overall score on the Cambridge English Scale of 169 with no language skill less than 162, with test results within the last two years
  • An English Language Evaluation (ELE) at Fanshawe College with a minimum score of 70% in all sections of the test, with test results within the last two years
  • Fanshawe College ESL4/GAP5 students: Minimum grade of 80% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 8, 75% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 9, or 70% in ESL4/GAP5 Level 10


Recommended Academic Preparation

-  Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
-  Grade 11 or Grade 12 Chemistry (C) or (U)

Recommended Personal Preparation

  • Students should have a minimum keyboarding speed of 40 wpm and a good working knowledge of computers and Windows based software including Microsoft Office 
  • Students should volunteer or shadow in a pharmacy prior to starting the program

Applicant Selection Criteria

Where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the available spaces in the program, the Applicant Selection Criteria will be:

  1. Preference for Permanent Residents of Ontario
  2. Receipt of Application by February 1st (After this date, Fanshawe College will consider applicants on a first-come, first-served basis until the program is full)
  3. Achievement in the Admission Requirements

Post-Admission Requirements

The following items are applicable to the program and are time sensitive. Please refer to for important information about preparing for placement by the due date.

  • Possession of a Standard First Aid course certificate (either St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross or equivalent) and a Basic Rescuer course certificate (Level C)
  • Influenza vaccine strongly recommended
  • Police Record Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening, including a check of the Pardoned Sexual Offenders Database
  • Placement Agreement


Community Pharmacy Assistant-2021/2022

Level 1
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
PSYC-1044Personal & Working Relationship3
This course is designed for students to understand the principles and dynamics of personal and working relationships. Emphasis will be on perception of self, attitude and interpersonal problems. The principles introduced from this course will be used in various teaching methods to give students the opportunity to reflect on the processes relevant to their normal personal and professional relationships.
PHRM-1047Community Pharmacy Practice 14
This course prepares students for practice in a community pharmacy setting. Effective communication in pharmacy will be taught and practiced by the student in class with a focus on patient safety. The lab component will focus on skill development in the interpretation and processing of prescriptions including legal requirements; Latin and medical abbreviations; dosage forms; routes of administration; dosage calculations and third party insurance requirements. Students will become familiar with the non-proprietary names, brand names, and therapeutic classes of common pharmaceutical products.
PHRM-1001Pharmacy Fundamentals3
The student will be introduced to the practice of pharmacy including historical, ethical, professional and legal issues that influence pharmacy technicians and their practice. An overview of relevant federal and provincial legislation including regulation of drugs and controlled substances will be presented. The evolving role of the pharmacist and pharmacy technician as part of the intra and interprofessional health team will be explored.
MATH-1051Pharmaceutical Mathematics3
The student will review basic fundamental math skills necessary in dosage calculations. Students will learn to convert within and between the systems of measurement in order to prepare prescriptions for administration. Dosage calculations for special populations and parenteral administration will be introduced. In addition, calculations required for compounded products will be introduced and practiced. Emphasis will be on increasing the students analytical skills to ensure accuracy in the calculation of medication orders.
COMP-1549Computers in Pharmacy1
In this introductory course, an overview on the use of computers and information technology in the pharmacy will be presented. The student will practice basic and advanced word processing skills for document creation, utilize graphics presentation software to create and organize effective presentations and create spreadsheets, charts and reports. Pharmacy software processes will be reinforced and expanded upon to include report functionality with respect to patient care, and reduce the potential for medication error. Students will be expected to communicate professionally with their peers, technologists and faculty that is in line with current pharmacy practice standards.
WRIT-1048Reason & Writing 1 for Health Sciences3
This course will introduce health sciences students to essential principles of reading, writing, and reasoning at the postsecondary level. Students will identify, summarize, analyze, and evaluate multiple short readings and write persuasive response essays to develop their vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and critical thinking.

Level 2
Take all of the following Mandatory Courses:
PHRM-1067Compounding 12
In this course the Pharmacy Assistant student will learn how to accurately calculate, weigh, measure and mix ingredients for compounded pharmaceutical products. The student will have the opportunity to gain practical experience in preparing a variety of non-sterile internal and external liquids, suspensions, ointments and creams typically prepared in a community pharmacy practice setting.
PHRM-3028Non-Prescription Products & Devices2
The student will be introduced to non-prescription products and devices found in community pharmacy practice. Emphasis will be on the role of the pharmacy assistant and recognizing instances for pharmacist intervention.
The Pharmacy Assistant student will be introduced to basic drug information including the basic pharmacological nature and effects of a range of pharmaceutical products. Students will build knowledge related to drug treatments/usage to various body systems and associated disease states.
PHRM-3029Applied Community Practice2
The Pharmacy Assistant student will continue to build skills in prescription processing. The role of a community pharmacy assistant in inventory control and provision of specialized services such as a compliance packaging, long term care prescription processing and home health care products will be introduced.
FLDP-1027Community Placement3.6
The Pharmacy Assistant student will apply pharmacy theory in a practical hands-on training in a community pharmacy practice environment. Communication, pharmacy business practice, prescription processing and compounding skills will be reinforced during this field placement course. Emphasis will be on accuracy and completeness of all processes.

Program Residency
Students Must Complete a Minimum of 8 credits in this
program at Fanshawe College to meet the Program Residency
requirement and graduate from this program

Careers - 2021/2022

Career Opportunities

Community Pharmacy Assistants are in high demand and career opportunities may be found in community, medical clinic and long term care pharmacy practice settings.  Community Pharmacy Assistants work collaboratively with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to safely and efficiently prepare prescriptions including compounded pharmaceutical products for the public.

More Information - 2021/2022

A One-Year Ontario College Certificate Program
Program Code:  RPA1
Campus Code:  LC (LC - London)
September Admission
15 week terms
Academic Calendars available at


School of Health Sciences: 519-452-4207

Program Description

The Community Pharmacy Assistant program prepares an individual in collaboration with a pharmacist and a pharmacy technician registered by the Ontario College of Pharmacists to dispense, sell and compound medications; manage inventory; interact with patients and other health care providers and assist in the provision of medication therapy management and pharmacy services.

Learning Outcomes

  1.  Comply with all legislation governing pharmacy practice while adhering to established ethical standards and practices.
  2.  Assist the pharmacist and/or pharmacy technician in dispensing, packaging and labelling of prescription products ensuring precision and accuracy.
  3. Discuss commonly encountered medical conditions and the basic pharmacologic drug classes which pertain to these conditions using appropriate medical language, pharmacological naming, terminology and non-proprietary/proprietary drug names.
  4. Compound non-sterile pharmaceutical products according to current standards, policies and guidelines.
  5. Perform data base entry, third party plan adjudication, inventory control, marketing plan implementation and cash handling processes.
  6. Effectively communicate and collaborate with patients, pharmacy team members, care providers and other health professionals in provision of excellent customer service.
  7. Recognize and refer instances requiring pharmacist intervention and pharmacy technician verification.

Program Pathways

For information about Program Pathways visit

Program Details

More details

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2022 September
Program Code

Program Coordinator:

Bobbi Thomas-Bailey, R.Ph.T, B.Ed., M.Ed.

Day Time
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks