Standards of Operations for Pharmacies in Ontario

Feedback deadline was: Aug. 6, 2018


This consultation is now closed.

Standards of Operation are required to clarify the expectations of the College for accredited pharmacies. The College conducts regular assessments of pharmacies to ensure the pharmacy is adhering to these standards and has the proper processes and procedures in place to optimize healthcare outcomes.

Following the changes to the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act (DPRA), the Standards of Operation are required to clarify the expections of the College for accredited community and hospital pharmacies. Specific details outlining expectations for the operation of pharmacies were removed from the general regulations of the DPRA in favour of an outcome-based model which would allow the College to regulate in a more responsible and flexible manner. The College committed to formalizing these expectations as Standards of Operation for pharmacies.

Changes Within the Standards of Operation for Pharmacies in Ontario

Within the Standards of Operations, a couple of changes to existing standards have been made:

  • Revisions to the Required Reference Guide for Ontario Pharmacies
    • Changes to the Required Reference Guide for Ontario Pharmacies are being proposed, including revised Minimum Library Requirements.
    • These changes will allow pharmacy professionals to determine what additional references and resources are required to support their practice.
  • The Standards of Operation require that the environment is sufficient for the supplemental Standards of Practice (sSOP) to be met. The sSOP outlines the expectations for Ontario pharmacy professionals regarding medication safety based on the existing NAPRA Model Standards of Practice.

No other changes are being introduced through the Standards of Operation.

The College is consulting on the Standards of Operation in accordance with our consultation framework. Pharmacy professionals, stakeholders, members of the public and others are invited to comment on whether the Standards of Operation provide clear guidance on the expectations of pharmacy owners and designated managers. Following the consultation, the final Standards of Operation will be brought forward for approval by Council in September 2018.

Review the draft Standards of Operation.

Review the revised Required Reference Guide for Ontario Pharmacies.

Questions to Guide Your Feedback

  • The objective of the Standards of Operation are to clearly outline the College’s expectations regarding the operation of accredited pharmacies. Does the document achieve this objective?
  • Would the revisions to the required reference guide for Ontario pharmacies have an impact on your practice, or the quality and safety of pharmacy care that patients receive?

Frequently Asked Questions

What expectations have changed under these Standards of Operation for pharmacies?

With the exception of revising the required reference guide and the addition of the supplemental Standard of Practice, there are no new expectations included in these standards.

What are the key changes to the Minimum Library Requirements?

To enable members to meet the standards of practice, at a minimum, every pharmacy should have at least one reference in each of the following areas:

  • A Canadian Drug Reference / Compendium
  • A Drug Interaction Publication
  • A Drug Therapy Publication
  • A Patient Counselling Guide

Additional references should be selected based on the pharmacy’s patient population to support the specific services provided. For example: natural health products, pediatrics, compounding, geriatrics, etc.

“A Subscription to a Drug Information Service,” is an optional library requirement and members are encouraged to assess their practice to determine what resource best meets their needs.

Will these standards have any impact on the pharmacy assessment process?

The Standards of Operation will not have an impact on the College’s assessment program with respect to the approach or frequency of assessments. The current assessment program is designed to ensure the pharmacy is adhering to operational standards and has the proper processes and procedures in place. While the assessment document and report may be modified, the overriding focus will remain the same.

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