In Canada, the demand for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy assistants is growing due to an aging Canadian population that requires increased health care support.

To help meet that demand, George Brown College's School of Continuing Education is launching its new Pharmacy Assistant Certificate. The school already offers a wide variety of subjects across sectors and interests, but the Pharmacy Assistant Certificate is an exciting new addition that caters to people who are passionate about helping others lead a healthier life.

"The curriculum is purposefully designed for everyone to be successful."
– Sheila Mae Sia, Curriculum Developer

"Pharmacy assistants are increasingly important in the health care industry," says Sheila Mae Sia, one of the program's curriculum developers. "They're typically the first point of contact with patients, receiving the prescriptions and answering questions. Most importantly, they're members of the bigger pharmacy team, collaborating with and supporting the technicians and the pharmacists."

A career for all skill sets

Though it is recommended that students have a science or health care background, this is not a requirement to participate in the program. This opens this career path to people of all skills and personalities to make a difference in the field. "The curriculum is purposefully designed for everyone to be successful," explains Sia. "It's a learner-friendly and accessible format where students always have access to instructors."

"Students have the flexibility to schedule their study time around their lives."
– Sheila Mae Sia, Curriculum Developer

The program is designed for those who want to pursue a career in pharmacy assistance. It can also be a good stepping stone for individuals who want to bridge into a pharmacy technician program. This certificate may also interest potential students who are internationally-educated health professionals seeking an alternative option to restart their careers in Canada. "The content equips them for work experience to help students make a smoother transition into the position," adds Sia.

A flexible learning strategy

We're all busy, especially in a fast-paced and dynamic city like Toronto. Oftentimes, even if we want to pursue continuing education opportunities, time restrictions, prior commitments, and access to classes at a time that works for our schedules can be hindrances to completion.

George Brown developed the Pharmacy Assistant program with those concerns in mind. The online program offers flexibility to meet students' individual learning goals. Students can choose the order in which they take courses, and complete the program at their own pace. Once they complete the required number of courses, they can then apply for the Pharmacy Assistant Certificate.

"The beauty of this program is that students have the flexibility to schedule their study time around their lives," Sia explains. "That's important for people who want to pursue a career change or further develop their skill set, but also have to work to support themselves."


If you're passionate about health care and interested in pursuing a new career, learn more about the program by visiting Pharmacy Support at George Brown College or emailing