All pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in British Columbia must register with the College in order to practise in the province. In addition, all pharmacies in the province must acquire a licence from the College in order to operate.
The College registration process ensures that pharmacy professionals meet the ‘entry to practice’ standards and possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to be able to provide safe pharmacy care. Registrants must also meet annual professional development and continuing education requirements to demonstrate ongoing competence in professional practice.
The College is responsible for maintaining a register which lists all the registered pharmacy professionals and licensed pharmacies in BC, and makes information related to limits, conditions, suspensions or cancellations of a registrant or pharmacy publicly available on the College website.
Registrants must also complete a criminal record check and carry professional liability insurance as a requirement of their registration.
New Continuing Education Requirements for Accredited Learning Hours
College registrants must now include a minimum amount of accredited learning hours every year to maintain registration. The decision, which was approved by the College Board in November 2015, requires registrants at a minimum to submit 5 accredited hours of their 15 total learning hours. Registrants were given one year to transition to the new continuing education requirements which is tied to their individual registration renewal date (e.g. registrants with a February 2016 start date have until January 31, 2017 to submit a minimum of 5 hours of accredited learning).
New Requirements for Pharmacy Ownership Coming Soon
In May 2016, the Provincial Government approved amendments to the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act. These changes permit the College to know the identity of all pharmacy owners, to determine their suitability for pharmacy ownership, and to hold them accountable for providing safe and effective care by ensuring their pharmacies are compliant with legislative requirements for pharmacies in BC.
The College is currently drafting amendments to Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act Bylaws and forms to incorporate the new pharmacy ownership requirements.
The new requirements are planned to come into effect on March 1, 2018.
To learn more about the new requirements for pharmacy ownership, visit bcpharmacists.org/ownership.