Random Selection, Exemptions & Deferrals

All Pharmacists in Part A of the Register, excluding those who are exempt, may be randomly chosen to participate in the Peer Review.


  • Members who have recently passed the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Qualifying Examination including the OSCE component are exempt from random selection for the Peer Review for a period of ten years from the date of the examination.
  • Members who have successfully completed the Peer Review are exempt from random selection for the Peer Review for a period of ten years. Should they be chosen for the Peer Review for a second time after the end of the exemption period, they will be assessed with the clinical knowledge component only.
  • Pharmacists participating in areas of development and implementation of the Peer Review process, including assessors, Quality Assurance Committee members, and question and case writers, reviewers, and standard setters, are exempt from random selection for the Peer Review for a period of two years from the date that they cease to be involved in the Quality Assurance program and process.

Deferral Requests

Every attempt is made to be as flexible as possible when scheduling the Peer Reviews, and deferrals up to one year have been granted in certain instances. Such instances have included illness of a member or one of their family members, maternity/paternity leave, or conflicting work or travel plans.

As a matter of administrative policy, a member selected is usually granted a first deferral when requested. If the Manager feels the member is trying to avoid his or her obligation, he or she will be referred for consideration to the Quality Assurance Committee and so notified of the referral so that they will be provided with 14 days notice to give written or oral submission to the Quality Assurance Committee. The Quality Assurance Committee may, upon consideration of a member's failure to undergo the Peer Review within a year of being randomly selected, direct staff to defer the date of review to a later date, or it may propose to transfer the member into Part B (see Powers of the QA Committee to transfer from Part A to Part B above).

Reimbursement for Participants in the Quality Assurance Peer Review

Members of the College who are randomly selected for the Peer Review, who are practicing in Canada or the United States, are reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in traveling to the College upon submission of all receipts (including GST) according to the College's reimbursement policies and guidelines

Members who Resign and are Reinstated

If a member resigns after having been selected for the Peer Review; their obligation to participate in the process will cease with their resignation. However, should that member be reinstated, he or she shall resume his or her position in the quality assurance process and shall be expected to continue as a full participant.

Members who are Selected for the Peer Review for a Second Time

The number of candidates randomly selected for the Peer Review for the second time is limited to no more than five percent of the total number of candidates selected per Peer Review session.

As outlined above, pharmacists that successfully complete the Peer Review are exempted from the random selection process for ten years after completion. Pharmacists that are selected a second time after the end of the exemption period are only required to undergo the Clinical Knowledge Assessment. Although it is important to maintain vigilance for those pharmacists that have completed the Peer Review, it is also important to remember that resources for the quality assurance program are finite. The number of candidates selected for the Peer Review for a second time has recently surfaced as an issue because, as the number of candidates in this pool grows, so does the potential to re-select these candidates. The Quality Assurance Committee feels that the majority of resources should be spent on assessing initial candidates, and thus, have made the decision to limit the number of candidates selected for a second time.

Volunteers for the Peer Review

A pilot program allowing pharmacists to volunteer to undergo the Peer Review began in February 2010.

The benefits of allowing volunteers include:

  • Maximizing use of available space at each Peer Review (thus maximizing use of College funds)
  • Enabling pharmacists to participate in the Peer Review process as assessors or as case developers. Current policy indicates that pharmacists invited to be part of the Peer Review process are required to have completed the Peer Review. A volunteer policy allows pharmacists, who have not yet been randomly selected, to complete the Peer Review requirement and then be eligible to participate in the above described working groups.

The volunteer program will be in addition to the usual random selection process, with the aim of maximizing resources.

Volunteers are required to sign an undertaking which states that he / she will comply with all the same laws / regulations and obligations as though he / she were randomly selected. The contract indicates that, in the event of failure to meet standards, the volunteer pharmacist will be required to go through remediation. The undertaking also outlines the exemption policy (which is the same as that for randomly selected pharmacists).

Pharmacists interested in volunteering to undergo the Peer Review are placed on a volunteer list and selected on a first come, first served basis. The volunteer pharmacist is given notice of potential participation one to three weeks prior to the Peer Review.