FAQ Member Fees

Did Council approve the bylaw amendments and fee changes?

Yes. Council approved the bylaw amendments and fees for 2019 at its December 2018 meeting. Meeting materials can be found here.

When will the fee changes come into effect?

The new fees and amended bylaws will be effective January 1, 2019.

How did Council or the College consider the feedback received through the consultation?

As with any consultation, Council receives a report which summarizes the feedback received through consultations. The individual consultation posts remain open to the public online and are viewable by Council. Consultation feedback is always considered as part of Council’s decision making process. The consultation on the bylaw amendments and fees was no different, and Council discussed the feedback before ultimately approving the bylaw amendments including the fee changes to move forward.

In doing so, it was acknowledged that the feedback received during the consultation was valuable and has emphasized the ongoing need for the College to ensure it remains an effective and efficient regulator that uses its resources wisely, effectively communicates its role and makes information about its financial decision making transparent and easy to understand.

Can the College address its budget needs simply by seeking higher disciplinary penalties?

No. However, the College and Council have recognized that there is an opportunity to potentially reduce the financial burden placed on the profession by recovering of a greater proportion of discipline costs when a registrant is found guilty of professional misconduct. College staff are preparing a discipline cost recovery policy for consideration at the next Council meeting.

Why doesn’t the College advocate for better salaries/compensation for pharmacy professionals?

The College’s mandate is to serve and protect the public interest and, as such, is obligated to fulfill its regulatory objects as defined in provincial legislation. The College cannot and does not advocate on behalf of the profession on compensation or employment market matters. Such concerns are best addressed with your professional associations.

What was proposed to Council?

College Council approved the 2019 Operational and Capital budget that delivers on the priorities outlined in the newly created Strategic Plan approved by Council earlier this year and to ensure that the College’s regulatory responsibilities and related operations are fully funded. The proposed budget reflects an increase in fee-based revenue which is required to support the College’s ability to operationalize the strategic priorities defined by Council and to meet its fiduciary duties as a patients-first regulator.

What are the registrant fees being adjusted to?

The College has proposed increases to fees across all categories. To lessen the burden on registrants, the budget proposes phasing in the increase to annual fees over two years for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Below is an example of what the annual fee changes will look like:

Type Adjusted Annual Fees $
Pharmacist 600 to 675 (2019)
675 to 750 (2020)
Pharmacy Technician 400 to 450 (2019)
450 to 500 (2020)
Community Pharmacy
940 to 1,175 (2019)
Hospital Pharmacy 3,500 to 4,375 (2019)
Registration Fee 300 to 375 (2019)

Please refer to 2019 fee schedule for further details.

Why are fees increasing?

The steadily increasing pressures associated with higher volumes and complexity of complaints and investigations, the ongoing development of strategies and guidance to promote and support quality and safe pharmacy practice in response to emerging priorities, the implementation of regulatory programs aimed at improving patient safety, along with the reduction in the rate of growth in membership over the past year, has necessitated an increase in fee-based revenue.

For a thorough overview of the rationale of the 2019 budget and associated fee increase, please see the resources available on the consultation page.

Does this apply to registrants and pharmacies?

Yes. Community and hospital pharmacy fees are increasing effective the 2019 renewal year. Pharmacist and pharmacy technician fees will increase at the same rate but increases will be divided between the 2019 and 2020 renewal years.

Will everyone experience the same increase in fees?

Yes. The fee increase applies to all registrant and pharmacy categories.

What is the College doing to manage costs and use fees appropriately?

Pharmacist and pharmacy technician fees have been stable since 2010 with no fee increases for nine years. The College has been able to keep pharmacist and pharmacy technician fees at the current level since 2010 through sound fiscal management strategies, by constantly reviewing our operations to ensure we are working efficiently and effectively and by using our resources wisely while also benefiting from previous year over year membership growth.

The decision to increase fees was made after much thought and analysis. The College has a duty to regulate pharmacy practice in the public interest and to make sure that its programs and operations are fully funded in order to meet its responsibilities. It also has an obligation to use its resources wisely and to being a good fiscal steward in how it plans and delivers on its mandate year over year. This is a commitment that the College and its governing Council take very seriously just as it does its public protection mandate.

Why does the College need more resources in its Conduct area?

The College has experienced a significant growth in the volume and complexity of complaints, investigations and disciplinary matters over the past several years. For example, the number of annual new complaints and reports opened has more than doubled since 2015 and since 2013 the number of contested hearings has nearly tripled. This growth has placed significant pressure on our ability to fulfill our mandate and meet our statutory obligations in a timely manner.

What are the other areas the College is requesting more resources?

The introduction of the College’s mandatory Medication Safety Program, which will be the largest of its kind in Canada once implemented, is an important investment in patient safety. Just like the costs associated with the implementation of other new regulatory programs, member fees will be applied to the costs of administering the medication safety program.

The College continues to develop new strategies and initiatives focused on promoting and supporting quality and safe pharmacy practice and on addressing current and emerging pharmacy regulatory priorities. The increased focus on patient safety, data and quality outcomes, patient education and public engagement, pharmacy strategies and associated initiatives related to sterile and non-sterile compounding standards, opioids and cannabis are relevant and timely examples.

As well, the College’s objects are aimed at promoting quality pharmacy practice and assuring the public that pharmacies and pharmacy professionals provide safe pharmacy care. The 2019 Operational Plan continues to focus on critical quality assurance activities including pharmacy assessments as well as practice assessments for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

How can I provide my feedback on the fees or share my concerns?

It’s important that we have your feedback. Please provide your comments and opinions using our online consultation system. Feedback from the 60-day consultation will be collated and presented to Council in December 2018.

Can the College manage its budget without increasing fees?

In order for the College to continue to meet its fiduciary responsibilities as a regulator committed to fulfilling its public protection mandate and to advance the strategic priorities defined by Council in the 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, an increase in fee-based revenue is unavoidable.

Why does the College need the budget it has proposed for 2019?

The College has a duty to make sure that its programs and operations are fully funded in order to meet its statutory responsibilities. The public also expects the College to regulate pharmacy practice to protect the health, interests and wellbeing of the public. This is our number-one priority. As Canada’s largest pharmacy regulator, we are uniquely positioned to promote quality and safe care within a rapidly evolving healthcare environment, to demonstrate regulatory leadership and innovation, and to strengthen public trust and confidence in our role as the regulator and, by extension, the profession of pharmacy.

When was the last fee adjustment for registrants? For pharmacies?

This will be the first fee increase to pharmacist and pharmacy technician fees since 2010; pharmacy fees were last adjusted in 2016.

Will pharmacy fees be increasing?

Yes, applications and issuance fees for both community and hospital pharmacies will increase. However, to lessen the financial burden on operators of all pharmacies conducting transactions throughout the accreditation year, the College is introducing a 50% discount on issuance fees for new openings that occur less than six months prior to the renewal of both community and hospital pharmacies. Additionally, hospital pharmacy fees for acquisitions and openings will be harmonized with those of community pharmacies.

When will the new fees be effective?

The fee increase, pending final approval by Council in December 2018, will be implemented January 1, 2019.

Are other colleges experiencing the same pressures?

Yes. The growing complexity and volume of conduct related matters is not isolated to our College.

Other health regulators have publicly reported that they are experiencing similar pressures and that many are making budget adjustments accordingly.

Are other colleges increasing their fees?

Yes. Many other colleges have either publicly confirmed or are proposing fee increases.

How will the adjusted fees compare to other regulators?

Fees for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Ontario will continue to be the lowest among all pharmacy regulators in Canada. Similarly, when compared with other regulated health professions in Ontario, fees for pharmacy professionals are and will remain at the lower end of the fee scale.