Issuance and Renewal of a Certificate of Accreditation

The Ontario College of Pharmacists regulates both the practice of members and the pharmacy in which they practice. Pharmacies are regulated through the Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act which outlines the qualifications for the issuance and renewal of certificates of accreditation.


Issuance of Certificate of Accreditation

The Ontario Regulation 264/16 passed under the Act (“Regulation”), specifically subsection 8(1), sets out the requirements to qualify for issuance of a certificate of accreditation. An applicant is qualified for the issuance of a certificate of accreditation to establish and operate a pharmacy if all of the following requirements are met:

  1. The applicant files a completed application in the form required by the College and pays the required fees.
  2. The applicant provides further information to the College if requested by the Registrar or the Accreditation Committee.
  3. All information provided by the applicant to the College is full, accurate and complete.
  4. The past and present conduct of each person who is an applicant affords reasonable grounds for the belief that the pharmacy will be operated with decency, honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law.
  5. In the case of a corporation, the past and present conduct of each director of the corporation affords reasonable grounds for the belief that the pharmacy will be operated with decency, honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law.

Process for Referral to Accreditation Committee

The Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act Section 139(2) and (3) sets out the process for when the pharmacy or owner does not meet the qualifications for issuance of a certificate of accreditation. When the College receives an application for issuance of a certificate of accreditation and the pharmacy or owner does not meet the qualifications, the application is brought to the attention of the Registrar. If the Registrar is NOT satisfied that the qualifications for issuance have been met, the Registrar must refer the application to the Accreditation Committee

If an application is referred to the Accreditation Committee, the decision of the Registrar is communicated to the Director Liaison by letter. The letter outlines the reason for referral and the Director Liaison will receive copies of all documentation reviewed by the Registrar in making this decision. The applicant will have 30 days from the receipt of the notice of referral by the person responsible for submitting the application to make a submission in writing to the Accreditation Committee.

After considering the application for issuance and any submission made on behalf of the pharmacy, the Accreditation Committee has the authority to direct one or more of the following:

  1. Direct the Registrar to issue the certificate of accreditation.
  2. Direct the Registrar to issue the certificate with terms, conditions and limitations as the Committee considers appropriate.
  3. Direct the Registrar not to issue the certificate.

The Committee’s decision cannot be acted upon by either the College or the applicant unless and until the applicant:

  • Gives notice to the Registrar that they will not be requiring review or hearing by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“Board”); or
  • Indicates that they want a review or hearing by the Board and do not apply to the Board within 35 days from receipt of Notice from the College; or
  • The Board renders a decision confirming the decision of the Committee.

Renewal of Certificate of Accreditation

Pharmacies must complete an application for renewal of their certificate of accreditation annually, on or before May 10th. A notice for renewal will be sent to the Director Liaison who can access the renewal online under login to My Account and then by clicking “My Account”.

The Ontario Regulation 264/16 passed under the Act (“Regulation”), specifically subsection 14 (1), sets out the requirements to qualify for renewal. A holder of a certificate of accreditation is qualified for the renewal of that certificate if the certificate holder meets the following requirements:

  1. The certificate holder files a completed application in the form required by the College and pays the required fees.
  2. The certificate holder provides further information to the College if requested by the Registrar or the Accreditation Committee.
  3. All information provided by the certificate holder to the College is full, accurate and complete.
  4. There is no default in the payment of any fees required by the College to be paid or any money owed to the College in relation to the pharmacy.
  5. The past and present conduct of each person who is a certificate holder affords reasonable grounds for the belief that the pharmacy will be operated with decency, honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law.
  6. In the case of a corporation, the past and present conduct of each director of the corporation affords reasonable grounds for the belief that the pharmacy will be operated with decency, honesty and integrity and in accordance with the law.
  7. The operation of the pharmacy is in compliance with the Act, the regulations under the Act and the by-laws of the College governing the establishment and operation of the pharmacy.

In addition, an application for the renewal of a certificate of accreditation is reviewed by the Registrar if a Practice Advisor has completed an operational assessment of the pharmacy and identified a failure to conform to the requirements of the Act and the regulations that poses a risk of harm to the public.

If an assessment of the pharmacy or any of its remote dispensing locations identifies failures to meet the requirements of the Act or its Regulations the Registrar will refer the renewal application to the Accreditation Committee unless the Registrar is satisfied that each of the identified deficiencies has been addressed in a sufficient manner.

Process for Referral to Accreditation Committee

The Drug and Pharmacies Regulation Act Section 139(2) and (3) sets out the process for when the pharmacy or owner does not meet the qualifications for renewal of a certificate of accreditation. When the College receives an application for renewal of a certificate of accreditation and the pharmacy or owner does not meet the qualifications, the application is brought to the attention of the Registrar. The Registrar will refer the application to the Accreditation Committee if the Registrar:

  • is NOT satisfied that the qualifications for renewal have been met; or
  • where the current certificate has terms, conditions and limitations attached to it with which the Registrar is not satisfied the pharmacy has complied, or
  • where the Registrar proposes that terms, conditions and limitations be attached to the certificate.

If an application is referred to the Accreditation Committee, the decision of the Registrar is communicated to the Director Liaison by letter. The letter outlines the reason for referral and the Director Liaison will receive copies of all documentation reviewed by the Registrar in making this decision. The applicant will have 30 days from the receipt of the notice of referral by the person responsible for submitting the application to make a submission in writing to the Accreditation Committee.

A certificate of accreditation that is referred to the Accreditation Committee by the Registrar will not expire until the decision of the Accreditation Committee becomes final.

After considering the application for renewal and any submission made on behalf of the pharmacy, the Accreditation Committee has the authority to direct one or more of the following:

  1. Direct the Registrar to renew the certificate.
  2. Direct the Registrar to renew the certificate with terms, conditions and limitations as the Committee considers appropriate.
  3. Direct the Registrar not to renew the certificate.

If the Committee directs the Registrar not to renew the certificate, the certificate will be considered to have expired and will be revoked as of the date of the decision of the Committee becomes final.

The Committee’s decision is not final and cannot be acted upon by either the College or the applicant unless and until the applicant :

  • Gives notice to the Registrar that they will not be requiring review or hearing by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (“Board”); or
  • Indicates that they want a review or hearing by the Board and do not apply to the Board within 30 days from receipt of Notice from the College; or
  • The Board renders a decision confirming the decision of the Committee.

Revocation of a Certificate of Accreditation

If the Registrar believes that a certificate of accreditation was renewed based on false or misleading information provided by an applicant, the Registrar may refer the application to the Accreditation Committee for revocation.

If an application is referred to the Committee for revocation the Registrar will provide the applicant with written notice including the reasons why the Registrar proposes that the certificate of accreditation be revoked. The applicant will have 15 days from receiving the notice, or a greater amount of time agreed to by either the Registrar or the Committee, to make a written submission to the Committee.