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Additional prescribing authorization (APA)

APA digital submission

Submit your initial application and provide payment in myACP.

Am I ready to apply for additional prescribing authorization?

Pharmacists in good standing on the clinical register may apply for additional prescribing authorization after meeting these criteria:

  1. Have at least one year of full-time experience in direct patient care while on the clinical pharmacist register. As of 2018, the one-year practice requirement is waived for entry-level PharmD graduates from CCAPP-accredited Canadian schools of pharmacy. However, applicants must use patient cases from their time on the clinical register as a clinical pharmacist (i.e., not as students, interns, etc.).
  2. Have strong collaborative relationships with other regulated health professionals.
  3. Have and maintain the necessary knowledge, skills, attitudes, and clinical judgement to enhance patient care.
  4. Have the required supports in their practice (e.g., access to information, communication, and documentation processes) to enable safe and effective management of drug therapy.

How are applications evaluated?

Applications are evaluated by pharmacists who are trained to use an objective criterion-referenced assessment tool. Applicants who meet or exceed the minimum standard on review will receive authorization from the registrar to prescribe Schedule 1 drugs in accordance with sections sections 45(2) and (3) of the Health Professions Restricted Activity Regulation.

Will I receive a new practice permit?

Prior to prescribing to manage or initiate drug therapy, pharmacists must receive authorization from the college via email and a new digital practice permit that lists the additional prescribing authorization.

How do I renew my additional prescribing authorization?

Renewal of your additional prescribing authorization will be automatic with the renewal of your practice permit if you meet all other requirements of practice permit renewal.

How do I apply for additional prescribing authorization?

View the Guide to receiving Additional Prescribing Authorization to learn more about the application process and to access the self-assessment and application forms.

NOTE: Your submission must include

  • one PDF copy of the application form, and
  • one PDF copy of each of the three patient cases. 

Resources, guides, and forms

Before you submit your application for additional prescribing authorization, read these tips to avoid some common pitfalls. Look to the Guide to receiving Additional Prescribing Authorization and the resources at the end of this list for more information.

  1. Include documentation in the patient care recordThe narrative is valuable to assessors, but it is NOT part of the patient record. The sole purpose of the narrative is to guide the assessor through the actual documentation you provide.As outlined in the case checklist, assessors are looking for care plan and monitoring plan information in the actual patient record (the actual record of care). This may be paper based or electronic, but it must be authentic. In other words, it must be created at, or near, the time you provided the care, not created for the application.
  2. Document at the same time you provide care. Assessors are noticing that in some applications, documentation appears to be done weeks, even months, after the actual event.  While this alone is not an automatic reason for an applicant to be unsuccessful, it may be a contributing factor. If you did not document when the event happened, it’s best to find another case where you documented the care in a timely manner.
  3. Take responsibility for decisions about drug therapy problemsAssessors note that many applicants identify drug therapy problems (DTPs) and communicate them to the physician for the physician to assess and decide how to proceed. Assessors are looking for you to complete a thorough assessment and develop a care plan. They are gauging your ability to assess the patient, develop a care plan (i.e., prescribe, monitor, and follow up), collaborate with other healthcare providers, and document your actions. Asking the physician what to do about a DTP is not indicative of collaborative prescribing; making a suggestion with a strong rationale and plan for the physician to consider is.
  4. Demonstrate all the key activities for pharmacist prescribing in your cases. For example, a case where a pharmacist makes an adaptation to another dosage form or changes the medication due to coverage issues may not be a good demonstration of assessment and often no care planning or follow-up is demonstrated. Assessors are looking for the pharmacist to complete a full assessment, make a decision, and follow up.
  5. Show that you have completed a holistic patient assessment. This means that all medications should be assessed, at minimum, for efficacy, proper dosing, and indication. For example, even if the drug therapy problem is a lack of medication for preventing shingles, assessors expect that you will review all the patient’s medications at the time of assessment. If this is not shown, and assessors note other potential problems, then they may be left to wonder whether you identified the issue, and if, or when, you plan to address it.
  6. In your follow-up plans, document who will be responsible for completing the follow-up. In many instances, this will be a combination of you and the physician and/or others such as nurses. Do not imply; state the information directly in the care plan.
  7. Complete and document some of the follow-up before submitting your applicationMany applicants have included a monitoring plan but submitted their application before the plan is carried out. As outlined in the case checklist, assessors will be looking at your documentation for implementation of the follow-up. This may mean delaying your application submission but will increase your chances of success.