Please click the link below to bring you to the appropriate section:
- General Questions about Pharmacy Technician Registration
- Questions about Registration as a Pharmacy Student or Intern
- Questions about Initial Registration
- Questions about Annual Registration Renewal
- Questions about the NLPB Registration Exam
- Questions about the Online Registrant Portal
- Questions about Returning to Work After a Leave of Absence
General Questions about Pharmacy Technician Registration
- Do I have to become a registered pharmacy technician?
The NL Pharmacy Board does not require that all pharmacy support staff become registered pharmacy technicians; however, some employers may determine that this is the most appropriate path for their organization and require that some or all of their staff become registered. Regardless, the title of “pharmacy technician” is restricted under the Pharmacy Act, 2012 and therefore, those who choose not to register with the Board, or are unsuccessful in the process, will no longer be able to refer to themselves as pharmacy technicians and will have to use another title such as “pharmacy assistant”.
- What is the practical training program?
The Pharmacy Technician Practical Training Program is a period of time served under the supervision of an approved preceptor:
- CCAPP-accredited program graduates must complete a minimum of 280 hours, in addition to any experiential training completed as part of an accredited pharmacy technician education program
- Bridging candidates are expected to complete a variety of activities over an undetermined period of time, generally 4-12 weeks
During this period, the candidate will complete a variety of activities designed to evaluate his or her ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned during the pharmacy technician education program or bridging program in a real world setting. These activities fall within the registered pharmacy technician’s scope of practice and are based on competencies set forth in the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice (2014). A manual outlining the activities to be completed and documented by the candidate and preceptor will be provided prior to the start of the training period. These activities include:
- receiving verbal orders from physicians or other prescribers;
- sending and receiving prescription transfers to/from other pharmacies;
- demonstrating effective problem-solving and communication skills; and
- effectively performing the final check of a prescription
Once the required period of time has been served and the activities in the manual are completed to the preceptor’s satisfaction, he or she will complete an evaluation of the candidate’s performance and submit it to the NLPB.
- What is the scope of practice for a registered pharmacy technician?
In the Spring 2017 edition of the NLPB newsletter, The Apothecary (http://www.nlpb.ca/media/Apothecary-Spring2017.pdf), the following table was published (to enlarge, right click on image and select “open image in new window”):
For more information, please view the NAPRA Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice and Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians (both linked above under “Important Links”). These are really the “gold standard” for technician practice in Canada.
- Will it be possible for a prescription (new or refill) to be released to a patient without a pharmacist involved in the process?
No. As discussed above, Pharmacists will continue to be involved in every new and refill prescription as they remain solely responsible for assessing the therapeutic/clinical appropriateness of drug therapy (patient assessment, confirm dose and interval, check patient profile, and identify drug interactions) and for providing patient consultation. A prescription cannot be released to a patient without a pharmacist having performed these cognitive functions.
- If I am working in a pharmacy as a registered pharmacy technician and I make an error, will I be held responsible?
Yes, pharmacy technicians registered under the Pharmacy Act, 2012 and its associated regulations are granted a scope of practice which allows them to have independent authority and responsibility. Along with that comes responsibility for their actions.
- Is liability insurance required?
Yes, in accordance with legislation, all registrants are required to carry professional liability insurance that meets the requirements set out by the Board in the Interpretation Guide – Professional Liability Insurance Requirements for Registration, posted under Resources on the Registration & Authorization Information page of the website.
- Will pharmacy technicians be required to participate in Professional Development?
Yes, documentation of Professional Development is a requirement for registration renewal each year (this is not required for initial registration). As registrants of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board, pharmacy technicians are required by legislation, just as pharmacists are, to participate in Professional Development in accordance with the NLPB Standards of Practice – Professional Development for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, posted on the Standards, Guidelines and Policies page of the website.
With regard to accredited learning, there are a number of technician‐specific offerings to consider:
- The annual NLPB Symposium includes an educational component and is open to all registrants, including pharmacy technicians.
- Canadian Healthcare Network have a series of programs specific to pharmacy technicians. In particular, Tech Talk for Technicians has great content and is an excellent source of learning.
- The Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) has annual National and NL Conferences that are an excellent source of professional development specifically tailored to pharmacy technicians.
- Pharmacy technicians who have been registered for a minimum of one year can take a preceptor training program and become authorized to serve as a preceptor to pharmacy technician candidates.
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 – for example, exams written in 2017 can be documented for renewal of registration for 2018.)
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 view the Standards 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. Once registered with the Board, you will be given login credentials to access the portal through the “Registrant Login” on the NLPB website homepage. Please remember to also retain your Supporting Documentation for each program completed, in case of audit.
Questions about Pharmacy Student and Intern Registration
- I am a pharmacy student. Do I need to register with the Board?
Yes, the Pharmacy Act, 2012 requires pharmacy students to register with the NL Pharmacy Board.
The complete list of currently registered students and interns is available for public view online at http://nlpb.in1touch.org/client/roster/clientRosterView.html?clientRosterId=218
- How do I register as a student?
The first time you register with the Board as a pharmacy student, you need to complete and submit the Application for Initial Registration as a Pharmacy Student, posted on the Authorization & Registration Information for Registrants page of the website, along with the required documentation.
In subsequent years, you can renew your registration by clicking Registrant Login at the top of the NLPB homepage and completing the registration renewal process online. The deadline for students to register, including payment of fees, is September 30 each year. The registration period is effective October 1 to September 30.
- How do I apply for practical training?
To apply for practical training, click Registrant Login at the top of the NLPB homepage and log in using the credentials you received when you registered with the Board. Under the InStep section, fill out the Application to Complete Practical Training. You will need to provide the name of your proposed preceptor and the dates for the planned practical training period. Once the request is submitted and approved, you will receive an email to confirm you may begin.
- Can I serve more than one summer with the same preceptor?
Yes, there is no restriction against serving more than one practical training period with one preceptor.
- Can I split my time between two preceptors?
Yes, as long as you serve a minimum of 140 hours with each preceptor.
- My preceptor is leaving the pharmacy. What do I do?
Contact the NLPB office as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Questions about Initial Registration
- What are the requirements to register?
For information on registering as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, please see the applicable section on the Authorization & Registration Information for Registrants page of the website.
- How long does it take to be registered after I submit my documentation?
As a guideline, it generally takes 2-5 business days for the application to be processed. You will receive an email with the certificate attached with your registration (licence) number once the application approval process is completed.
- What is an Initial Registration Fee?
At the time of initial registration, each registrant is subject to a one-time fee to cover the initial file set-up and review of all the required documentation.
- If I register part way through the year, do I pay the full annual fee?
Per the Schedule of Fees (available on the Authorization & Registration Information for Registrants page of the website), anyone registering on or after July 1st will be charged 50% of the annual fee.
Questions about Annual Registration Renewal
- What information do I need before starting my annual renewal?
Registrants will be asked to upload proof of professional liability insurance, in the form of a certificate of insurance obtained from their insurance provider. This document should bear the carrier name, policy number and expiry date for your policy. A user guide on how to upload the certificate can be found in the Library Section of your member homepage.
Please have this information handy before beginning the online renewal process, as once the renewal is started, it cannot be saved and resumed. Additionally, after two hours, for security reasons, the system will automatically log you out.
Once you have completed the renewal process, if you wish to print your receipt, click “View/Print Invoices” and select the paid invoice as proof of payment.
PLEASE NOTE: Pharmacists-in-Charge are responsible for verifying that all pharmacy staff members have completed these steps and have been issued a valid registration certificate before beginning their first shift in the pharmacy, as required by section 12. (f) of the Pharmacy Regulations.
- What is the deadline for annual registration renewal?
The annual deadline to renew registration, including the recording of all professional development activities and payment of fees, is November 30th of each year.
- What is the penalty for renewing after the November 30th deadline?
Per the NLPB Schedule of Fees, a late renewal will be charged an additional 50% of the annual fee.
- I have my professional development activities entered into the online system. What do I do now to submit my learning portfolio in order to renew my annual registration?
Nothing; once your learning activities are entered in the system, no further action is required. After 15 credits are entered, you may renew your registration by clicking on the “Renew Now” button on your member homepage. The button only appears after 15 credits have been logged into the system.
Questions about the NLPB Registration Exam
- What are the scheduled dates for the registration exam?
The NL Registration Exam is held six times a year. The dates are posted on the Authorization & Registration Information for Registrants page of the website.
In certain circumstances, a special sitting may be arranged for an alternate location, date or time. Please see the Registration Examination Interpretation Guide(also posted on the above page) or contact the NLPB office for more details.
- How do I register for the exam?
To be eligible to register for the registration exam, you must be either pre-registered with the NLPB or a MUN School of Pharmacy student in the final year of your pharmacy program.
The pre-registration application along with all required documentation should be received at the board office at least 7 days prior to the exam registration deadline in order to allow sufficient time for processing. After the pre-registration is processed and approved, you will be emailed a username and password to access the online NLPB registrant portal.
To register for a regular sitting, log in and click on the “Events” section of the registrant portal. Once you have successfully registered for the exam, you will receive a confirmation email with information about the exam.
To register for a special sitting, fill out the Application to Register for a Special Sitting of the Registration Exam form posted on the NLPB website. Once it is processed and approved, you will be sent a confirmation email with information about the exam.
- Since the exam is open-book, does the NLPB sell a printed copy of the material needed for the exam?
No, the NLPB does not provide printed material for purchase. The Registration Examination Interpretation Guide includes an Appendix that lists the applicable references that applicants should refer to when preparing for the exam and which they may bring with them into the exam, if they wish.
Questions about the Online Registrant Portal
- How do I get a username and password for this portal?
Once you have registered with the NLPB, you will receive an email with a username and password to log into the registrant portal using the Registrant Login at the top of the NLPB homepage. It is recommended that after you log in for the first time, you change the password to something you will more easily remember.
- I forgot my username and/or password. How do I recover it?
From the NLPB homepage, click “Registrant Login”. Under the Login box, click the message that says, “Forgot your password? Click here to restore it.”
On the next screen, enter your NLPB username if you know it, or the email address on your file and click “Retrieve”. In a few minutes you will receive an email with your username and password. Once you’re logged in to your profile you are able to change your password to something you will more easily remember, if desired.
- I am a Pharmacist-in-Charge. Why isn’t my login working?
Since you are both a registrant, and a pharmacist-in-charge, you have two unique logins – one for yourself as a pharmacist and one for the pharmacy profile. Please make sure you are using the appropriate login information. If you have forgotten your username or password, see the previous question.
- How do I update the information on my profile?
Once you are logged into the registrant portal, under “My Profile”, click “Edit my profile”, make any desired changes, scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save”.
- I am logged into my profile. Why am I unable to renew my annual registration?
Online annual renewal does not become available until around the third week of October. You will receive an email once this is enabled and you are able to renew your registration.
Additionally, 15 credits must be entered in your Learning Portfolio before the “Renew Now” button will appear on your profile.
- How do I print a receipt?
If for any reason you need a copy of a paid invoice, once you are logged into the registrant portal, click on “Renewal Other/Invoices” and then select either “view” or “print” for the invoice you wish to see or print.
Questions about Returning to Work After a Leave of Absence
- I have been on maternity/sick leave and am planning to return to work. What do I need to do to inform the board?
You are responsible for ensuring you are fully registered before returning to work after a leave of absence, including maternity or parental leave. For further details, see the Interpretation Guide Re-Registration Requirements, posted on the Authorization & Registration Information for Registrants page of the website.
About two weeks before you are planning to return to work, contact the NLPB office to start the renewal process and have your online profile re-activated.
Once your profile has been re-activated, you must ensure a minimum of 15 credits are recorded in your online Professional Development Learning Portfolio before you can proceed. Once this is completed, you will be able to renew your registration online following the usual processes. Once your registration is complete, a registration certificate (“licence”) will be sent to the email address on your profile.
Questions about Annual Pharmacy Licence Renewal
- How do I annually renew the Pharmacy Licence?
Pharmacists-in-Charge will be emailed with instructions on how to renew the pharmacy licence when online annual renewal becomes available each October. The deadline to renew the pharmacy licence is November 30th of each year.
PLEASE NOTE that the pharmacist-in-charge must have renewed their personal registration with the board before they can renew the pharmacy licence.
During the renewal process, pharmacists-in-charge will be asked to provide the current list of dispensary personnel and information on the ownership of the pharmacy. You are advised to have this information handy before starting the online renewal process, as once the renewal is started, it cannot be saved and resumed. Additionally, after two hours, for security reasons, the system will automatically log you out.
PLEASE NOTE: Pharmacists-in-charge are responsible for verifying that all pharmacy staff members have completed the renewal of their annual registration and have been issued a valid registration certificate before beginning their first shift in the pharmacy in the New Year, as required by section 12. (f) of the Pharmacy Regulations.
Questions about Lock and Leave
- When must a lock and leave enclosure be installed and utilized?
The Standards of Pharmacy Operation-Community Pharmacy state that “the dispensary must be able to be secured against entry by the public or other staff when a pharmacist or pharmacy technician is not present in the pharmacy” and “if the pharmacy is accessible to the public or other staff at any time when a pharmacist or pharmacy technician is not present (such as for cleaning, inventory, or overnight stocking), a lock and leave enclosure must be installed and utilized”.
- What area of the pharmacy must be secured by a lock and leave enclosure?
In general, it is the dispensary area of the pharmacy that must be secured by a physical lock and leave enclosure; however, in the context of the Standards, this includes any area of the pharmacy where patient information and prescription records are stored as well as all shelves, displays, fixtures or storage areas containing Schedule I or II drugs. Therefore, any stock rooms or storage areas outside the dispensary where Schedule I and II drugs are stored or where patient information and prescription records are kept must also be secured to prevent access by the public or non-registrant staff.
- Our pharmacy is an “open concept” design. Do I have to put a gate around the entire dispensary area?
For an open concept pharmacy design, there would appear to be no way of preventing access from the remainder of the premises without putting a gate around the entire dispensary area.
- The Standards of Pharmacy Operation-Community Pharmacy state that “the lock and leave enclosure should be constructed in such a way to physically and securely separate the dispensary from the rest of the pharmacy”, what would be an appropriate lock and leave enclosure?
The lock and leave enclosure must be a physical barrier that is secure. In general, the following guidelines can be applied in order to install an enclosure that meets NLPB expectations:
- a) a wall composed of transparent, semi-transparent or opaque materials, or any combination thereof, at least five feet high with adequate doors to permit complete security during periods of closure, and to permit full access by the public to the dispensary area when professional services are available; or
- b) a sliding or folding wall in accordance with the height and material specifications in (a) above, which will completely surround and secure dispensary area during the period of closure, and
- c) a lockable entrance to the Lock and Leave enclosure, which prevents access by the public, or non-registrant staff, when a pharmacist or pharmacy technician is not in attendance.
An Application for Lock & Leave Approval, that includes a description of the construction of the physical enclosure must be submitted by the pharmacist-in-charge and approved by NLPB prior to operating a pharmacy with a lock and leave enclosure. Any concerns and/or recommendations related to the proposed lock and leave structure will be communicated to the pharmacist-in-charge at that time so that they can be addressed in advance of construction.
- Does the lock and leave enclosure have to be utilized if I am on the premises but not in the dispensary?
The dispensary area and any area where patient information, prescription files, and Schedule I and II drugs are stored must be secured any time a pharmacist or pharmacy technician is not present, even if they are on the pharmacy premises (for example, during lunch or supper breaks or during extended patient consultations).
- Can I leave an assistant in the dispensary while the pharmacist is not there?
No, since assistants are not regulated and do not have their own independent scope of practice, they may only be present in the dispensary when they are being directly supervised by a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
- Can prescriptions that are ready for pick-up be given to patients when the pharmacist is not present?
As per the Standards of Pharmacy Operation-Community Pharmacy, previously-prepared prescriptions may be made available for pick-up when the lock and leave enclosure is secured, in accordance with the following:
- a) Such prescriptions must be stored in a secured area outside of the lock and leave enclosure that also takes into account any special storage considerations including breakage and refrigeration.
- b) The patient’s confidentiality must be protected at all times by ensuring the outer package containing only the patient’s name and address.
- c) Any patient (or designated agent) who picks up a prescription during these times must still be provided with proper and sufficient counseling by the pharmacist.
- d) A documented “paper trail” (either physical or electronic) of all prescriptions picked up, including patient or designated agent signatures must be retained in the pharmacy.
- I have to indicate the hours that a pharmacist will be present on the lock and leave application. Can I change those hours later?
Yes, you may change these hours at any time, as long as you communicate the change to the NLPB office by completing a revised application form.