On December 3, 2010 the Ontario Government passed amendments to the registration section of Ontario Regulation 202/94 (General Regulation) under the Pharmacy Act. This marks a significant milestone for the profession of pharmacy and impacts all College members.
By far the greatest change is the ability of the College to register pharmacy technicians! With the passing of the regulation, changes to the Pharmacy Act, also took effect. As a result, the title “pharmacy technician” may only legally be used by pharmacy technicians registered with the College. In addition, two pharmacy technician Council positions (district TH for pharmacy technicians in hospital practice and T for all other practice environments), are now filled, allowing technicians to take their place as voting members of the College Council.
In addition to adding the pharmacy technician certificate, there are several other changes within the regulation that impact members. Below is a summary of the key changes.
- Reinstatement Provisions - Existing members, in good standing, who are leaving practice or leaving the province for up to 3 years, may choose to resign their certificate and re-enter through reinstatement. This allows a break from paying annual fees during this time and clarifies the process to re-engage their certificate and pharmacy practice in Ontario.
- Administrative Suspensions - Members who do not submit required information for the register or evidence of holding liability insurance may have an administrative suspension applied to their certificate, until they comply with the requirements. In the past, non-compliance for administrative issues could only be managed through disciplinary proceedings.
- Part B pharmacist’s role clarified - The terms, conditions and limitations of each category of registration are clearly laid out. For example, Part B pharmacists are clearly restricted from engaging in any patient care and must represent their status clearly when they are in patient care settings.
- Pharmacy Technician added as a new class of registration - applicants for a certificate of registration as a pharmacy technician will be required to meet entry-to-practice requirements that apply to all classes of certificates as well as those specific to their class.
- Core requirements become non-exemptible - Education, practical training, jurisprudence and entry-to-practice examination requirements are mandatory; a panel of the registration committee may not exempt anyone from meeting these requirements (except for specific exceptions such as labour mobility).
- Jurisprudence exam expires after 3 years – The College will confirm that the exam has been completed within three years from the date of application for a certificate of registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician. This is a change from the current four year expiry, to acknowledge ongoing legislative changes and the need for current knowledge of laws governing pharmacy practice.
- Structured Practical Training (SPT) requires a minimum 12 week assessment - Demonstration and evaluation of the entry-to-practice competencies may be completed in a minimum of 12 weeks or such longer period of time as needed to ensure competency is met. As a non-exemptible requirement, requests for reductions will not be considered.
- Bridging education required for international graduates - Completion of an approved bridging education program has been demonstrated to support registration and integration into the profession and is now non-exemptible, with one exception. Applicants who successfully complete both parts of the PEBC qualifying examination (pharmacist or pharmacy technician) on their first sitting will only be required to complete additional education and/or training (other than SPT) as is deemed necessary by a panel of the Registration Committee. In addition, for a one year transition period only, registered pharmacy student or intern applicants may be able to complete additional training and/or education, as determined by a panel of the Registration Committee, instead of completing the International Pharmacy Graduate Bridging Program.
- Pharmacy student certificates granted on acceptance into an education program - Applicants for a registered pharmacy student certificate may apply as soon as they are accepted into an approved program (including the Bridging Program). In order to engage in practice, they must be directly supervised by a pharmacist and continue to participate in the program.