Pharmacy Technician Registration Information

Important Links

Important Upcoming Dates

August 7, 2017 NLPB Registration Exam Sitting
September 9 & 10, 2017 Summer 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Qualifying Exam – Registration Deadline Passed
October 14, 2017 Fall 2017 sitting of the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada Evaluating Exam – Registration Deadline Passed
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.

  • Will any exceptions to the December 31, 2017 deadline be considered?

    Applicants who find themselves in a position of not being able to complete the full process by December 31, 2017 may be able to appeal to the Board for a limited extension ONLY IF they have:

    • completed the four Bridging courses;
    • completed the PEBC Evaluating Examination (or equivalent); and
    • completed or are currently completing the NLPB practical training program

    The purpose of the special appeal is to ensure that candidates who are acting in good faith to complete the Pharmacy Technician registration process are not penalized due to circumstances that are out of their control. It is important to note that meeting the criteria outlined above does not necessarily mean the appeal will be granted. Candidates will need to demonstrate that they qualify for special consideration because of these circumstances.

    The Pharmacy Technician Appeal Committee has defined the following appeal application and decision process:

    • Candidates will apply for the appeal using a standardized form (currently under development). This form will include a section where the applicant will declare that they have met the mandatory appeal criteria as well as space to describe the circumstances that led to them not being able to complete the full process by the deadline.
    • NLPB office staff will review the applications for completeness and follow up with candidates if additional information is needed. Applications will also be de-identified at this time.
    • The Pharmacy Technician Appeal Committee will meet to review the applications. Consideration will be given to candidates who, in addition to meeting the above criteria, have demonstrated they were acting in good faith to meet the deadline.
    • The Committee’s recommendations will be presented to the NLPB Board for their decision. It is anticipated that the appeal decisions will be finalized in early 2018.

    The Pharmacy Technician Appeal Committee will meet again before the end of the summer to finalize the details of the appeal process including approving the application form and timelines. More information will be shared on this process in September.

  • 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 8-12 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 (Please Note: such documentation 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:

    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 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. 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.

    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