Community Pharmacy

Community Pharmacy

A community pharmacy is licensed to sell or dispense drugs to the public.

Eligibility Criteria for this LICENCE type
  1. The community pharmacy must not be directly or indirectly owned by a person who is authorized by an enactment to prescribe drugs.
  2. Where the community pharmacy is owned by a corporation, the majority of the directors in the corporation must be pharmacists registered in B.C.  For all other types of ownership, see section 5(2) of the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act
  3. The community pharmacy must have a pharmacy manager who is a pharmacist and is responsible for the operation of the pharmacy.
  4. The community pharmacy must be staffed with at least one pharmacist when the pharmacy is open for business.
Application Process

A summary of the process and requirements to open a new community pharmacy is listed below.  Read the “Opening a New Pharmacy" section in the Pharmacy Licensure Guide for details before you start applying.

  1. Submit Phase 1 Requirements: Ownership/Manager Requirements and Pharmacy Diagram
    1. Apply for a New Community Pharmacy Licence
      ​Submit the following documents and refer to the appropriate section in the Pharmacy Licensure Guide for more information:

      1. PODSA Form 1A: Application for New Pharmacy Licence – Community and application fee;

      2. Pharmacy diagram - Use this checklist to ensure that all requirements are included in the pharmacy diagram;

      3. Ownership documents - Refer to the “Ownership Information” section for more information. If the direct owner is a corporation, use this checklist to identify all required documents.
      4. Signed copy of the attestation using PODSA Form 5: Manager/Direct Owner/Indirect Owner – Proof of Eligibility from each applicable direct/indirect owner (refer to the “Who needs to submit Proof of Eligibility” section for more information);
      5. Signed copy of the attestation using PODSA Form 5: Manager/Direct Owner/Indirect Owner – Proof of Eligibility from the proposed manager*.


      Allow up to 14 days for processing.

      When processing is complete, all applicable direct/indirect owners and the manager* will receive instructions via email to complete their Criminal Record History if one has not been completed with the College in the previous 5 years.

      *It can be submitted in Phase 2 if the manager has not been confirmed yet at the time you submit the documents for Phase 1.

    2. Submit Criminal Record History (CRH) to Complete Proof of Eligibility

      All applicable direct/indirect owners and the manager should complete their Criminal Record History (if required) as soon as possible upon receipt of the email from the College. Note that if you do not have a manager at that time, he/she must complete his/her CRH in Phase 2 upon receipt of the email from the College after his/her Form 5 (attestation) has been processed.

      It will take up to 7 days to process a Criminal Record History result.

    When all the requirements for Phase 1 are met, Health Insurance BC (HIBC) of the Ministry of Health will be notified.  You will also receive a notification via email and may start building your pharmacy according to the approved pharmacy diagram.

  2. Build the Community Pharmacy

    Build the new community pharmacy as drawn in the diagram approved by the College.

    It is the responsibility of the pharmacy owner to understand what the physical requirements are before building the pharmacy. Refer to Appendix B for further information.

    Notify the College at if there is a change in the original diagram submitted or the proposed licensure date that was originally indicated in your application to avoid delays in the next phase of the process.

  3. Phase 2: Pharmacy Pre-Opening
    1. Submit Pre-Opening Documents

      Complete and submit the following documents at least 45 days prior to the proposed licensure date:

      1. Pharmacy Pre-Opening Inspection Report (for Community Pharmacy) with supporting digital evidence using this powerpoint template: Digital evidence submission form - Community Pharmacy

        To avoid delays in processing your pre-opening documents, the digital evidence must provide sufficient context for College staff to determine if the requirements are met. Digital evidence must be consistent with the pharmacy diagram previous submitted and approved; it must also be recently produced at the new pharmacy site. Digital evidence previously submitted for the same location or any other location is not acceptable. If there are photos that cannot be taken at the site, explain the reasons in the inspection report. Refer to the “Pre-Opening Inspection Report and Digital Evidence” section and Appendix B: Community/Telepharmacy Pharmacy Diagram, Pre-Opening Inspection Report and Digital Evidence before completing these requirements. Appendix B provides a list of recommended digital content and should be used as a reference when taking photos and compiling digital evidence.
      2. Initial licence fee using this payment form: Payment Form - New Pharmacy Licence;
      3. A copy of the pharmacy’s business licence issued to the direct owner (Refer to the “Business Licence” section for more information);
      4. Acknowledgement of Completion of Confidentiality Procedures.

      Allow up to 14 days for processing.

      Upon approval of the pre-opening documents by the College, an email notification will be sent to the authorized representative to schedule an on-site community pharmacy pre-opening inspection, if required, within 30 days before the proposed licensure date.

    2. On-site Pre-Opening Inspection by College Inspector (if required)

      A College inspector will conduct a scheduled pre-opening inspection at the community pharmacy, if required, using the pre-opening inspection report submitted in Step 3(a).

      Note: A subsequent visit will be required if requirements are not met, which may delay the opening of the new pharmacy.

Once all the above documents are complete and all requirements are met, the authorized representative will be notified by email when the community pharmacy is authorized to open.  A community pharmacy licence will be issued and HIBC will also be notified.

A community pharmacy licence is valid for 12 months and must be renewed through eServices annually no later than 30 days before the expiry date.  An email notification will be sent to all authorized representative(s) approximately 75 days before the pharmacy licence expires.  Ensure that your email contact information on eServices is always up-to-date.