Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACP office is now closed as our staff work remotely. Click here to see how this impacts our programs and operations.

Observing a hearing

The Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) is responsible for quality pharmacy practice in Alberta. This includes investigating and resolving complaints involving pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and/or pharmacies.

When the investigation of a complaint is complete, the ACP complaints director reviews the investigation report and determines whether to dismiss the complaint, resolve the complaint through education and/or mediation, or refer the complaint to a hearing if the evidence suggests possible unprofessional conduct and/or misconduct.

When a complaint is referred to hearing

The hearings process adheres to Alberta’s Health Professions Act and is managed by a hearings director appointed by the ACP Council. Hearings follow a format similar in formality to a trial by judge in provincial court. The “judge” is a panel of impartial peers (a Hearing Tribunal) selected from the hearings committee appointed by Council. The Hearing Tribunal hears evidence to determine whether the allegations resulting from the complaint investigation are true, and if so, determines if the actions or omissions of the investigated person amount to unprofessional conduct or misconduct. A Hearing Tribunal is normally comprised of

  • two or three regulated members (pharmacists and/or pharmacy technicians), and
  • the prescribed number of public members under the Act (appointed by Alberta Health).

The hearing may take more than one day. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Hearing Tribunal deliberates to make a determination on the allegations. If the allegations are proven to be well founded, the tribunal will decide what penalties, if any, are to be imposed. The written decision is provided to the parties and published on the ACP website. Both parties have 30 days to request an appeal of the decision to the council of the college.

Hearings are generally open to the public, however, the Hearing Tribunal may accept a motion or application from either party to close all or part of the hearing.

The schedule of upcoming hearings is posted under Hearing Notices on the ACP website.

Rules for observers at an in-person hearing

  • Hearing schedules are subject to change. Hearings are held in-person in Edmonton, or by video conference. Check the ACP website for current hearing information.
  • Members of the media must identify themselves to the hearing director.
  • Observers must arrive 15 minutes before the posted start time of the hearing, register upon arrival, and wear an observer name tag.
  • Observers are permitted access to public areas and will have limited access to the hearing room.
  • Cameras and recording devices are not permitted in the hearing room.
  • All communication devices including cell phones and portable computers must be turned off and remain off while inside the hearing room.
  • No external food is allowed in the hearing room.
  • Observers are not permitted to address the members of the Hearing Tribunal (in or out of session) and must remain quiet during the proceedings.
  • Observers must leave the hearing room for the duration of every recess, for any portion of a hearing held in private, and when the tribunal deliberates. During these times, observers are restricted to public areas of the venue.
  • If an observer needs to leave the hearing room for any reason while the hearing is in session, he/she will not be permitted to return to the room until the end of the next recess.
  • Lunch is provided to the Hearing Tribunal and the parties involved. Observers must leave the venue during the lunch break and during extended recesses.
  • During brief recesses, observers may sit quietly in the designated reception area, but may not discuss the hearing or engage in conversation with participants in the hearing.
  • When an observer leaves the hearing with no intention of returning, he/she must sign out and return the observer name tag to ACP.

Rules for observers at a video conference hearing

  • Hearing schedules are subject to change. Check the ACP website for current hearing information.
  • Members of the media must identify themselves to the hearing director.
  • Observers must use video and keep audio muted unless asked a question by the Hearing Tribunal.
  • Observers are to position themselves in a private location that does not have a lot of background movement and may be asked to leave the hearing if their video presence is causing a distraction to the process.
  • Observers are not permitted to use cameras or recording devices during a hearing and must sign an undertaking at least one day prior to the hearing attesting that they will not record the video and/or audio of the hearing.
  • Observers are not permitted to address the members of the Hearing Tribunal (in or out of session) and must remain silent during the proceedings.
  • During recesses, or for any portion of a hearing held in private, observers will be placed in the ‘waiting room’ and only readmitted to the hearing at the time identified for reconvening.  Observers are expected to monitor broadcast messages that may be provided to those in the waiting room to be aware of any delays in resuming.
  • If an observer needs to leave the hearing for any reason while the hearing is in session, he/she will not be permitted to return to the hearing until the end of the next recess.

How to register to observe a hearing

Observers must pre-register at least 14 days before the date of the hearing. Space at in-person hearings is limited and assigned by reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact the Hearings Director at 780-990-0321, toll free at 1-877-227-3838 or email hearings@abpharmacy.ca to pre-register.   Members of the media must identify themselves at time of registration.

Hearings are normally held at the

Alberta College of Pharmacy
College Plaza
1100-8215 112 St. NW
Edmonton, AB

Check the Hearing Notices page on the ACP website to confirm location, date, and start time.

Media Inquiries

Please direct all media inquiries to the communications director at 780-990-0321, 1-877-227-3838, or communications@abpharmacy.ca.