IPG Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs About the IPG Program
There are other PEBC exam preparation programs available. Why should I attend the IPG program?
The IPG program is the oldest bridge program for pharmacists in Canada and offers a depth and breadth of experience that is unmatched by other programs. The IPG program is the only program that is recognized by the Ontario College of Pharmacists as meeting educational training requirements for international pharmacy graduates. Moreover, many employers consider IPG Program graduates to be preferable in the current labour market. Finally, the IPG Program is not a "prep course for the PEBC exams", but rather preparation for a fulfilling pharmacy career in Canada. Our graduates are trained to be leaders in patient care.
Is the IPG Program mandatory?
The completion of the IPG Bridging Program offered by the University of Toronto is mandatory to all internationally trained pharmacist intending to practice pharmacy in Ontario that have not passed any component of the PEBC Qualifying Examination Parts I and II on the first attempt.
Can I attend CPS 2 first and then complete CPS 1?
No. You can only enroll in CPS 2 after successful completion of CPS 1.
The IPG program In-Class CPS courses are offered full time only. They are offered Monday through Friday 9am-4pm with a one hour lunch break and labs may run past 4pm or be offered on week-ends (depending on classroom/lab availability). CPS Online courses are offered on a part time format.
Do you offer the courses online?
The IPG Program started offering CPS 1 and CPS 2 on-line as of 2011. The online session is a hybrid of in-class workshops and labs that take place in Toronto, and online sessions.
Are the dates for CPS 1 and CPS 2 fixed, or will they change to meet my specific needs?
We offer multiple intakes a year. The dates and deadlines are posted on the Course Dates tab of the IPG Program website. The academic year configuration is designed to allow students to proceed through the process in the most expeditious manner, allowing for factors such as processing applications, marking examinations and reviewing assessments.
What if I miss a marked assessment or exam while in the program?
If you have missed, or know that you will be missing, a marked assessment or exam due to unavoidable circumstance please fill out a petition form with the IPG Office. A petition form can be found in the Black Board learning management Administration shell. If the petition is granted a make-up assessment will be scheduled, and there will be a fee for the administration of the make up.
FAQs About the Application Process
Do you provide a course to prepare me for the PEBC Evaluating Exam?
We do not offer a program to help individuals prepare for the Evaluating exam. We suggest you visit the PEBC website for more information about the Evaluating Exam and suggestions on how to prepare.
Is there an expiration date on the PEBC Evaluating Exam results?
There is no expiry on the PEBC Evaluating Exam results. You may submit a results letter that was taken in any year, showing that you have passed the PEBC Evaluating Exam, with your application for the IPG program.
I will not be able to submit all of my application documents before the deadline date of the session I would like to attend. What should I do?
All CPS seats are offered on a first-come first-served basis. As such, once we receive your complete application it will be put on a Waiting List and you could be offered a place if and when there are vacancies.
How can I afford the tuition?
Eligible students may apply for a loan through the ScotiaBank Professional Loans Program. Links to additional information about financial assistance can be found here. The IPG program is considered a professional development program and is not an OSAP eligible program.
What is the refund policy?
The $250 (plus HST) application fee is non-refundable. For the $6500 (plus HST) tuition fee, a full refund is possible until the end of the first week of classes. A 75% refund is possible until the second week of classes, and a 50% refund can be processed until the third week of classes.
Does the Program help students find a preceptor?
The IPG program invites all interested employers to contact Program staff to organize information sessions and recruitment opportunities. Training of preceptors and providing lists to students is an OCP function. IPG program staff facilitate the distribution of preceptor lists to IPG students and are in close communication with OCP staff regarding the need for preceptors.
When will the course be offered?
CPS 1 online course modules are offered in the summer and winter each year. CPS 2 courses are offered in the spring and fall each year. You can register online at: http://www.ipgcanada.ca/registration.cfm
Are there particular times during the day that I must be online to complete course activities?
The advantage of the online course is that the readings and activities in each topic may be completed at your convenience within the time that the unit is open. Students will have ample opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback from the facilitators through discussion forums. For activities such as role plays you will have an opportunity to sign up for a time slot that best suits you. Once you have committed to a role play time period it is expected that you will be available online at that time to complete your assessment.
I'm interested in the online course but am not too sure about whether it's right for me.
Online learning offers the advantage of convenience and flexibility. It may be more convenient for you if you have work and family responsibilities that prevent you from participating at a set time every day. The course may be completed wherever you have a computer with internet access - there is no need to spend time travelling to and from class. Finally, it allows access to the course and collaboration between learners who are located far from one another physically and would not normally interact. There will be interaction in the online course through the use of discussion forums and feedback from your facilitator. You should be aware online learning does not take place in "real time", so it can take longer than a classroom based session, and unfolds differently. For example, you will read and respond to classmates' comments at your own pace, which may mean that your classmate is offline and not immediately available to respond. But this can be an advantage too; you can think about your response and take time to compose it. Additionally, everyone has a chance to contribute, which does not always happen in a classroom setting.
Is there any homework?
In order for learners to benefit fully from the course there will be some self-study. The reading and research activities that will be assigned will be meaningful, will help you to be prepared for future sessions and allow you to reflect on what you have learned.
I'm not sure if I have the right combination of skills and computer equipment to succeed in this learning environment. What type of support can you suggest?
When you apply, we will ask you to complete a brief survey of your computer skills, access to equipment, and other factors necessary to succeed as part of your Online Learning Assessment. We will ask you to provide us with a summary (on a form we provide) of the areas where you feel you need help and we will work together to make sure this is the right option for you. We want you to be ready to go on the first day of class online!
These are the minimum computer equipment requirements that you would need in order to do the online course:
- Screen Resolution: 1024 X 768
- Browsers: Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3, Safari, or Google Chrome
- Plug-ins: Adobe Flash 9 or greater
- High Speed Internet Connection
- Hardware: Speakers or headphones, web cam (for use in online role plays)
- Software: Adobe Reader, Skype
Can you suggest options for short-term housing while attending the CPS online week-long workshops in Toronto?
If you require short-term housing during your time in Toronto, there are many options available to you. The IPG Office is located centrally downtown, and there are many hotels in the area which will accept 1-week bookings. For a less expensive option, you can look into local hostels, which can offer a wide variety of housing types including single, double, quad, and multi-person room sharings. Some of these hostels include amenities such as laundry facilities, breakfast, and security lockers to store your luggage and valuables.
Another alternative would be to stay on campus at one in one of the University of Toronto student residence buildings at one of the Colleges: Victoria College, St. Michael’s College, University College, Innis College, New College, and Trinity College. During the summer months, some of these buildings operate as “hotels” and accept bookings from the general public, and more information can be obtained directly from the Colleges themselves on the University of Toronto website.
Please note that it is your responsibility to secure your own housing for the duration of your stay.
Can I get a supporting document from the IPG office for my student visa application?
Once you have met the admission requirements, we will be able to provide you with a conditional offer of acceptance to attend CPS provided there are still spaces available. This letter is required for your application for a Student Visa. For more information about obtaining a student visa, you may visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
I've confirmed my acceptance and paid my tuition fees. What do I need to do now?
The final step before classes begin is to attend the Orientation session. This is generally held the first day of classes. You will be informed of the exact date, time and location through email.
I'm not really comfortable using computers. Do you have any suggestions?
We can assist you with accessing initial Internet training. Many community agencies provide free Internet training and information on how to set up an e-mail account. We can refer you to these programs. You will be expected to be able to navigate around the Internet in CPS 1.
Specific pharmacy software programs are an important technological tool in pharmacy practice in Canada. We will provide training in the program on one pharmacy software system.
I am moving to Toronto to attend the course. Can you help me to find housing?
Unfortunately we do not have the resources to help you find housing in Toronto. Housing resources are available at the University of Toronto Housing Office: http://housing.utoronto.ca/. To become a member here, you have to pay a small fee. Please contact them directly to enquire.
What textbooks do you use in the IPG program?
Details of the textbooks required will be provided at the Orientation session before classes start. The textbooks that were used in the past for the CPS session are:
- CPS - Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties
- Pharmacotherapy: A Pathophysiologic Approach (9th ed). DiPiro JT, Talbert RL, Yee GC, Matzke GR, Wells BG, Posey LM. McGraw-Hill (2014)
- Communication Skills for Pharmacy Practice – Tindall and Beardsley, 6th edition (2011)
- Patient Self Care – Canadian Pharmacists Association (2013) *Note, 2010 edition us also acceptable
- Pharmaceutical Calculations, 14th Ed. Howard Ansel (2012)
Do I have to let the College (OCP) know that I've passed the courses?
We will forward proof of successful completion of CPS I and II to the College promptly so that you may begin your Structured Practical Training. We recommend that you register with OCP when you begin the IPG program to avoid any future delays.
What happens if my studies are interrupted due to personal or unavoidable reasons?
Individuals can withdraw from the program at any time with written notice. A fee refund schedule is available. Should a student withdraw from CPS 2, promotion results of successful completion of CPS 1 will be valid for 3 years from the completion date of the course.
What happens if I fail a CPS course?
You are able to take supplemental exams in the course/s you failed during the next applicable exam session. Full details of the promotions policy will be presented at the Orientation.
How do I request a copy of my certificate or grades letter?
You may request to replace a copy of your certificate or grades letter by contacting the IPG office. To forward you a replacement of the certificate the cost is $50 (HST included), and a copy of the grades letter is $12 (HST included).