Taking into consideration ACP’s changing operational needs and five-year strategic plan, Council has approved the college’s budget for 2022.
Operationally, resources required to support licensing of pharmacies have increased. This is a result of unanticipated rapid increases in the number of new pharmacies, and additional diligence that ACP has built into the licensing processes. It is important that we have confidence that a pharmacy has met all of ACP’s foundational requirements prior to issuing a licence.
We are continuing to build capacity in our professional practice department as we strive to support improvements in practice, especially relating to new standards and guidelines. Our professional practice team is heavily involved in performing pre-opening inspections for new pharmacies and inspecting existing pharmacies for compliance with both the sterile and non-sterile compounding standards, which came into full effect July 2021. These additional responsibilities have demonstrated a need for a larger professional practice team.
ACP has also experienced a significant increase in the number of issues of public concern brought to the complaints department, both from members of the public and from regulated members. These numbers have been trending upward since before the start of the pandemic and have highlighted the need for ACP to build our capacity to assess and resolve issues of public concern and formal complaints.
In addition to these daily operational considerations, Council approved strategic priorities for 2022 important to achieving the five-year strategic plan (see the latest edition of Full Scale for more). The priorities for 2022 include investments in the following:
- development and launch of a new information management system which will enable and support registrants and licensees to self-manage their registration and licensing requirements, support more effective business processes within ACP’s core programs, and better enable ACP to analyze and use data to make more informed decisions;
- changes to the Continuing Competence Program for both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, including the introduction of the Practice Improvement Program; and
- modernizing standards to be increasingly patient centred with more emphasis on assessment, the outputs of registrants, and the experiences of patients.
During the pandemic, ACP’s expenses have decreased due to deferral of events that normally take place, such as ACP Connect, leadership forums, and in-person Council meetings. Surpluses experienced during the pandemic will be re-invested into the initiatives outlined above. Despite this, Council is conscious that ACP can only remain relevant and sustainable if inflationary factors are accounted for. Therefore, based on inflationary estimates of the Conference Board of Canada for Edmonton, ACP’s fee schedule will increase by 2.5 per cent commencing January 1, 2022.
The approved budget will put ACP in the best position to meet the needs of our regulated members and the public and allow us to achieve our priorities for 2022 and beyond.