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Getting back to the basics

January 6, 2021
Details of the college’s new strategic direction from 2021-2025 are now available.

In June, the Council for the Alberta College of Pharmacy approved its strategic plan for the next five years (2021-2025). To develop the plan, Council members and ACP staff examined the broader environment that influences pharmacy practice and how the college operates.

During this work, three issues were identified as major sources of tension within pharmacy practice in Alberta:

  1. Inconsistency – In general, the scope of practice that has been available for pharmacists since 2007 is used inconsistently across Alberta. This leads to inconsistent practice among pharmacists, inconsistent experiences by patients, and varying levels of quality and safety.
  2. New practice models – Strained economics, innovative technical solutions, and changing patient needs are inviting new pharmacy practice models and new ways pharmacy services are delivered. ACP recognizes that our regulatory structure must be able to both accommodate change and effectively regulate practice when change occurs.
  3. Effective use of data – ACP recognizes that the success of pharmacy professionals and the success of the college to effectively regulate pharmacy practice depend on our ability to translate data into information and knowledge that practitioners can use to improve. Improved use of data will help ACP identify and understand practice trends and risks, which will inform our decision-making processes.

Council’s plan prioritizes commitment to ACP’s core responsibilities: to serve and protect the public through governing the practice of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and the operation of licensed pharmacies.

Council approved the following five strategic goals, having considered ACP’s cores responsibilities in context with the environmental scan, and the college’s mission, vision, and values.

Goal #1: All applicants are ready to practise pharmacy in Alberta’s health system.

What success looks like in 2025:

  • Provisional pharmacists and pharmacy technicians demonstrate acceptable clinical, technical, communication and critical thinking skills; and, cultural awareness of pharmacy practice in Alberta’s health system at entry to practice. 

Goal #2: There is a modern and relevant framework to regulate pharmacy practice.

What success looks like in 2025:

  • A modernized legal framework that accommodates the regulation of innovative roles and practice models.
  • Reliable indicators support monitoring and ensure compliance with the modernized legal framework.
  • Individuals having an authority and responsibility in the practice or management of pharmacy are held accountable.

Goal #3: Licensees are qualified and held responsible for practice in their pharmacy.

What success looks like in 2025:

  • Licensees lead by example in delivering excellent pharmacy services.
  • Licensees motivate, empower, and support all pharmacy team members.
  • Licensees acknowledge and fulfill their duty to ensure their pharmacy services meet the needs of individuals, families, and their communities.

Goal #4: Data intelligence is used by registrants and the college to make more informed decisions.

What success looks like in 2025:

  • ACP has data intelligence about the quality of pharmacy practice and addresses risk where it exists. 
  • Registrants use data intelligence to prioritize and support improvements in patient care.
  • ACP uses data intelligence to predict trends, identify risks, and inform its priorities.

Goal #5: Registrants identified as not being able to meet practice expectations demonstrate practice improvement.

What success looks like in 2025:

  • ACP confidently identifies registrants whose practices indicate their inability to comply with practice expectations.
  • Registrants prescribed practice improvement demonstrate their ability to comply with the ACP standards and code of ethics.

While the plan was developed separate from legislative changes in Bill 30/2020 and Bill 46/2020 (Health Statutes Amendment Act), the plan does align with the new legislation, which further emphasizes the responsibility of the college to serve the public interest. Ultimately, ACP’s strategic plan addresses the need to improve practice and better allows the college to meet the expectations of the public and the profession.

ACP administration is in the final stages of developing its operational plan to ensure all five goals are achieved in the five-year timeframe. We’ll have more details next month in the Link about why this plan is the right plan for ACP and how the college will achieve its goals.