16 Weeks | 340 Total Hrs | 220 Theory Hrs | 120 Practicum Hrs


Learn to be a pharmacy assistant in only 16 weeks with Heritage College’s Express Pharmacy Assistant diploma program. This course covers everything a professional pharmacy assistant needs to know, including compounding, packaging and labeling pharmaceutical products, maintaining prescription records, and conducting inventories of medications and pharmaceutical products.

Graduates of our express Pharmacy Assistant program will learn the fundamental skills needed to support a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in the day-to-day operations of a pharmacy. To give our students an edge, we provide hands-on training with both the Kroll and Alberta Netcare software platforms, ensuring you graduate with the technical proficiencies today’s pharmacies are looking for. 


Certified pharmacy assistants are required for the operation of most pharmacies. Graduates of our program can find employment at community pharmacies, healthcare facilities, clinics, pharmaceutical wholesalers, and laboratories. 

Students must be 18 years of age or older, and have one of the following:

  • • an Alberta high school diploma, verified by transcript
  • • a non-Alberta equivalent
  • • a General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.)

Students must also clear a criminal background check, be able to lift and carry 10 lbs., and demonstrate basic computer knowledge.

You can find additional information about our admission requirements on our Admissions Page. Please also visit our Scholarships and Grants Page for information about current financial aid opportunities. 

Practicum Requirements

Express Pharmacy Assistant diploma program students complete their education with 120 hours of practicum experience at a partner institution. To participate in the practicum, students must satisfy the following prerequisites.

  • Police Reference Check (Clearance) of Criminal Record
  • Be able to lift 10 lbs.

Graduation Requirements

To successfully graduate from the Express Pharmacy Assistant diplomacy program, students must:

  • Achieve a minimum mark of 60% in all of the module assignments and exams
  • Have completed all practicum hours
  • Have current Police Clearance

The Express Pharmacy Assistant diploma program at Heritage College is an approved Vocational Program licensed by Alberta Advanced Education.

Heritage College Express Pharmacy Assistant Program

Next Start Date

March 30, 2020

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Earn an average of

$45,000 a year


  • Pharmacy Theory
  • Pharmacy Jurisprudence & Job Ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Computer Applications & Billing
  • Health Care Communication & Interpersonal Skills
  • Pharmacy Management
  • Non-prescribed Products
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Medical Terminology
  • Non-Sterile Compounding
  • Introduction to Hospital Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Calculations
  • Career & Professional Development
Heritage College Express Pharmacy Assistant Program
Heritage College Express Pharmacy Assistant Program


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Students will be introduced to basic pharmacy theory including drug development, pharmaceutical dosage forms, routes of administration, storage considerations, interpretation of prescription information, and dispensing procedures. Students will also examine the role of the pharmacy technician in the health care setting.

This course is designed to give students an understanding of the structure of pharmacy services in Alberta, the laws that govern pharmacy practice and the area of pharmacy ethics.

In this course students will be provided with a framework of knowledge to recognize drug names, drug classes, and to understand drug actions and the rationale for treatment. Focus will also be on drug side effects, allergic reactions and various health issues relating to pharmacology and drugs.

This course will familiarize students with the Kroll pharmacy management software program. The course also covers the topics of prescription filling, drug interaction, third party medical plans and the Alberta Netcare system.

Learning basic communication skills, especially relating to the medical field, will assist the student in dealing with all patients. Understanding cultural differences and encouraging diversity can add a new dimension to patient interaction and result in safer healthcare delivery in the medical office.

Students will practice different tasks they will be required to perform in this practical work in the pharmacy. In this course they will be able to submit orders through wholesalers’ portals, receive orders and do other daily on-dispensing tasks.

This course will teach students the different groups of over-the-counter medications and medical supplies, and how they interact within the community pharmacy.

Students are introduced to dispensing techniques and procedures with a great deal of emphasis on the role of the Pharmacy Assistant in relation to the role and responsibilities of the pharmacist in a retail pharmacy. Students become familiar with the fact that they must complete many of the technical duties so that the pharmacist is available primarily for patient care.

Medical Terminology covers the broad base for medical terminology, abbreviations and the systems of the body.  Students will learn to build medical words using the key components which also include the correct pronunciation and spelling of each term.  Students also gain the understanding of proper utilization of terms to describe medical conditions and disease states.

This course reviews all aspects of compounding prescriptions. The student will prepare various mixtures, creams and ointments, solutions and suspensions. Emphasis is placed on accuracy and preparation of a pharmaceutically elegant product.

Hospital aseptic techniques provides students the opportunity to learn the terms and procedures specific to a hospital pharmacy.  The course will focus on the preparation of sterile products, and infection control.  Procedures covered include sterilization methods, equipment use and maintenance.

Students will be provided with the pharmaceutical expressions of strengths and dosages calculations for dispensing. Both the apothecaries’ and metric systems of measurement will be reviewed.

This course focuses on effective resume, letter writing, interview skills and cold calling. In addition, students will be taught the skills for effective networking and marketing of their skills to potential employers. Students learn valuable interview skills and are given time to practice in role playing exercises. Upon completion of the program students will learn how to do cold calling, use the hidden job market, use professional social networking sites, create a cover letter, thank you letter and reference list, which they can then use in their career search.