Pharmacy Technician Registration Information

Technician Regulation Process

Important Links

Important Upcoming Dates

April 1 & 2, 2017 Winter 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Qualifying Exam – Registration Deadline Passed
April 6, 2017 Deadline to Register for the Spring 2017 semester of the Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program
April 10, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
April 23, 2017 Spring 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Evaluating Exam – FINAL NL SITTINGRegistration Deadline Passed
April 24, 2017 Spring 2017 semester of the Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program begins
June 9, 2017 Deadline to Register for the Summer 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Qualifying Exam
June 12, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
August 7, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
September 9 & 10, 2017 Summer 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Qualifying Exam
October 16, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
December 11, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
December 31, 2017 REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR BRIDGING CANDIDATES

Frequently-Asked Questions About Pharmacy Technician Regulation

  • Do I have to become a registered pharmacy technician?

    The NL Pharmacy Board does not require that all “technicians” (i.e. pharmacy assistants) currently in the workforce become registered as a pharmacy technician; 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 does it mean when it says the Transition Path is only in effect until December 31, 2017?

    Under the Pharmacy Act, 2012, one of the requirements for registration as a pharmacy technician is graduation from a pharmacy technician education program accredited by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP). However, a clause was included in the act that allows the Board to accept an application for registration from a candidate who has not completed such a program if they have completed an approved pharmacy technician bridging education program AND applies for registration prior to December 31, 2017. After this date, the NL Pharmacy Board will no longer be able to make this exception and candidates who wish to be registered as a pharmacy technician will have to have completed a CCAPP-accredited pharmacy technician education program.

  • 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 serve a minimum of 8 weeks;
    • Candidates registering through the transition (bridging) path may complete the requirements over a shorter time period, usually 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 will a registered pharmacy technician be able to do, exactly?

    The primary new responsibility is performing the “technical check” on any given prescription. In general terms, this means:

    • PHARMACISTS remain accountable and responsible for the therapeutic/clinical appropriateness of all new and refill prescriptions and all therapeutic consultation.
    • TECHNICIANS can be accountable and responsible for the technical aspects of both new and refill prescriptions, (i.e. the correct patient, drug dosage form/route, dose, doctor)

    So using an example, once a pharmacist has assessed the patient and authorized that drug ‘x’ is the appropriate medication to take, and counselled the patient on how to take it, the pharmacy technician can ensure that the bottle contains 100 tablets of drug ‘x’, and that the information on the label including: name of patient, prescriber, drug and directions are correct, as per the prescription.
    Beyond this, regulated pharmacy technician may also:

    • Receive and transcribe verbal prescriptions from authorized prescribers
    • Transfer prescriptions to and receive prescriptions from other pharmacies
    • Provide information and educate patients, as long as the information is not clinical in nature (for example – could demonstrate the use of an EpiPen or Aerochamber as a device, but not discuss the effects of the drug specifically)

    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”) are really the “gold standard” for technician practice.

  • 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 described in the previous answer, 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, 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.

    Stay Informed

    If you are interested in receiving email updates on Pharmacy Technician regulation, please email your full name, email address, and workplace (if applicable) to inforx@nlpb.ca.

©2017 Newfoundland & Labrador Pharmacy Board