Request for Expression of Interest to Serve on NLPB Quality Assurance Committee

The Quality Assurance Committee is a new committee of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board whose role is to investigate concerns that arise about the professional practice of pharmacists or pharmacy technicians. In fulfilling its role, the committee may:

  • Conduct investigations when concerns arise, in accordance with the duties of the committee set out in the Pharmacy Act, 2012;
  • Appoint assessors to assist in investigations when necessary;
  • Review findings of investigations; and
  • Resolve concerns with registrants, including referring matters on to the Complaints Authorization Committee when possible professional misconduct is discovered.

The Board is seeking at least one community pharmacist, one hospital pharmacist, and one pharmacy technician to serve on this committee. For more information, please contact the NLPB office to obtain a copy of the Quality Assurance Committee Terms of Reference.

If you are interested in being a member of this committee, please submit your name, contact information, a brief bio (including any experience you may have in quality assurance/improvement), and a few lines about why you are interested in being part of the committee by June 30, 2017. Thank you in advance for your interest in serving your profession.

Professional Development Sources for Pharmacy Technicians

The Board office has received a number of questions from pharmacy technicians over the past few months with regard to how the professional development standards apply to them and how/where they can access appropriate professional development programming. The following information is provided as general information. If you have questions specific to your circumstances, please feel free to contact us at any time.

With regard to accredited learning, there are a number of technician‐specific offerings to consider:

Additionally, registrants can claim 15 credits upon successful completion of Parts I and II of the PEBC Qualifying Exam or 5 credits upon successful completion of Part II only. PLEASE NOTE that these exams must have been completed within the Professional Development year you are documenting.

Finally, while the Standards state that a minimum of 7.5 credits must be from accredited sources – the rest can be from self-directed learning. This can include service as a preceptor, acting as an OSPE or OSCE assessor, completing first aid and CPR courses or “Miscellaneous professional activities from which the registrant derives educational benefit”. Pharmacy technicians may have the opportunity to complete other programs throughout the year from which educational benefit is derived but which are not formally accredited. You would self‐assign credits at 1 credit per hour of learning and retain proof of participation in accordance with the Standards in your portfolio in case of audit. Please check the Standards of Practice – Professional Development for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians for examples of what constitutes valid sources of learning and what would not be considered appropriate.

Don’t forget all registrants are required to document their learning in the NLPB online Registrant Portal which can be accessed through the “Registrant Login” on the NLPB website homepage and also retain Supporting Documentation for each program completed.

Notice to Physicians and Pharmacists: Requirements when prescribing and dispensing buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®)

Recently, the College of Physicians and Surgeons NL (CPSNL) and NLPB have received an increased number of questions from physicians and pharmacists regarding requirements when prescribing and dispensing buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®).

For clarification, physicians who prescribe buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®) must have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and judgement to do so. At the present time, the CPSNL has a Standard of Practice which states that physicians:

  • Complete an educational program on the prescribing of buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®), such as the online Suboxone® Education Program available at; and
  • Complete the CAMH Opioid Dependence Core Course.
  • As previously communicated, pharmacists must also meet defined education requirements outlined in Section 3 of the NLPB Standards for the Safe and Effective Provision of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence [Insert link] and be authorized by NLPB to dispense medications for opioid dependence treatment, including buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone®).

    CPSNL encourages physicians to contact pharmacists prior to sending the patient to the pharmacy with a prescription to determine if the pharmacy is able to dispense buprenorphine-naloxone and is accepting new patients. In cases where this does not occur, pharmacists should initiate a discussion with the prescriber upon receiving a prescription for opioid dependence treatment for a new patient. This is an opportunity for physicians and pharmacists to discuss relevant clinical information and the patient’s care plan, and to agree on an ongoing communication plan, particularly for emergency situations. Collaboration and regular communication between opioid dependence treatment prescribers and pharmacists reduces confusion and frustration among patients and care providers, increases patient safety and positive patient outcomes, and leads to a more positive experience for everyone involved.

    The CPSNL has also prepared and circulated a similar “Notice to College Members”.

Returning to Work

Registrants are reminded that they are personally responsible for ensuring they are fully registered before returning to work after a leave of absence, including maternity or parental leave. This renewal should be initiated at least two weeks before the planned return to work date to allow for application processing.

To renew, the registrant must:

  • Record a minimum of 15 continuing education units (CEUs) in the online Professional Development Learning Portfolio Record
  • Ensure they have professional liability insurance coverage in accordance with the NLPB’s Professional Liability Insurance Requirements for Registration
  • For pharmacists only: have current membership in the Pharmacists’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PANL) as required by section 21(3)(a) of the Pharmacy Act, 2012
  • Renew their registration online at and pay the appropriate fee
  • Once all of these requirements are met, a registration certificate (“licence”) will be sent to the registrant’s personal email address on file.

    Please Note: pharmacists-in-charge are responsible for verifying that pharmacy staff members have completed these steps and have been issued a new licence before beginning their first shift in the pharmacy, as required by section 12.(f) of the Pharmacy Regulations.
    Please contact Aileen O’Keefe, Registration and Licensing Administrator at or 709-753-5877(extension 201) for further information.

Patient Consultation Area Requirements

Section 1.3 e) of the Standards of Pharmacy Operation- Community Pharmacy, requires that: “The pharmacy must have a designated area for patient consultation that ensures visual and acoustical privacy and confidentiality and that is clean, safe, and comfortably furnished for the patient”. Recent practice site assessments have revealed that while some pharmacists-in-charge have declared that they have a private patient consultation area, there is actually no space within the pharmacy that is designated primarily for such purposes. In order for the requirements of the SOPO-Community to be met, the room or area must be available at all times for private consultations and must be appropriately furnished for provision of patient care.

This e-newsletter contains information on a wide variety of topics intended to enhance the practice of pharmacy in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. As it is published and circulated to all registrants on a monthly basis, it is the expectation of the NLPB that all registrants are aware of the matters contained therein.

©2017 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board