Registering Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

All pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in British Columbia must register with the College in order to practice in the province. In addition, all pharmacies in the province must be approved and issued a licence from the College in order to operate.

The College registration process ensures that pharmacy professionals meet the ‘entry to practice’ standards and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to be able to provide safe pharmacy care. Registrants must meet annual professional development and continuing education requirements to demonstrate ongoing competence in professional practice.

Registrants must also complete a criminal record check and carry professional liability insurance as a requirement of their registration.

The College is responsible for maintaining a register which lists all the registered pharmacy professionals and licensed pharmacies in BC, and makes information related to limits, conditions, suspensions or cancellations of a registrant publicly available on the College website.


2019/20 Registration Statistics

Licencing Pharmacies

As the licensing body for all pharmacies in the province, the College regulates the ownership and operation of BC pharmacies in accordance with the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA), the Health Professions Act (HPA), and the Regulations and bylaws of the College under these Acts.

Community, Hospital and Telepharmacy Pharmacy Licences are valid for 12 months and must be renewed annually.

2019/20 Licensure Statistics

Pharmacy Ownership Transition Ends

On April 1, 2018, the College’s amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act Bylaws came into effect. The new pharmacy licensure process involved identifying all pharmacy owners and determining their suitability for pharmacy ownership which allows the College to hold pharmacy owners accountable for providing safe and effective care by ensuring their pharmacies are compliant with legislative requirements for pharmacies in BC.

The first pharmacies to complete pharmacy licence renewals under the new requirements were those whose licences expired on June 30, 2018.

They marked the beginning of the year-long transition period, which ended with pharmacies whose licence expired in May 2019.

Pharmacies whose licence expired in June 2019 were the first to complete the post-transition period renewal process.

What is different about completing a pharmacy licence renewal in the post-transition period?

  • Direct Owners that are corporations will not need to submit a certified copy of the Central Securities Register, unless changes have been made;
  • The name, role and email contact of each indirect owner does not need to be entered unless changes have been made.
  • Individuals required to submit Proof of Eligibility (i.e. current direct/indirect owners and managers) will be notified when the renewal notice is sent (i.e. 75 days before the pharmacy licence expiry).
  • Direct and Indirect owners and managers that submitted a Criminal Record History (CRH) at their last renewal, are no longer required to submit one this year. Submission of a CRH is only required once every 5 years.

Pharmacy licence renewal applications will continue to require:

  • Ownership information
    • If the direct owner is a corporation, the Authorized Representative must provide a copy of the most recent BC Company Summary, issued within the year.
    • If the direct owner has a parent company or shareholder that is BC incorporated and non-publicly traded, the Authorized Representative must provide a copy of the most recent BC Company Summary for that company, issued within the last year.
  • The Business licence for each pharmacy due for renewal
  • Attestation from each current direct/indirect owner and manager.
  • An attestation from the current direct/indirect owners and managers is required every year as part of the renewal application, while a CRH is only required once every 5 years.
  • Direct owners with multiple pharmacies due for renewals in the same month, can submit one attestation for all these pharmacies.

Learn more

Trusts & Trustees

Since the introduction of the new ownership requirements under the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA), the College has been collecting information about Direct Owners and Indirect Owners (directors, officers and shareholders) as part of the annual pharmacy license renewal process.

Up until this point, information about trustees has not been collected, as trustees were not initially considered to be indirect owners and, as such, were not subject to the ownership requirements under PODSA.

Beginning with pharmacy licence renewals for pharmacies with a June 30, 2019 expiry date, all pharmacies identified as having one or more trusts or trustees holding shares of the direct owner or its parent company will be required to provide information for each trustee as trusts or trustees are now considered indirect owners.

Learn more


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