The College ensures that the practice of pharmacy meets or exceeds the standards set out to protect the public through its Practice Review Program, continuing education requirements and complaints process.
Practice Review Program
The Practice Review Program is an in-person review of a pharmacy professional’s practice and the pharmacy where they work. The program aims to protect public safety by improving compliance with College Bylaws and Professional Practice Policies and ensuring consistent delivery of pharmacy services across BC.
When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a public health emergency in March 2020, scheduled reviews were cancelled and open reviews with outstanding action items were postponed until July 2020. The College will not resume onsite Pharmacy Professionals Reviews until BC reaches the last phase of its Restart Plan, which is conditional on wide vaccinations, along with low case counts and low COVID-19 hospitalizations. Until then, Pharmacy Professionals Reviews will be conducted virtually.
The College began to conduct virtual reviews in October 2020 and has since conducted over 480 Pharmacy Professionals Reviews using the new virtual review model. By launching a new virtual review model as part of the Practice Review Program, the College has been able to continue to protect public safety through this important quality assurance process, while mitigating COVID-19 transmission risk, given the significant travel requirements associated with onsite reviews.
Under the Practice Review Program, every pharmacy and pharmacy professional in BC will be reviewed to ensure they meet College standards. The Program’s multi-year time frame allows for all pharmacies and pharmacy professionals currently practising in BC to be reviewed on a cyclical basis.
The Practice Review Program is split into two components: the Pharmacy Review and the Pharmacy Professionals Review. Both components are based entirely on College Bylaws and Professional Practice Policies.
The Pharmacy Review process is built upon the College's previous inspection process and focuses on the legislated physical requirements of a pharmacy and the responsibilities of a pharmacy manager. Community pharmacies are evaluated on 12 mandatory and four non-mandatory categories for sites that provide sterile compounding, residential care, opioid agonist treatment, and/or injectable opioid agonist treatment. Hospital pharmacies are evaluated on 12 mandatory categories and five non-mandatory categories for sites that provide sterile compounding, non-sterile compounding, residential care, bulk repackaging and ambulatory services. Notably, the residential care services review in both hospital and community settings was a new component added to the non-mandatory categories in April 2019.
The Pharmacy Professionals Review is grounded in Board-approved focus areas that were identified as having the most impact on patient safety. The focus areas differ between pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
Focus areas for pharmacists in community or hospital practice:
- Patient Identification Verification
- Profile Check
Focus areas for pharmacy technicians in community and hospital practice:
- Patient Identification Verification
- Product Distribution
Practice Review Program Statistics 2020/21
|Type of Review||Phase||Pharmacy||Pharmacy Professionals||Pharmacists||Pharmacy Technicians|
PDAP Exemptions for CE Submissions During COVID-19
In response to the increasing demands on BC’s pharmacies and pharmacy professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic, PDAP exemptions were granted for registrant renewals between March 2020 and February 2021; as well as to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who wished to be reinstated after being non-practicing and/or former status for less than 90 days.
The College ensures pharmacy professionals meet the continuing education requirements through the Professional Development and Assessment Program (PDAP), which requires that each pharmacy professional must complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education each year, including a minimum of 5 hours of accredited learning. However, the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC and around the world resulted in the cancellation of a number of in-person CE courses and programs.
As of March 2021, all registrants are once again required to complete their PDAP requirements prior to their registration renewal deadline.
PRP Insights and Related Articles
Trends in observations made by Compliance Officers during practice reviews also drive the regular PRP publication called PRP Insights. PRP Insights articles are articles written and available through ReadLinks on the College's website that address areas identified by the PRP review process The publication of articles plays a key role in maintaining patient safety by raising awareness, educating, and clarifying issues for pharmacy professionals in order to improve compliance in their practice. The Practice Review Program published the following PRP Insights articles in 2020/2021:
- PRP Insights: Hospital Pharmacy Practice Review – Responding to Registrant Feedback (July 28, 2020)
- PRP Insights: Residential Care – Part 2 (August 26, 2020)
- PRP Insights: Electronic Signatures Clarified (October 14, 2020)
- PRP Insights: Addressing Gaps in the Provision of Patient Counselling in Community and Hospital Settings (January 05, 2021)
- PRP Insights: Entering Schedule II, III and Unscheduled Drugs on a Patient’s Record (January 05, 2021)