Find a registrant or pharmacy

Find a registrant Find a pharmacy

Search the website

Help me with...

Updated standards are coming

February 7, 2024
Pharmacy professional working at computer
What pharmacy teams can expect with updated Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians and Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies.

The Alberta College of Pharmacy is updating the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians (SPPPT) and the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies (SOLP). In the spring of 2023, regulated members, interested parties, and the public were invited to review the draft SPPPT and provide feedback to ACP. Thank you to everyone who participated in our consultation! We received a significant amount of feedback, which will be considered in the revised draft of the SPPPT to be reviewed by Council later this year. Currently, the draft SOLP are out for consultation. We invite you to no later than February 23, 2024.  

Why was it important to modernize the SPPPT now?

The SPPPT were first introduced in 2007 when pharmacists became regulated under the Health Professions Act and new roles and responsibilities were approved. Except for a few amendments, the standards have remained relatively unchanged. Yet, pharmacy practice has evolved immensely during the past 16 years, and much has been learned. Prescribing and injecting drugs by pharmacists are now common as is the regulation of pharmacy technicians and their professional roles.

One of the goals in ACP’s five-year strategic plan is that “there is a modern and relevant framework to regulate pharmacy practice” into the future. A key objective was to ensure “standards are current, relevant, clear, concise, and appropriately balance inputs, processes, and outputs.” The draft standards reflect the rapidly changing healthcare environment and public expectations, while retaining important content that exists in our current standards.

How were the draft standards developed?

Work on updating the standards began in 2021 when Council approved several principles to guide development. These principles included that the standards

  • be person-centred by focusing on patient assessment, rather than prescription assessment;
  • are relevant to all regulated members in all practice settings;
  • define the outer boundary of pharmacy practice;
  • clearly differentiate between the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and indicate where role overlap exists; and
  • consider innovation, technology, new models of practice, and different practice environments.

ACP then conducted an extensive environmental scan of pharmacy standards of practice from jurisdictions across Canada and internationally, including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and South Africa. The environmental scan identified opportunities to improve our own standards in areas such as standard structure, person-centred care, evidence-based practice, consent, duty to address concerns, and clarifying roles and supervision requirements of non-regulated staff.

To address the opportunities identified in the environmental scan, the draft standards are divided into eight domains, each with a statement that summarizes the standards within that domain. Each domain is then divided into topics. Each topic has an outcome standard which describes the expected patient outcome that must be achieved for that standard to be met. The achievement of each outcome standard is detailed further through the inclusion of descriptive standards that provide specific details of how to achieve the required outcome.

Once drafted, the standards were reviewed by a group of regulated members representing a diverse range of practices and members of the public. The feedback collected from this group was used to shape the draft standards that were reviewed and approved by Council for consultation in April 2023.

During the next few months, watch the Link for more details about the draft standards, what’s changing, and how these changes will affect your practice and, ultimately, the health and well-being of Albertans.