Latest Update January 18, 2023
The College is extending access to existing emergency assignment (EA) registration certificate holders until March 23, 2023, and continues to accept new applications for EA registration for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians.
The decision acknowledges that there is sustained demand and pressure on the pharmacy workforce due to the pandemic, particularly as pharmacy teams support the province’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts and the annual influenza vaccination program. Pharmacy professionals are also involved in the distribution of COVID-19 treatments and are being redeployed to other areas such as public health and mass vaccination clinics. The pressures on the workforce are in addition to continuing to provide the public with access to other pharmacy services across the province. Although the College anticipates the need for EA registration to diminish in the near future, the College will continue to monitor the situation to determine any future extensions to EA registration beyond the current expiry date.
EA registrants pursuing full registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in Ontario are encouraged to move forward with their remaining registration requirements, including the Jurisprudence, Ethics and Professionalism exam, Practice Assessment of Competence at Entry (PACE) for pharmacist applicants, and Structured Practical Training (SPT) for pharmacy technician applicants.
This page provides information about the registration requirements, registration process and practice for emergency assignment registrants.
How Emergency Assignment Registration works
In the event of an emergency situation that the Government of Ontario believes will require increased availability of pharmacy professionals able to practise to full scope in order to maintain sufficient access to pharmacy services for the public, the Government may request that the College issue emergency assignment certificates of registration for pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians. General Regulation 202/94 under the Pharmacy Act, 1991 allows the Registrar to issue these emergency assignment certificates of registration.
Activation of Emergency Assignment Certificates of Registration
Certificates of registration for pharmacists (emergency assignment or “EA”) and pharmacy technicians (emergency assignment or “EA”) will only be valid if:
- The Government of Ontario has requested that the College issue these certificates of registration, and
- The Registrar has issued these certificates.
A certificate of registration as a pharmacist (EA) or pharmacy technician (EA) expires in 60 days.
The Registrar, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health, may extend EA certificates of registration if required for one or more periods of up to 60 days to ensure Ontarians have access to adequate numbers of qualified, skilled and competent regulated pharmacy professionals.
The Registrar may also revoke an EA certificate of registration. Revocation of an EA certificate will become effective immediately.
Once the Government and the Registrar have determined there is no longer a need for EA registration, every EA certificate of registration will expire 60 days after it was issued. No EA certificate will be extended, and no new EA certificates will be issued.
The pharmacist (EA) applicant must:
- Have met the education requirement to register as a pharmacist by having:
- Graduated from a Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) accredited pharmacy degree program within the two years prior to submitting their application; or
- Graduated from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited pharmacy degree program within the two years prior to submitting their application; or
- Graduated from a PEBC-recognized pharmacy degree program and successfully completed within the two years prior to submitting their application either:
- Parts 1 and 2 of the PEBC Qualifying Exam for Pharmacists on their first attempt of each, or
- The International Pharmacy Graduate Program (IPG Program);
- Currently be registered in good standing and practicing as a pharmacist in Canada or the United States of America,
- Have been registered in good standing and practiced as a pharmacist in Canada or the United States of America within the three years prior to submitting their application for an EA certificate of registration.
The pharmacy technician (EA) applicant must:
- Have met the education requirement to register as a pharmacy technician by having:
- Graduated from a CCAPP-accredited pharmacy education program within the two years prior to submitting their application; or
- Graduated from an ACPE-accredited pharmacy degree program within the two years prior to submitting their application; or
- Graduated from a PEBC-recognized pharmacy education program and successfully completed within the two years prior to submitting their application:
- Parts 1 and 2 of the PEBC Qualifying Exam for Pharmacy Technicians on their first attempt of each, or
- The International Pharmacy Graduates Program (IPG Program), or
- All required bridging education;
- Currently be registered in good standing and practicing as a pharmacy technician in Canada (except Quebec),
- Have been registered in good standing and practiced as a pharmacy technician in Canada (except Quebec) within the three years prior to submitting their application.
The pharmacist (EA) or pharmacy technician (EA) applicant must also meet the registration requirements for language proficiency and good character, and have Canadian citizenship or legal status in Canada and personal professional liability insurance.
The EA registrant may or may not have successfully completed the Jurisprudence, Ethics and Professionalism exam, the relevant Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s Qualifying Exam, or the College’s practice-based assessment of competence.
To apply for an EA certificate of registration, the applicant must submit the application provided below that is most relevant to them, and all required supporting documentation outlined on the application form.
- Pharmacist (Emergency Assignment) Application Form
- Pharmacy Technician (Emergency Assignment) Application Form
There are no fees for EA registration.
Expected application processing times for EA registration is currently 20 business days (may be longer due to peak processing periods or due to high volume of applications received).
Mandatory Reporting of Workplace(s) and Supervising Pharmacist(s)
Like all pharmacy practitioners, EA registrants must inform the College in writing of their workplace(s).
Since pharmacists (EA) and pharmacy technicians (EA) may not have successfully completed the Jurisprudence, Ethics and Professionalism exam, the relevant Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s Qualifying Exam or the College’s practice-based assessment of competence, their practice must be supervised by a pharmacist listed in Part A of the College’s Public Register. The College’s expectations for pharmacists supervising pharmacists (EA) or pharmacy technicians (EA) are outlined in this guideline document.
The pharmacist (EA) or pharmacy technician (EA) must report to the College using this form their intended workplace(s) and supervising pharmacist(s) before beginning to practise at the practice site. The EA registrant’s workplace information will be posted on the Public Register.
Scope of Practice
The pharmacist (EA) or pharmacy technician (EA) will be able to practise to the full scope of their certificate of registration. A pharmacist (EA) cannot be the Designated Manager of a pharmacy.
EA registrants who have the required injection training [and for pharmacists (EA) valid certification in CPR and First Aid] may administer the COVID-19 vaccine if they, have been engaged to do so by an organization or other entity that has an agreement with the Minister of Health, and may administer the influenza vaccine under the Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) to patients two years of age or older. EA registrants must register their injection training with the College on their EA registration application form or on this injection training reporting form for EA registrants. The Part A pharmacist supervising the EA registrant administering either of these injections must meet the expectations outlined in this guidance document, and does not have to be physically present.
If an EA registrant holds another certificate of registration (e.g., intern, Part B pharmacist), the terms, conditions and limitations of that other certificate shall not apply while the registrant has an EA certificate of registration.
While working in a pharmacy or any other environment where patient care is being provided, the EA registrant must clearly identify themselves as a pharmacist (emergency assignment) or pharmacy technician (emergency assignment).
Extending Emergency Assignment Certificates of Registration
If EA registration is extended, the College will notify every EA registrant whether or not their EA certificate of registration will be extended. The new certificate of registration expiry date will be noted on the list of EA registrants posted on the Public Register.
Like all pharmacy practitioners, EA registrants must:
- Maintain their personal professional liability insurance (PPLI) coverage
- Continue to be legally entitled to live in Canada and to work in a pharmacy in Ontario
- Inform the College in writing of any changes to their workplace(s), identity, address, contact information, and practice in other jurisdictions
- Report immediately to the College all instances of questionable conduct or behaviour.
If an EA registrant no longer has the required PPLI or work authorization, or no longer wishes to be registered as an EA registrant, they must notify the College in writing at email@example.com and cease practising.
EA registrants will not be eligible for an extension of their EA certificate of registration if:
- They have fully registered as a pharmacist or as a pharmacy technician
- They no longer have PPLI
- They are no longer entitled to work in Ontario
- The Registrar has revoked their EA certificate of registration
- In the opinion of the Registrar, there is evidence to suggest the EA registrant is not suitable for EA registration with the College.