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Administering drugs by injection

Note during COVID-19 pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting physical distancing requirements, we have learned that in-person courses previously available to recertify for First Aid and CPR are being cancelled. As a result of these cancellations, some providers are extending certification expiry dates.

If your certification is expiring soon, please confirm with your CPR and First Aid provider (some listed below) whether your existing certification has been extended and look at timelines for future in-person training. If your provider has offered an extension, please retain written proof of the extension.  Proof can be demonstrated through

  • printed guidance from a provider’s website (a screenshot is acceptable);
  • email correspondence from a provider or instructor; or
  • reissued certificate with new expiry date.

As a reminder, written proof of extension may be requested by ACP during the audit of professional declarations for the 2019-2020 registration year.

Some common CPR and First Aid providers include

Note that all ACP requirements for renewing your authorization to administer drugs by injection and obtaining your authorization to administer drugs by injection remain the same.

If your CPR and First Aid certification is expired and you are unable to obtain written proof that your certification has been extended, you should not provide drugs by injection. Once you complete your CPR and First Aid recertification, you may begin to administer drugs by injection again.


What are the prerequisites for obtaining authorization to administer drugs by injection?

1. Be registered on the ACP clinical pharmacist register

2. Demonstrate training

  • Successfully complete a CCCEP Competency-Mapped Accredited Immunization and Injection program OR
  • Successfully complete courses/training as part of a faculty of pharmacy curriculum OR
  • Hold authorization to administer drugs by injection in another Canadian jurisdiction

In Alberta, approved programs include the following:

  • Pear Healthcare Solutions Inc., Injectable Medication and Vaccine Administration Training Program for Pharmacists (includes London Drugs and Rexall programs)

3. Provide proof of current and valid CPR (at minimum, Level C)

  • Your certificate must be at minimum for Level C CPR.
  • You must attend the course in  person - online courses are not acceptable.
  • The course must be offered and taken in Canada.

Examples of accepted courses include St. John’s, Red Cross, and Heart and Stroke Foundation (Healthcare and Basic Life Support).

4. Provide proof of current and valid First Aid certification

  • You must attend the course in  person - online courses are not acceptable.
  • The course must be offered and taken in Canada.

Standard or Emergency First Aid is acceptable. If you have any questions about fulfilling this requirement, please contact us at competence@abpharmacy.ca.


Application details and deadlines

Alberta pharmacists must apply for the authorization within one year of having successfully completed both the education and practical training portions of an ACP approved or a CCCEP Competency-Mapped Accredited Immunization and Injection program.

Authorization to administer drugs by injection granted in other Canadian jurisdictions

This is recognized in Alberta providing applicants submit an application for this authorization and meet the requirements as outlined on the application form.

Pharmacists transferring under the Mobility Agreement for Canadian Pharmacists (MACP) must apply for the authorization before their authorization expires in the province they are transferring from.

Courses/training provided as part of a faculty of pharmacy curriculum

This training is recognized provided an applicant applies for the authorization to administer drugs by injection within six months of graduation and meets the requirements outlined on the application form.


How do I apply for authorization to administer drugs by injection?

Complete the application form and fax it, along with the required supporting documentation,  to ACP at 780-990-0328.


What happens after I apply?

If authorization is approved, ACP will mail you a practice permit displaying your authorization to administer drugs by injection. You may not engage in the restricted activity of administering drugs by injection until your application has been approved by ACP.


How do I renew my authorization to administer drugs by injection?

Pharmacists who have been authorized to administer drugs by injection are required to complete a professional declaration annually as part of their registration renewal indicating that they

  • have and will maintain valid CPR  (minimum level C) and First Aid certification (Standard 1.18);
  • have administered an injection within the past three years; and
  • have, within the past 12 months, reviewed the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (Standards 7, 16, and 17) and have in place the required policies and procedures for handling emergencies. 

Pharmacists who are unable to sign the professional declaration will have their authorization to administer injections cancelled. Pharmacists must re-qualify for the authorization to administer drugs by injection by completing an accredited training program and reapplying for the authorization.