Program Overview

A career as a community pharmacy assistant takes attention to detail, a knack for problem solving, wide-ranging technical knowledge and solid interpersonal skills. You’ll work under the direction of a registered pharmacist or pharmacy technician to contribute to the success of a pharmacy. If you’re interested in a satisfying career that makes a difference, the Community Pharmacy Assistant program will get you on your way to career success.

Program Details

Program Code
Ontario College Certificate
30 weeks

Canadian Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September

International Students

Start Dates

Full Time Offerings

2024 September
2023 September

Your Learning Experience

You’ll learn technical concepts, develop creative problem-solving strategies, and foster excellent interpersonal skills to support the expanding scope of both pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. You will become proficient in prescription processing, third-party adjudication (dispensary reimbursements), managing inventory, compounding non-sterile products, work with various forms of pharmacy automation, and assist customers with products sold in a community pharmacy.

In addition to classroom instruction, you’ll practice in Fanshawe’s brand new, state-of-the-art community pharmacy lab and complete a 4-month placement where you’ll get valuable, real-world experience working as a vital member of both community and long-term care pharmacy environments.
Your learning experience will include a unique opportunity to achieve PCCA’s Introductory Compounding Bootcamp certificate: this two-day workshop will facilitate access to specialized compounding equipment to create alternative dosage forms and discuss safety, product quality, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other standards of practice affiliated with professional pharmacy compounding.


You’ll also have an opportunity to take your education in pharmacy studies to the next level; completion of this program will allow you to obtain advanced standing in Fanshawe’s Pharmacy Technician program.


The Community Pharmacy Assistant program prepares graduates to collaborate with a pharmacist and/or pharmacy technician registered by the Ontario College of Pharmacists to:

  • utilize various forms of pharmacy automation to prepare/dispense patient medication;
  • 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.



PCCA is an independent compounding pharmacy's complete resource for fine chemicals, devices, training and support. They exist to help members successfully practice the art and science of pharmacy compounding through a variety of products and services designed especially for their practices.



Career Information

Graduates of Fanshawe’s Community Pharmacy Assistant program are in high-demand with career opportunities in community pharmacies and some long-term care settings working collaboratively with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to safely and efficiently prepare prescriptions including compounded pharmaceutical products for the public.

Did you know Fanshawe consistently ranks high in graduation employment rates among large colleges in Ontario? 

Here is an example of an opportunity Career Services has received for graduates of Fanshawe’s Community Pharmacy Assistant program:

Community Pharmacy Assistant
Responsible for data entry, pharmacy inventory and preparing prescriptions under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

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.


Academic School

Program Coordinator:

Lyona Lunter, RPhT, BA, M.P.Ed.

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

International Admission Equivalencies
Admission equivalencies for Fanshawe depends on your country of study. Please enter your location to see the requirements for your country below.
English Language Requirements

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
  • 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

Recommended Academic Preparation

-  Grade 11 or Grade 12 Biology (C) or (U)
-  Grade 11 or Grade 12 Chemistry (C) or (U)
Recommended Personal Preparation

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

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

Post-Admission Requirements

See Post-Admission Requirements


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 will connect core pharmacy concepts to their practical application, with a specific focus on the community pharmacy practice setting. The student will be introduced to pharmacy workflow and terminology, including Latin/medical abbreviations, dosage forms, routes of administration, and packaging systems such as medication adherence aids. Emphasis will be placed on drug interchangeability, non-proprietary names, brand names, and therapeutic classes of common pharmaceutical products. Ontario's provincial healthcare program, Ontario Drug Benefit, will be introduced, including various plans (Seniors Plan, OHIP+, Trillium, etc.) that fall under the provincial umbrella. With an emphasis on patient safety, the student will practice submitting medication incidents through the provincial error-reporting system, and discuss prescription forgeries, pharmacy robberies and Canada's burgeoning opioid crisis. Practice within the retail pharmacy simulation labs will include interpretation and processing of prescriptions using pharmacy software systems, interactions with simulated patients, professional communication in practice, utilization of pharmaceutical resources, and various simulated scenarios.
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.
View all courses

Tuition Summary


Canadian Costs
Total Cost of Program
International Costs
Total Cost of Program

*Total program costs are approximate, subject to change and do not include the health and dental plan fee, bus pass fee or program general expenses.