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Proposed Changes to the Public Register – Phase 2 (By-law No 3)

Feedback deadline was: February 10, 2015
Summary

The College is currently seeking feedback on additional proposed amendments to its By-law No. 3. The amendments relate to the type of information that the College makes available on its public register about pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Some of this information is related to the work of our Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), and some is information that is generated through other processes (criminal charges for example) or regulatory authorities (findings in other jurisdictions).

The amendments, if passed, would result in the following changes to the College’s public register:

1. Posting known criminal charges (if relevant)

The College would post a summary of any federal or provincial charges against a member if the College knows about them, and the Registrar believes that they are relevant to the member’s suitability to practise.

2. Disclosing members under investigation

The Registrar would confirm that the College is investigating a member if there is a compelling public interest reason to do so pursuant to 36(1)(g) of the Regulated Health Professions Act.

3. Posting of complaint outcomes: Cautions

The College would disclose when a panel of the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC) cautions a member as a result of a complaint. A caution would be issued by the ICRC when there is a significant concern about a member’s conduct or practice that can have a direct impact on patient care, safety or the public interest if it is not addressed. Cautions require the member to meet with the ICRC in person for a face-to-face discussion concerning the member’s practice and the changes they have planned that will help avoid a similar incident from occurring in the future. The College would post a summary and date of the caution on the public register. This would apply to complaints filed after April 1, 2015.

4. Posting of complaint outcomes: SCERPs

The College would disclose when a panel of the ICRC requires a member to complete a specified continuing education or remediation program (SCERP) as a result of a complaint. A SCERP would be ordered when a serious care or conduct concern requiring a pharmacist or pharmacy technician to upgrade his or her skills has been identified. The ICRC orders SCERPs only when they believe that remediation is necessary. The College would post a summary of the required program and its date on the public register. This would apply to complaints filed after April 1, 2015.

 

5. Posting of applications for reinstatement

The College would disclose if the Registrar has referred an applicant for reinstatement to the Discipline Committee.

6. Posting of known licenses in other jurisdictions

The College would disclose whether a member is currently registered or licensed to practice the profession in another jurisdiction, if known.

7. Posting of complaint outcomes: Summary of variation

The College would disclose when a panel of the ICRC was required, after a review, to remove or vary an original outcome of a caution or SCERP. This would include posting the process leading up to the review.

Read a summary of the proposed amendments to By-Law No. 3

Read the full By-Law No. 3 (section 11) with proposed changes.

Background

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 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 second phase of the transparency project. Public consultation for changes in phase one of the transparency project closed on November 19, 2014 and were passed by Council at its December meeting.

Read more on this transparency initiative.

Read The Feedback
49 COMMENTS
  • Other - POSTED December 18, 2014

    I think the wording for the following sections should be changed as noted below (since all decisions are ‘subject to review’ ): 11.4.20.2 d) if applicable, a notation that the panel’s decision is under review and therefore is not yet final, which notation shall be removed once the review is finally disposed of. 11.4.20.3 d) if applicable, a notation that the panel’s decision is under review and therefore is not yet final, which notation shall be removed once the review is finally disposed of.

  • Other - POSTED December 22, 2014

    There is a fine line between "transparency" and protecting privacy. We must take care to ensure that information about members that is post is actually relevant to protecting the public and not tabloid information. It may be true, but not relevant to protecting the public. Very few Provincial Colleges actually have the option of looking up a pharmacist or pharmacy on their website. Perhaps this needs to be a national discussion between all the regulatory bodies in a effort to come to a national agreement. If each Provincial College of pharmacists cannot come to agreement then nothing should change in each jurisdiction.

  • Other - POSTED December 22, 2014

    I feel like the proposed changes are an invasion of privacy! If any other professional, engineer, teacher, etc. was in this position their private information wouldn’t be on the internet for the world to see. I think any more additions to what the public can see freely on the internet is a clear invasion of privacy! It is ridiculous for me to look up a physician now on the physician and surgeon website and find that they had a domestic issue with their spouse and its all over the internet. It is a shame that our college is even considering this none sense!!!!

  • Other - POSTED December 22, 2014

    I don’t agree to the changes which will make the pharmacist ‘s personal life exposed to the public and will not affect any of his tasks to provide health care to the public.the changes will make the patients judging the pharmacist on his past and not on the recent services the pharmacist is currently providing.i think the changes will open a door for confrontation between the pharmacist and the patient and the curious patients will come to the pharmacist to discuss the pharmacist’s personal life instead of discussing the patient ‘s health. I’m against those regulations.

  • Other - POSTED December 22, 2014

    As a concerned member of the public I provide the following. Respect people’s privacy. Use discretion. Get to know your members. Look at their past record. Example: a 30 year pharmacist in good standing should not be crushed and destroyed because of one allegation that leads to a criminal charge…..especially if that member is placed into a mental health court diversion program, and especially if the criminal charge and complaints do not relate to the member’s practice as a pharmacist. Consider the number of people who accept plea bargains on the advice of their lawyer to save themselves and their families from suffering the financial burden of mounting a defence and the humiliation of a trial, despite their innocence. Yes, hundreds of innocent people plead guilty everyday in Canada. The policy the college had for decades works fine. Why spend time messing with it when you have internal problems where one department doesn’t know what the other is doing and members have difficulty getting simple straight answers from client services? I see no need to demonize people beyond what our Justice system already does.

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    I have an issue with criminal charges about a member being posted. The charge may be dismissed or the member may be found not guilty. It would be prudent to post criminal charges AFTER the member had been found guilty. There posting of a guilty finding also has to be related to protection of the public interest. A member convicted of fraud may or may not be a risk to the public depending on the specifics of the case. A person convicted of scamming senior citizens out of their savings is different than a Martha Stewart who was (knowingly?) guilty of insider trading. What is the criteria to decide if the charge affects a member’s fitness for practice?

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    It is unclear how any federal or provincial criminal charges against a member of the College affects their patient care to a point that public needs to be aware of it. If there is any circumstances that those convictions have any effect on member’s practice college should seek legal action for disclosure of information for that particular case. The current decision has no effect other than shaming the convicted member and the profession as a whole, without having any effect on the care patient receive. This will result in discrimination. I am certain that this proposed change violates members’ right. For example if one is convicted of driving while intoxicated, what effect does that have on member’s ability to serve patients. This decision appears out of norm for health care professional regulatory bodies in North America. This decision will lead to lengthy unnecessary legal disputes between college and some of the members and eventually college will concede defeat after wasting membership dues that are already among the highest in North America. If public needs information about a member’s background, they can simply contact the college and the situation should be dealt with on a case by case bases (hopefully at the expense parties involved)

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    In regard to the confirmation by the Registrar if a member is being investigated under RHPA 36 1 g Compelling public interest needs to be clarified. Indeed, it may well be public interest that affects justice for the member, especially if the member is found to be innocent of the accusations. This is too vague a wording and will vary markedly according to personal whims and experiences.

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    In regards to posting of criminal charges if known. This seems to be unjust. If a member has criminal charges that the College is unaware of, this mitigates against those who have charges that the College is aware of. Similarly, there needs to be a clarification of the words if relevant. There really ought to be some kind of consultation on these issues through panel discussions, area meetings. These ought to also focus on case studies and the College needs to be well prepared to explain in detail the implications of each. We also need to be able to understand where the grey areas are as well the the black and white areas of all of the amendments.

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    Too much details that is not necessary folks! When a member found guilty of a misconduct then publish that to let others know. But if an average Joe forget to put a interchangeability label upon dispensing Apo instead of Teva who cares about that? The public don’t have the understanding on the details of the profession and they don’t need to know.

  • Other - POSTED December 23, 2014

    It is an act of privacy and protecting the pharmacist confidentiality and protecting our picture in front of the public. As a pharmacist, when I am out of my duty, I am part of the public, when I go to any pharmacy to dispense my son’s or daughter’s prescription, I am also part of the public, so why you wan to expose for example my records to other people. you are invading my privacy and you are exposing me not as a pharmacist but as a member of the community.. And as OCP who devoted it’s mission to protecting the public you are not protecting me by exposing these information to the public. Even if we want to release information about a drug addict we can’t unless we have a court order. Also I see no use or an extra work of no benefit to the people by giving certain info about pharmacists education, university of graduation, or other detailed info about his background, licenses and services or special services that he/she as a pharmacist can do. all of that are already on the web or some of it and it is an act of unequal distribution of opportunities and breach of main principle fair commercial opportunities and advertisement capacity since not all can do that . this will also ignite stereotyping and racism by directing people to certain names, universities or other indirect information that might indirectly identify the pharmacist to the public and this will lead to direct business loss and ethnic identifying. I think all what people need to know is where the pharmacies are and what services they could do without info about the pharmacists who work there. Even police and the judge can`t release these information unless there is a court order. I see no benefit of releasing criminal or reprimand activities of the members to the public at all.

  • Other - POSTED January 5, 2015

    I do not agree with these changes. This information can be misused if made public and it will just affect the trust that patients have on our profession. Everyone even the best health care professionals make mistakes, they should not be judged by it once they can provide adequate and safe patient care in the present. If the allegations are wrong, this can negatively affect the RPh/RPhT if made public. We respect confidentiality of patients likewise confidentiality of ourselves should be treated with such high degree of respect and caution as well.

  • Other - POSTED January 9, 2015

    I do not agree with the posting of information on the web for anyone to source which is not related to issues which would compromise patient care. Our entire lives should not be open to scrutiny by anyone who can access the internet. Are we sure the information will be accessed by patients in order to select a pharmacists or could other people in the community access and use it to publicly embarrass someone they know. i think misconduct should only be show once it is proven and then only a handful of terms be available to enter the information online There should be a time limit imposed for the postings as 20 year old information may not be relevant There should be an appeal process for removal of the postings whereby pharmacists who can show the conduct was a single incident and will not be repeated can have the posting removed sooner Removal at the discretion of the registrar is vague and subject to interpretation-perhaps even differing interpretation as registrars are changed. Perhaps a peer review process for interpretation of public harm could complement this type of removal A yearly review of all misconduct posting for relevance should be automatically undertaken by the registrar No excess details of a misconduct should be posted – there should be a process for the public to request details and their names should be recorded and the member notified there has been a request made A final thought. Once information is on the internet you can never get it back…. Be wise and careful and reflect on what items in your life you would not want details of on the web

  • Other - POSTED January 9, 2015

    Except clause no 2 I support it to be passed. If a complain against a registrant is being investigated it should not be in the registrar before a decision has been made. Otherwise it might create confusion. Thanks

  • Other - POSTED January 12, 2015

    I think we should align more with the other professions. I see that physicians are undergoing the same activity. I disagree with public posting of the investigation of a complaint, as many complaints are not about competency.

  • Other - POSTED January 12, 2015

    1. Posting known criminal charges (if relevant) The College would post a summary of any federal or provincial charges against a member if the College knows about them, and the Registrar believes that they are relevant to the member’s suitability to practice. My comment: I believe a person has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Thus, until the charges against a member result in a conviction, they should not be posted. Once information about a charge has been make public, even if they are consequently found not guilty, the reputation of the individual has been damaged. 2. Disclosing members under investigation The Registrar would confirm that the College is investigating a member if there is a compelling public interest reason to do so pursuant to 36(1)(g) of the Regulated Health Professions Act. My comment: I have the same sentiment as above regarding investigations. There are many situations that could result in an investigation, not all result in a negative outcome. Only when the outcome has been finalized and shows the individual to be deficient in some aspect, then the information can be posted.

  • Other - POSTED January 12, 2015

    Re Posting of Complaint Outcomes, Cautions & SCERPS: I don’t think that these should automatically be posted. Many of these are minor and will not necessarily impact patient care. The ICRC should have the discretion to determine if the complaint and its outcome warrant posting. Guidelines for this determination can be developed for ICRC.

  • Other - POSTED January 13, 2015

    I would be concerned about who gets to decide what should be public knowledge. I don’t think complaints should be public knowledge until there is a guilty verdict and it should not be left on public view once the College has determined the complaint has been dealt with satisfactorily. Criminal charges that are not related to practice should not be on view.

  • Other - POSTED January 14, 2015

    I think this transparency regulation by-law should be apply when there is proof that the complain interfere with the ability of the member practice accordingly with the regulations .

  • Other - POSTED January 14, 2015

    Of course criminal facts are relevant. This all relates to the ability of the professional to be honest, ethical and trustworthy. It is the public/patient’s right to know so they can decide whether to trust us with their care. The fact that these items have already not been posted makes it appear like the OCP is like the CPSO, an old boys club protecting it’s members and not the public. I was under the impression that criminal conviction was a limiting factor to licensure with OCP, obviously not. Do we have drug dealers, drunk drivers, tax evaders/embezzlers, wife abusers amongst our membership treating the unknowing public. Keeping them in the dark about this is akin to allowing a sexual predator practice gynecology. It is not right.

  • Other - POSTED January 23, 2015

    I have 3 comments to make: 1) At the website’s location for the "Full Bylaw with proposed changes", there appear to be errors on pages 4 & 7 where the redline sections are showing numbered as "1.4.13.1, 1.4.13.2, 1.4.13.3, and 1.4.25.1". In each case, the first number should be "11." 2) Re proposed wording of 11.4.13.1: Caution should be exercised here. If a member of OCP is found to be "charged" in another jurisdiction, but that member’s NAME has not been published as part of the charges made public in the other jurisdiction, by placing such charges onto the member’s register info in Ontario you essentially violate the "non-disclosure" of the name by associating the charges with the member’s name on the OCP register. That could create a bias and, as the courts would say, "interfere with the proper administration of justice" not only at the OCP level, but as the proceedings play out where the charges are published without the name. In such cases, it would be better to amend the proposal to say "where the member is identified to the public in the laying of the charges" after "existing charges". 3) Re proposed 11.4.20.3: This raises a concern about an ICR committee "deciding" on what would be defined as "incompetence" per the Code to the RHPA (s.52.(1)…a discipline panel SHALL find a member so charged, guilty of misconduct; and 52.(2), pgh 3 — can place terms/conditions/ limitations on the member which may include remediation). If the ICR begins to assign such terms to a member as part of a COMPLAINT process, then the allegations (whether direct, or inferred through investigation at the complaint level) of incompetence will never make it to the discipline stage and as a result, become part of a "public disclosure". Since ICR cannot conclude "professional misconduct" then that member’s record remains "clean" in terms of any requests made in the future of a history of discipline — when in fact, it would have been present if proceeded with at discipline rather than ICR. Thank you for your consideration.

  • Other - POSTED February 5, 2015

    Two comments. I disagree with the posting of criminal charges- if those charges have nothing to do the provision of care. As with other comments, its an invasion of privacy…where public good is not being affected. With respect to charges and results within the college of pharmacy I think that listing all( while transparent) doesn’t give the gravitas to listing those that are professional misconduct. So the committee should have a bar set where offenses are publishable or not..

  • Other - POSTED February 5, 2015

    That invades Pharmacists personal life, I do respect the police officer, teachers, the taxi drivers, ….as long as they are doing their job for the best interest of their customers, why humiliating the pharmacists’ family , and kids just because an … client didn’t take his narcotic rx early and accused the pharmacist for misconduct.

  • Other - POSTED February 5, 2015

    I have an issue with 11.4.13.1 Being charged with an offence is not the same as being guilty of an offence. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty under the law is sacrosanct. Publishing known charges deemed relevant to the members ability to practice could have a severe impact on that members ability to practice, prior to the finding of innocence or guilt by the court. If a member is charged with an offence relevant to their ability to practice, the matter should be referred to the fitness to practice committee for review. 11.4.20.1 I believe this section is acceptable to protect the public provided that "a compelling public interest" has a high bar.

  • Other - POSTED February 5, 2015

    Posting may result in jeopardizing careers. The OCP is doing a great job regulating us, lets not in the name of transparency start killing the careers of pharmacist who can improve and remedy through the OCP procedures.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I am against this amendment as this is invading pharmacist personal privacy , I would agree only to criminal charges which are relevant to fitness to practice to be posted as , in which case the member shouldn’t be allowed to practice anyway and his license would be revoked Thank you

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I think it will be too much information on line , instead there may be a notation to contact college for details and college can release information to concerned individual or agency ( e.g employer )

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    The proposed changes tarnish the profession and represent a clear breach of privacy. The proposed changes are easily abused to take punitive action against pharmacists.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    This is a clear invasion of personal privacy!!! No other professional college allows their member’s personal information to be disclosed to this degree. Why do pharmacist’s have to have this information available for everyone to see. If a professional is guilty of a crime that impacts their ability to provide patient care then the college will revoke/suspend their licence or other punishments. There is no need to publicly shame the person and have that record online. If a member is under investigation they may be innocent and no charges laid, in this case posting "under investigation" online only serves to tarnish their reputation. The only amendment that is reasonable is posting of known licenses in other jurisdictions.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I do not agree. This is invasion of privacy and crossing the line of what should be seen and what not.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    Should a pharmacist be under some inquiry due to a patient complaint that may be due to disgruntled customer where the pharmacist is within his right to make such a decision and the complaint results in a possible inquiry that is posted on the website citing possible allegations; would this cause some of the public viewing the post to negatively judge the professional conduct of the pharmacist prior to the outcome of the inquiry?

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    This is wrong. There is a slippery slope between disclosure and privacy invasion. No one on either side of this argument will ever come to an agreement of what constitutes "relevant to patient care" especially in the grey area. The public may misinterpret any finding or pending issue as incompetence and to avoid care. With the changing numbers of members in the workforce this may jeopardize a given individual’s ability to find a job despite additional training/ remedial actions. Don’t do this.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    When a caution has been issued and a plan has been submitted to change practices, why would you subject the member to the public embarrassment and shaming? Both the competence and confidence to practice should be upheld by the OCP.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    The proposed by-law changes are unnecessary and an invasion of privacy. Either a member is fit to practice the profession of pharmacy or is not; s/he is worthy of the public’s trust or is not. I do not believe there are ‘gradations’ of suitability to practice. Posting information such as members under investigation, cautions and complaint outcomes places the onus of determining suitability to practice on the public/patient. However, this determination falls within the role and duty of the college. Do not call upon the public to do your job for you in the name of ‘transparency.’ Posting pharmacists’ licenses in other jurisdictions is irrelevant. How is a member’s license in, say, BC or Alberta of any relevance to the provision of pharmacy care here in Ontario? Additionally, I think even the current college practice of posting members’ degree credentials and year of conferral is unnecessary and an invasion of privacy. Again, either a member is fit to practice or not. Assessing the validity of a member’s qualifying education is the responsibility of the COLLEGE not the public. Of what relevance is the institution location or year of graduation to the public? This information should be up to the individual member to disclose.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I Agree with one of the comment posted: "There is a fine line between "transparency" and protecting privacy. We must take care to ensure that information about members that is post is actually relevant to protecting the public and not tabloid information". I believe strongly that College has all the resources to investigate Pharmacist weather he/she is fit to practice for the interest of the patient why these changes to become another tabloid.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I think that we are the only college that doesn’t stand by their members! If anybody that reviewed those by laws is a pharmacist wouldn’t think that as transparency. At the end of the day we work in patient’s service and if somebody complains unrealistically, as a pharmacist I shouldn’t be punished for it.It is also a huge invading of our privacy. If after investigation a pharmacist is found guilty in any sort of dispute, then the public has the right to know.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I strongly disagree with these new regulations. The private life invasion of a pharmacist is no good to the public. All the patients want from a pharmacist, is the service we provide. Unless there is a finding on a member after thorough investigation, the public shouldn’t know about that. It is not a matter of transparency, that is exposing our lives!

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I oppose to this by law. I am concerned about privacy issues that has no added value to the practice of pharmacy for me and generation of pharmacists to come.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    Greetings. The college of pharmacists, as a regulatory body, should not engage in hearsay. Disclosing members who are under investigation only for the sake of being under investigation falls short of protecting any individual (public, pharmacy technician or pharmacist). If this particular amendment is passed, not a few scandals may result – the untrue accusations should not carry the same weight as the true one. And since the truth of an accusation is not reached nor found out until a full investigation is conducted, the release of any information prior to that time is premature and should not be done. Also, cautions by ICRC should not be made public. The distinction and differentiation between internal and external cautions in relation to discipline should be established. Cautions are in-house disciplines that relate to the governing body and their members – no body else. Therefore, cautions should not be disclosed.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    I think caution should be exercised with some of the wording of the amendments. 11.4.13.1 "the Registrar believes that they are relevant to the member’s suitability to practise" The above statement is a very much a gray zone, since what may be relevant today, may not be relevant tomorrow or vice-versa. I think strict criteria should be determined on what is relevant and what is not, since the relevancy may be determined on the registrar’s biases at that time. 11.4.20.1 I would like to see this statement changed to a member being found guilty. An investigation made public, automatically makes the member guilty in the eyes of the public. This would have long-term ramifications on the member’s reputation as well as the reputation of their business, especially if the member is innocent. Unfortunately fewer people are likely to read the full details or even the notation nowadays. Transparency is very important, but should we do it at a risk of compromising an innocent member’s livelihood? I don’t think we should forget the old adage, ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    Transparency of relative facts with respect to public safety is always of the upmost importance. i.e. The disclosed facts must protect the public as it pertains to their healthcare and therefore their trust in the practise of Pharmacy .

  • Other - POSTED February 9, 2015

    My concern would be for a pharmacist who may be a victim of false complaints and hopefully, these types of situations are rare and would be weeded out through inquiries by the College before having to proceed to a hearing. Publicly posting the hearing may tarnish the reputation of a good member even if the final results are favourable for the accused. Adequate measures should be in place to prevent these potential cases which can ruin the reputation of an accused through public posting of hearings when they are not guilty. Should there be a mandatory retraction or apology somehow posted for the victims of false accusation?

  • Other - POSTED February 10, 2015

    I do not agree I feel like the proposed changes are an invasion of privacy not all the complains are valid and I do not see any benefit for the patients or protecting the public plus some people can abuse it.

  • Other - POSTED February 10, 2015

    I believe the proposed changes can lead to an invasion of the members privacy . I believe the level of information and details that are currently provided about members and available to the public is more than sufficient . The proposed changes will all for a grey area that would allow for a potential intrusion into the membr’s personal lives even if it not likely to impact patient care .

  • Other - POSTED February 10, 2015

    I don’t agree with the proposed regulations. It is invasion of privacy and personal life and it is not relevant to protecting the public. Legal proceedings takes long time and can be cleared or resolved after years, during that time the member will be labeled as convicted. This will affect the Patient-Pharmacist relationship and the credibility of Pharmacists. I believe only Final court decisions and charges should be posted and only if "Relevant" to public interest. keeping in mind that "Relevant" is a broad term.

  • Other - POSTED February 11, 2015

    The Ontario Pharmacists Association (‘OPA’ , or the ‘Association’ ) appreciates the opportunity to provide its comments and recommendations to the proposed amendments to the Ontario College of Pharmacists’ (‘OCP’ , or the ‘College’ ) By-law No. 3 (Phase 2) relating to information that is posted on the public register. OPA recognizes the need for certain changes to be made for inclusion of information on the public register, but urges careful consideration, particularly in the application of discretion, in the pursuit of transparency. Read the rest of [OPA’s submission here.](/library/consultations/download/opa%20response_consultation2.pdf)