Published: November 2, 2023
The Ontario College of Pharmacists is committed to ensuring that Ontarians have access to information about their pharmacies and pharmacy professionals that is relevant, timely, useful and accurate, and improves their ability to make informed healthcare decisions. This commitment is consistent with transparency principles adopted by the College in 2014.
The College currently posts information on the public register as required under s. 23(2) of the Health Professions Procedure Code (“the Code”) and College by-laws. This information remains on the public register unless its removal is authorized pursuant to appropriate legislation.
This guiding framework governs requests by a registrant of the College under s.23(7) of the Code to remove information from the public register due to the information being obsolete and no longer relevant to the registrant’s suitability to practice. Specifically, the Code states:
“The Registrar may refuse to disclose to an individual or to post on the College’s website information that is available to the public under subsection (5), if the Registrar has reasonable grounds to believe that the information is obsolete and no longer relevant to the member’s suitability to practise.”
Requests related to s.23(11) of the Code are to be made to the applicable committee directly
Requests Related to Safety Concerns
Requests under s. 23(6) of the Code, where there is a concern that disclosure of information may jeopardize the safety of an individual, are a separate process and should be made via the Request for Removal of Information from the Public Register Due to Safety Concerns Application Form. Any questions about the process should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Factors for Decision-Making
As the Code does not define the meaning of information that is obsolete and no longer relevant to the registrant’s suitability to practice, the following factors may be considered in determining whether to accept or deny the request:
- Time since the posting. How recent is the information?
- Circumstances around the information. What is the seriousness of the information? Who was affected and what was the impact?
- Remediation. Has the registrant made changes to their practice as a result and/or engaged in additional training or education? Have they demonstrated responsibility for their previous actions? Have they indicated how they would prevent similar circumstances from happening again?
- Public protection. How does the information enhance public protection or safety? What is the risk to patients of not having access to it? Does it align with the College’s established transparency principles?
- Conduct. Has the registrant had additional outcomes or findings since the original information was posted? Is there a pattern of relevant behaviour?
This list of factors is non-exhaustive and further factors may be considered as relevant and appropriate. In all cases, the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest must be considered in each decision.
Retention of Information
Information that is removed from the public register under this policy still remains part of a registrant’s official record with OCP. The College may also disclose information in the circumstances specified under s. 36 of the Regulated Health Professions Act.
How to Make a Request for Removal of Information
Registrants should submit their request via the Request for Removal of Information Under s. 23(7) Application Form. Any questions about the process should be directed to email@example.com.
Requests for removal will not be considered by the College for one year following a previous unsuccessful application for removal of information.