Feedback deadline was: November 19, 2014
The College is currently seeking feedback on proposed amendments to its By-law No. 3 relating to information that is posted on the Public Register.
The amendments, if passed, would result in changes to the information available on the College’s Public Register:
1. Findings of Guilt
The College would post a summary of any findings of guilt made against a member in respect of a federal or provincial offence that the College becomes aware of and that the Registrar believes is relevant to the member’s suitability to practice. Findings of guilt would only be made public if they are made after someone becomes a member with the College and made after the by-law comes in effect. The summary of any findings of guilt would be added to the Public Register once accuracy has been confirmed.
2. Custody or Release Conditions
The College presently posts summaries of current custody or release conditions in provincial or federal offence processes that the College becomes aware of and that the Registrar believes are relevant to the member’s suitability to practice. The change in the wording of this by-law is to increase consistency among the regulated health colleges in the province.
Read the proposed by-law amendments.
The proposed amendments to College By-law No. 3 are coming as a result of the College’s work with other health regulators in considering making additional information about Ontario’s regulated healthcare professionals available to the public.
Representatives from medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy and physiotherapy are working together on a multi-staged initiative designed to examine information-sharing practices and determine how regulators might make more member-speciﬁc information regarding decisions and processes available to the public.
The proposed amendments to College By-law No. 3 are part of the first phase of the transparency project. Read more on this transparency initiative.
Points to Consider
Members are currently obligated to file a report in writing with the Registrar if they are found guilty of an offence, as soon as reasonably possible after receiving notice of the finding. In addition, members are required to declare annually upon renewal whether they have been found guilty of any offence since their last declaration. In addition, in accordance with our usual practices, a criminal finding is assessed by the College’s Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee to determine whether a referral to the Discipline Committee ought to be made in circumstances where the finding may be relevant to practice.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association (OPA or the ‘Association’ ) welcomes the opportunity from the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP or the ‘College’ ) to comment on the proposed changes to the Public Register under College By-law No. 3. The Ontario Pharmacists Association is the voice of Ontario’s 16,600 pharmacists and pharmacists-in- training. Our members work in a wide variety of settings, including but not limited to community pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care, family health teams, and industry. The Association maintains as a key element of its mandate the support for pharmacists in the delivery of the highest quality of care for all Ontarians. With respect to matters of regulatory transparency, OPA recognizes the public’s growing call for organizations ‘” particularly those with a public interest mandate ‘” to be more open with their decisions and processes. To that end, OPA also acknowledges and respects the efforts of the Advisory Group of Regulatory Excellence (AGRE) and its representatives from pharmacy, medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry and physiotherapy on this initiative. In the spirit of transparency, the Association trusts that, pending the outcome of this current consultation, changes that are ultimately implemented for the OCP By-laws are mirrored by all other AGRE member colleges. OPA commentary regarding the proposed changes are based on our perspectives on each of the eight transparency principles agreed to by the AGRE: 1. The mandate of regulators is public protection and safety. The public needs access to appropriate information in order to trust that this system of self-regulation works effectively. 2. Providing more information to the public has benefits, including improved patient choice and increased accountability for regulators. 3. Any information provided should enhance the public’s ability to make decisions or hold the regulator accountable. This information needs to be relevant, credible and accurate. 4. In order for information to be helpful to the public, it must: * Be timely, easy to find and understand. * Include context and explanation. 5. Certain regulatory processes intended to improve competence may lead to better outcomes for the public if they happen confidentially. 6. Transparency discussions should balance the principles of public protection and accountability, with fairness and privacy. 7. The greater the potential risk to the public, the more important transparency becomes. 8. Information available from Colleges about members and processes should be similar. Moving forward, the Association will be assessing any proposed changes to the public register through this lens to ensure that the information being made public is relevant to practice and are related, either directly or indirectly, to public safety. OPA would certainly express concerns if matters completely unrelated (directly or indirectly) to practice and public safety are included on the register, as such information may unfairly and negatively label the member in the eyes of public and/or other members, which in turn may impact his/her current or future employability. With respect to the current changes proposed to OCP By-law No.3, OPA is supportive of the language and intent expressed in the consultation document. In particular, with regard to matters related to ‘Findings of Guilt’ and ‘Custody or Release Conditions’ , we are pleased to see that both the intent and the language of the amendment are to only post information to the Public Register if the Registrar believes the information is relevant to the member’s suitability to practice. There is one additional area on which OPA would like to comment. There appears to be no mention of the disposition of information, such as the finding of guilt, on the Public Register in instances whereby a member has resigned or has had his/her licence revoked. Currently, there is a provision for instances of member resignation, in which case the member’s information is removed from the Public Register after two years (and after six years in cases of licence revocation). OPA would suggest that in situations where there has been a finding of guilt that is related to a matter that may impact the member’s ability to practice, the information ought to remain as part of the Public Register if and when the member’s licence has been reinstated. The Ontario Pharmacists Association appreciates the opportunity to comment on the proposed amendments to College By-law No. 3. Should you require any additional information or seek clarification of any of the elements expressed in this submission, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.
Its nice that profession of Pharmacy is well respected and OCP hard work is appriciated,regardinf transpparency…… It will be only fine if all other professional college or association do the exactly same and still it should not be humilating to the member. Thanks
No extra information for public. Public shaming serves no purpose.
This is recommended for the sake of public safety. I would suggest only information dealt and finalized by the Fitness to Practice ought to be made public. Including restrictions if any.
The proposed changes support the goal of transparency. I support the proposed legislation as it will provide additional accountability for its members.
Do not make extra information for public,i really do not see any benefits.Public shaming serves no purpose.
How would this benefit anyone? I am not in favour of this at all. Mistakes happen unfortunately, and this could cause a rift between the public and pharmacists.
I agree to keeping info not open. while I support the transperancy, at the same time, where is the pharmacist privacy. I certainly support not allowing these information.
Instead of more embarrassment between pharmacist and his patients , we would like to see the college protecting its members against public abuse and harassment. We need the college to backup us against public assaults like other colleges do.
One of the issues I have with making this information public lies with one of the principles approved and endorsed: In order for information to be helpful to the public, it must: o be timely, easy to find and understand. o include context and explanation. In my opinion that’s hard to achieve. These maters would have to be posted in simple, lay terms, for the general public to understand. Legal matters are generally not easy to convey with clarity in short easy to read messages. If we can’t achieve this the information won’t be helpful to the public or our profession. I agree with previous opinions that we should be as transparent , and no more than, the other self -regulated professions.
In my personal opinion , information about found guilt should not be made public at all. It could be available to other health profession but not public as it may destroy the professional future of the pharmacist.
I don’t think it is relevant to make such findings public about a member. As a patient I would like to see my pharmacist is qualified to do the job, if s/he did something wrong which could happen to anyone in any profession, what difference does it make for the quality of care we provide. We are not like physicians where we touch the intimate details of the patient’s life. We are not, in the grand scheme of things, affecting their lives either. In a very simple way to explain the profession in a nutshell, we dispense properly medication and we counsel them on how to take it, not a rocket science I think. This momentary contact with the patient doesn’t need all these disclosures. Doctors and nurses get involved with the patient’s body and psyche onto a deeper level, much prolonged in time and nature, totally different than our scope. Having said that, if the pharmacy found not compliant, I strongly suggest to make that public similar to a restaurant didn’t pass safety and cleanliness standards, I should be made aware to make an informed decision in the future.
The College already has the power to reprimand, suspend or revoke a licence based on a conviction and this information is publicly available on the ocpinfo.com I am only in favour of this if it is implemented universally to all professionals. i.e. health professionals, lawyers, politicians, teachers, etc. and overseen by a government agency and not by the College.
Unless a conviction is directly related to the practice of pharmacy, I see no reason why it should be posted online. Public shaming serves no purpose. If charges are warranted, we have a perfectly adequate judicial system in Canada capable of dealing with transgressions.
I support the change of this by-law with one caveat regarding how to make the call if the findings of guilt affect suitability to practice. As the amendment reads now, the findings of guilt will be made public if ‘the Registrar believes is relevant to the member’s suitability to practice’ . This is not sufficient, in my view, to determine the detailed process of assessment of the relevance of the findings of guilt to pharmacy practice. Assessment process should be a collective multi-steps process that ensures the best judgment is made by collective efforts of multiple individuals, rather than a sole effort by one individual. I suggest outlining a detailed process of this assessment, in which the findings of guilt are presented to the council with the register’s recommendation if they should be made public. The council then can make the call, and give the individual pharmacist the right to appeal this decision with supporting evidence. Additionally, this amendment does not highlights if the findings of guilt should be final, or once the verdict is made, even with a lower court, they can be made public. The issue will arise if the found-guilty pharmacist decides to appeal the court’s decision in front of a higher court, while the findings were made public in the mean-time.
While I agree with the college’s initiative to improve public tranparency, we have to keep in mind that we are in an era of easy internet access. Think of how is that going to affect the pharmacist-patient relationship. Let’s think of a scenario; a pharmacist who works in a remote area where the number of practising pharmacists are limited. Having his/her patients open to this infromation regardless of his/her current good standing will definitely hurt this professional relationship.
i really do not see any benefit from posting that publicly to the public .specially no other profession do the same to the members
Donot make extra information public, of the committee feels the person unfit then put limitations or revoke his Liscence
I am unclear on the purpose of this change to the legislation? Other than stating that it may make reporting more consistent between the health professions under the "Background" section, I do not really see a rationale listed for the benefit of the public? Pharmacists are accountable to the public within their role as a health care professional. I am not sure that listing any other criminal activities, unless acted on while performing duties as a pharmacist, should be relevant to the public.
I think these details should be public on OCP’s website as long as all the other professions release the exact same information. I don’t like it when OCP goes ahead and approves more restrictive practice guidelines than CPSO does in the same circumstances. For example, the treatment of family members.
All of the discussed issues seem very reasonable to me. Currently if convicted of any offense it becomes part of the public record (unless a pardon has been granted) and should be available on the OCP website.
If a member having served his or her punishment & is in good standing for last 5 years ie has been rehabilitated ,then the member’s name should be removed from the public register. You cannot & must not humiliate a member for the rest of his career for past mistakes. Many thanks for your consideration.
While I am in general agreement with the transparency initiative, and well aware that our profession seems to be well ahead of the others in terms of making details of our membership public, i am concerned that other professions do not make the same details as public, or as easy to access.. I would suggest that since we seem to be the furthest ahead, we wait until other professions have caught up, before making further steps.
Do not make extra information public. If the committee feels a person is unfit to practice then revoke their license but public shaming does not help anyone. Its like maling a convict try to get a good job with his criminal record. Its impossible to recover from. If someone wants to know more knowledge about a pharmacist then they can call in and get the information privately but there’s no need for public shaming.