History and Overview of the Regulation of Pharmacy Technicians

Why the College pursued regulation of pharmacy technicians

For some time, pharmacists had identified the desire to expand their services to include counselling and monitoring services for patients. In order to do so they needed additional assistance within the pharmacy. One viable solution, that the College supported, was the creation of a regulated pharmacy technician; someone who would have the training and responsibility for certain duties within the pharmacy and who could fulfill this role and be accountable to a regulatory body for their work.

College initiatives in the pursuit of regulation

To support pharmacists and enhance pharmacy services to the public, the College moved forward in two distinct yet related areas. The College created The Task Force on Optimizing the Pharmacist’s Role with a mandate to establish the standards necessary for an expanded role. To develop a regulated professional who can support the pharmacist in their expanded role, the College’s Pharmacy Technician Working Group began the work of identifying how a technician’s role could evolve into becoming a regulated position.

The initial work of the Pharmacy Technician Working Group was to establish a profile of a Regulated Pharmacy Technician and what that position would do to support pharmacy practice. Since then, two key documents are available through NAPRA:

In addition, the College approved a revised Code of Ethics, which applies to all registrants of the College, including pharmacy technicians once they become registrants.

The College continued to support a number of other initiatives that were necessary to prepare for the registration of pharmacy technicians. These included collaborative efforts with other stakeholders to support the development of National Education Outcomes for Pharmacy Technician Education Programs, an accreditation process for Pharmacy Technician Education Programs and an entry-to-practice examination for pharmacy technicians wishing to pursue registration with the College. Updates on these and other related regulation activities were regularly published in Pharmacy Connection and shared at District meetings and related conferences and workshops.

Legislative changes allow for regulation of pharmacy technicians

The Health Systems Improvement Act, 2007 (Bill 171) was passed by the Ontario Legislature on June 4, 2007. This Act amended the Regulated Health Professions Act, the Pharmacy Act and Drug and Pharmacy Regulation Act as well as many other health profession acts, and enabled the regulation of pharmacy technicians.

On December 3rd, 2010 the Government approved amendments to the College’s Registration Regulation (O. Reg 451/94) which marked the final legislative change needed to allow the regulation of pharmacy technicians to take effect in Ontario. As a result, Ontario became the first province in Canada with registered pharmacy technicians.