9 Types of Pharmacist Certifications (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 10, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are numerous certifications you may earn in the pharmaceutical industry. These certifications may help you show your skills and expertise in the field. Understanding these certifications may help you decide which ones may be relevant to your career in pharmacy. In this article, we explain what pharmacist certifications are, provide a list of them, and highlight their benefits.

What are pharmacist certifications?

Pharmacist certifications are credentials, qualifications, and designations that prove the competency of a professional in the pharmaceutical industry. They allow professionals to complete a training program and assessment, after which they receive certificates proving their abilities. Certifications may be necessary for senior or managerial roles. Different educational institutions award certifications and they may use different methods to assess the knowledge of professionals. There may also be various certifications depending on the professional's area of specialization in pharmacy.

Related: What Is the Job of a Pharmacist? (With Salaries and FAQs)

9 types of certifications in pharmacy

Here are the types of certifications that professionals in the pharmaceutical industry may earn:

1. Ambulatory Care Residency Program

Ambulatory care pharmacists usually work with other healthcare professionals to provide care in outpatient settings. They provide care to ambulatory patients while they move to a suitable healthcare facility. These professionals may prescribe drugs to help patients manage hypertension and diabetes. The University of Waterloo offers an ambulatory care residency program to train professionals to provide quality care in ambulatory settings. During this program, these professionals learn to use critical thinking skills to recommend appropriate pharmaceutical care for patients. They also have the opportunity to work in standard clinics and learn from other experienced healthcare professionals.

Related: What Do Pharmacists Do (With Salary and Job Requirements)

2. Nuclear Medicine Technology Program

Nuclear pharmacists typically prepare radioactive drugs that can treat specific diseases and illnesses. By regularly checking their materials, these professionals ensure that the drugs are of high quality. The program helps participants learn how to work with hazardous chemicals and materials and carefully prescribe medications to their patients. These professionals also learn how to adequately store radiopharmaceuticals and advise individuals on how to use them. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology offers this certification. Professionals learn about safety protocols and how to comply with the necessary policies. They also learn to work with healthcare professionals in nuclear medicine settings.

3. Graduate Certificate in Primary Health Care (GCPHC)

The University of British Columbia offers this online certification. Participants learn how to work in a team of other healthcare professionals and function in such an environment. Primary care pharmacists learn to provide for the medication needs of patients. During the program, they familiarize themselves with the potential effects of medication on patients and make recommendations to researchers as necessary. The certification program has five courses that outline different aspects of primary health care. Participants may also attend part-time classes to participate in this program.

4. Community Pharmacy Assistant Certification

Fanshawe College typically administers this certification. The Community Pharmacy Assistant Certification helps professionals learn how to manage inventory, record prescriptions, and maintain patient information. Professionals learn to work with other healthcare experts to provide medication to patients. Working in a pharmacy laboratory during the program may also help them gain experience. They also learn about health sciences and safety procedures in pharmacy.

Related: Comparing Pharmacy Assistant vs. Pharmacy Technician Roles

5. Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance Certification

Seneca College typically administers the pharmaceutical quality assurance certification. This certification helps professionals learn how to ensure compliance with quality control measures. They learn about the measures that guide the processing and packaging of pharmaceutical products. Professionals in this industry also ensure that the drug produces the desired effect. They may also take note of any harmful side effects that the drug may cause for patients.

6. Pharmacy Assistant Certification

Canadian Imperial College offers the pharmacy assistant certification. This certification helps participants gain foundational knowledge about the pharmaceutical industry. These professionals learn about the different procedures and protocols in pharmacy, human anatomy, and other medical terms. The certification program typically lasts a year, and it offers online classes.

Pharmacy assistants learn how to prepare medication and conduct preliminary tests and checkups. They also practise assisting the pharmacist in relating with customers, sterilizing tools, and recording prescriptions. During the program, these professionals learn how to use pharmacy software and other applications to complete tasks in the clinic or hospital. After this program, participants also receive a certificate in first aid and CPR.

7. Pharmaceutical Technology Certification

Seneca college typically administers the Pharmaceutical Technology Certification. This certification helps professionals understand pharmaceutical manufacturing. They learn about the complex operations necessary to form pharmaceutical drugs and cosmetics. These professionals also research the microorganisms that significantly affect these products. They learn about the regulations and policies concerning the standards of pharmaceutical products and how to comply with them. They also familiarize themselves with the tools and equipment necessary for the industry. Participants may also work in teams to learn how to conduct quality assessments of pharmaceutical products.

Related: 15 Careers in Pharmacy (With Job Duties and Salaries)

8. Veterinary Pharmacy Certification

Veterinary pharmacists are professionals who typically give patients drugs or products that a veterinarian prescribes. These professionals also inform patients about the medication's recommended dosage and expected side effects. Powerpak typically administers the certificate program, which typically lasts 22 weeks.

The program helps participants learn about animal anatomy and how to conduct medical tests on these animals. They also learn how to comply with the legal regulations and guidelines of veterinary pharmacy practice. These professionals may record the side effects of these medications and understand the recommended resources for veterinary medicine. The program typically consists of ten modules that explain different aspects of veterinary medicine.

Related: What Does a Veterinarian Do? (Essential Skills and Tips)

9. Pharmacy Informatics Certificate

The ASHP Learning Centre typically offers the pharmacy informatics certificate. This online program allows participants to learn about pharmacy information systems. They learn to use various tools and software to maintain and access health records. These professionals also learn about the data, statistics, and information influencing the pharmaceutical industry. They also learn to analyze and use this data to improve healthcare facilities and communicate medicine-related details to their patients. At the end of the program, participants typically complete an online exam to earn a certificate

Benefits of earning a certification

Here are the benefits of earning certifications that are relevant in your industry:

Improve your skills

A certification program is an excellent way to learn new skills and gain knowledge about your industry. This may help you perform more tasks and responsibilities at your workplace. It may also help you improve your current method of executing tasks and teach team members to do the same. Certification may also help you earn the trust of your customers and employers as it's a qualification from a recognized body.

Meet professionals

Participating in a certification program can be an excellent way to meet and network with other professionals in your industry. During this program, you may meet experts and mentors that can guide your career and help you improve your skills. These contacts may also help you learn about new training opportunities and recommend you for specific roles. Your contacts can also teach you new strategies and tools and help you solve complex problems in the workplace.

Related: Guidelines on How to Network

Gain an advantage

Including a certification on your resume may provide you with multiple benefits. It typically adds an advantage to your application. Including a certification on your resume shows additional expertise and experience and increases your chances of getting the position.

Related: How to Write a Pharmacist Resume (With Template and Example)

Qualify for senior roles

Specific roles at a company may require personnel to have one or more certifications in the industry. This is because the position may require technical knowledge and advanced skills. Earning a certification can also help you advance your career faster, allowing you access to more opportunities. You may also receive promotions and salary bonuses after earning a certification to ensure that your pay matches your qualifications.

Increase productivity

Participating in a certification program may help you develop positive qualities and skills that improve your productivity. For example, you may learn how to manage your time better, which allows you to be more efficient in the workplace. The training you receive in a certification program also helps you to remain updated on the trends and policies in your industry.

This means that you can learn about more efficient and successful strategies you can adopt in the workplace. You can increase your performance and improve your value and contribution to the team. It may also allow you to share helpful ideas with your managers and supervisors.

Related: 14 Best Productivity Tools to Boost Workplace Productivity

Access new industries

Certifications may help you access new industries and areas of specialization. The skills you gain during the program are transferable and may be useful if you want to make career changes. The certification may also be interdisciplinary, which allows you to learn from different subject areas.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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