First Aid Requirements for Pharmacy Professionals

COVID-19 Notice regarding extension for first aid certifications that will expire or have recently expired – April 3, 2020 (updated May 12, 2020)

The Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) directed all First Aid providers to suspend in-person courses temporarily. All certifications that expire after March 1, 2020 are automatically temporarily extended until September 30, 2020. If your course is not listed as a WSIB-approved first aid training provider (who may have subcontracted an independent third-party provider) please confirm with your specific provider directly.

St. John Ambulance has referred to WSIB’s expiry extension. Canadian Red Cross has indicated that any expired certificates (March through June 30, 2020) will be considered valid for 90 days beyond their expiry date and accepted for re-certification when in-person training resumes.

Pharmacists are also encouraged to explore online training options.

As a Standard of Practice

It is a requirement of the NAPRA Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacists for pharmacists who provide patient care to maintain valid certification in first aid and CPR, at a level equivalent to the St. John Ambulance or Canadian Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR/AED Level C.

As a self-regulated health professional, it is the responsibility of the individual pharmacist to determine the applicability of this standard to the nature of patient care being provided in the context of one’s specific working environment. Pharmacists should apply professional judgment to make this determination with the best interest, benefit, and safety of the patient considered first and foremost.

First Aid & CPR training is not a requirement of the NAPRA Models Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians.

As a Requirement for Administering Injections

It is a requirement of the College for pharmacists to have valid certification in first aid and CPR, at a level equivalent to the St. John Ambulance or Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR/AED Level C, prior to administering any substance by injection. It is also a requirement for administering publicly funded influenza vaccine in the context of the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP). These requirements also apply to a pharmacy student or intern practicing under the supervision of an injection-trained pharmacist.

To register your injection training with the College, you must acknowledge completion of the required First Aid & CPR training. This is a self-declaration and there is no requirement to submit documentation to the College. Pharmacy professionals should retain supporting documentation in a readily retrievable manner.

The College does not specify or endorse a particular First Aid & CPR course provider. It is the responsibility of the pharmacist to ensure the course taken is equivalent to the St. John Ambulance or the Red Cross Standard First Aid & CPR/AED (Level C) by consulting with the course provider directly. The course provider also stipulates the expiration date and recertification parameters. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario (WSIB) maintains a list of providers approved by the Board to deliver Standard First Aid.