Temporary changes to ACP programs and operations due to COVID-19
Page last updated April 29, 2020 at 2:55 p.m. MT.
To keep Albertans and our staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACP team has been working remotely since March 16, 2020. We have assessed the current environment and determined that this will continue indefinitely and will be continuously monitored to determine when and how central operations can resume.
If you require information or assistance, please first check the ACP website. You can call us at 780-990-0321 or toll-free at 1-877-227-3838 and leave a voicemail. Messages will be monitored and responded to during regular business hours. We will also respond to emails during normal business hours. Our fax line will be offline and unmonitored. As an alternative to faxing, check the Resource Centre for program-specific email contact information to send a scanned copy of your document via email. A dedicated fax-to-email service is in place for the pharmacy renewal period to accept pharmacy renewal documents. Dialing information for this service is provided on the first page of the pharmacy renewal package. There will not be an ACP Commissioner of Oaths available for the duration of the office closure.
ACP has also made temporary changes to our programs and operations as noted below.
For any concerns about a pharmacist or pharmacy technician’s practice, or the operations of a pharmacy, please call our office and our voicemail system will instruct you on how to leave a detailed message of your concern. You will be asked to record
- your first and last name and a telephone number where you can be reached,
- the name of the pharmacy or regulated pharmacy member involved in your concern or inquiry, and
- a detailed description.
We will do our best to phone you within three business days to discuss your concern further.
Your concern will be documented as an issue of public concern. This will allow us to more closely monitor the operations and quality assurance processes at the pharmacy and consider any follow-up action that may be required once we have resumed our regular office operations. Meanwhile, we encourage you to continue working with your pharmacist or your pharmacy’s licensee (sometimes referred to as the pharmacy manager) to resolve your concerns. The name of the licensee/pharmacy manager at your pharmacy can be located on our website through the “Find a Registrant” and “Find a Pharmacy” tools on our website home page. Alternatively, please leave a phone message including the name of the pharmacy (and location) and we will provide you the licensee’s name, practice permit number, and contact information.
Please note that we do not regulate pharmacy matters pertaining to customer service, prescription pricing/refunds, or dispensing fees.
Continuing Competence Program (CCP)
ACP Council is respectful of the challenges being faced by pharmacists at this time and has made accommodations in the Continuing Competence Program (CCP) requirements for the 2019-20 CE cycle, reducing the number of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) that most pharmacists need to renew your annual practice permit. Requirements that must be met when pharmacists complete their application for annual permit renewal for the 2020-21 registration year are
- eight (8) CEUs documented in one or more Learning Records, and
- the prescribed learning activity for the 2019-20 CE cycle.
Most pharmacists will not be required to submit an implementation record this year.
For full details, please visit the CCP requirements page.
ACP Council will continue to monitor the challenges faced by pharmacy technicians and will consider the CCP requirements for the 2019-20 CE cycle for pharmacy technicians in the future.
Registration and applications
Emergency registration for the COVID-19 pandemic
To help support the increased demand for health services during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta Health Emergency Operation Centre has asked regulated health professions to facilitate the return of retired or otherwise non-practising members to practice. If you are interested in doing so, proceed to the emergency registration page for further information.
ACP will continue to review and process the following applications; however, processing time may be delayed:
- clinical pharmacist register,
- pharmacy technician register,
- reinstate to the clinical or pharmacy technician register,
- courtesy register,
- licensee change, and
- ownership change.
As of May 11, 2020, ACP will resume reviewing and processing the following application; however, processing time may be delayed:
- pharmacy student register,
- provisional pharmacist (intern) register, and
- provisional pharmacy technician register.
Pharmacy inspections have been postponed. ACP is committed to supporting pharmacies to deliver the pharmacy services Albertans need and has begun looking for ways to resume pre-opening inspections for
- new pharmacy licences, and
- pharmacy relocations
Once experienced and evaluated, the protocols established will be adapted to accommodate the inspection of pharmacy renovations.
Note that because our fax machine is unavailable, all applications and notifications are to be emailed or mailed to ACP.
In addition, the vendor that supports our ethics and jurisprudence exam has made the decision to temporarily close its testing facilities. ACP is researching other potential options to ensure access to the exam resumes as soon as possible.
Despite the changes listed above, licensees must ensure they continue to provide ACP notification of reportable licensing information (e.g., staff, hours of operation, or temporary closures).
Professional practice and pharmacy visits
ACP has postponed all pharmacy inspections, routine assessments, and consultations. Consistent with other programs, we are researching the potential of virtual inspections.