Following a 30-day open consultation, the College Board of Directors approved registration regulation amendments that support consistency across health professions and codify the circumstances that would initiate activation of the College’s emergency assignment class of registration when it is determined to be in the public interest.
The College has a duty to ensure, as a matter of public interest, that Ontarians have access to an adequate number of qualified, skilled and competent regulated health professionals. When fulfilling its legislated obligation, the College must balance workforce needs with appropriate registration requirements to ensure safe pharmacy practice.
Amendments to General Regulation 202/94 under the Pharmacy Act, 1991 align the College’s existing provisions, which in 2021 created an emergency assignment class due to pharmacy pressures resulting from the pandemic, with the requirements of registration regulation 508/22 under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.
Summary of Amendments
The amendments, which do not affect currently issued emergency assignment class certificates, include provisions that allow:
- Issuance of emergency assignment certificates to be triggered by government or the Board when it is determined to be in the public interest.
- A renewal period for emergency assignment class certificate holders to transition to another class of registration and avoid unnecessary service delivery interruptions at the conclusion of issuance of emergency assignment class certificates.
- An emergency assignment certificate holder to apply for another class of registration.
- The exemption of fees for applicants transitioning from an emergency assignment class certificate to another class of registration.
The proposed amendments were posted on the College website for feedback for 30 days, between March 30 and April 28, 2023. Throughout the open consultation, feedback was received from pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, applicants, members of the public and system partners.
Consultation feedback highlights:
- The majority of respondents supported the amendments and the use of emergency assignment certificate registration in general.
- Less than ten percent of respondents shared they were not in support of the amendments.
- Respondents in support of the changes noted their importance to increasing workforce capacity in the pharmacy sector, alleviating pressures on the profession, stabilizing labour demand and protecting against burnout.
- Respondents in support of the changes also noted the emergency assignment certificate pathway helps sustain and improve access to safe patient care and pharmacy services across the province.
Following analysis of the consultation feedback, no further changes to the proposed amendments were required.
The regulation amendments to General Regulation 202/94 under the Pharmacy Act will be submitted to the Ministry of Health and require government approval before coming into effect.