Council held its final virtual meeting of 2020 on December 10 and 11. Following are some of the decisions and highlights from the meeting:
Priorities for 2021
ACP’s business in 2021 will be driven by changes in provincial health policy and ACP’s new strategic plan (watch for highlights in the Link in January). Some key initiatives in 2021 include the following:
- implementing a new governance structure, including on-boarding new public members, orientation, and board development;
- completing implementation of the Standards for Compounding Non-Hazardous and Hazardous Sterile Preparations, and Standards for Pharmacy Compounding of Non-Sterile Preparations;
- initiating a plan to restructure and redevelop the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians and the Standards for Operating Licensed Pharmacies;
- developing an International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) bridging program in partnership with the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences;
- implementing changes resulting from amendments to the Health Professions Act; and
- continuing development, data migration, integration, and testing of ACP’s new information management system (target 90 per cent completion in 2021).
Council approved the budget for 2021 after considering the proposed business plan and financial estimates for 2022-23. The fee schedule for 2021 was approved, coming into effect January 1, 2021. Council is pleased to have again kept pharmacist and pharmacy technician annual permit fees at levels below the average and median of other provinces and territories in Canada.
New terms of reference for the nominating committee of Council were approved to accommodate new responsibilities reflected in the bylaw amendments. A new committee will take on new responsibilities on February 1, 2021.
Developing a modern and relevant practice framework
One of Council’s five-year goals is to develop a modern and relevant practice framework, resulting in a legal and practice framework that can effectively regulate a diversity of practices and practice models. This includes achieving better clarity about “what is NOT pharmacy practice.” Council’s current discussion explores how pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and the concept of licensed pharmacies are shifting to meet patient, family, and community needs in a pan-Canadian environment. This will form the foundation for defining policies essential to a “relevant and modernized” practice framework for the future.
Report from the competence committee
Council received its bi-annual report from the competence committee. Committee chairperson Loren Voice and competence director Dr. Pamela Timanson provided an overview of the committee’s activities and noted the following observations of some regulated members’ practices under review of the committee:
- struggle to meet the standards of the Continuing Competence Program,
- lack of understanding about and demonstration of professional behaviours, and
- practice deficiencies exacerbated by isolated practices.
ACP’s Tenets of Professionalism provide a foundation for enhancements to the Continuing Competence Program over the next five years. This includes a new Practice Improvement Program to support regulated members whose practices expose vulnerability to patients and themselves.