Standards of Practice

College Explores Adoption of New NAPRA Model Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacist and pharmacy technician with masks
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Having a common understanding of professional practice standards that outline the minimum expectations for the delivery of quality pharmacy care benefits both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, as well as the patients they serve. By considering patients’ best interests in the context of what pharmacy professionals are trained and authorized to do, practice standards help achieve high quality pharmacy care, better patient outcomes, and stronger trust in the profession.

For more than a decade, regulated pharmacy professionals in Ontario have been required to follow the Model Standards of Practice (MSOPs) developed by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) and adopted by the College – one set of standards for pharmacists and one for pharmacy technicians. While there are differences in the scope of practice for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, their core focus on quality care and patient safety is aligned.

That’s why, in November 2021, NAPRA approved new Model Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in Canada that harmonizes the two former MSOPs into one.

The College is beginning to explore whether to adopt or adapt these new model standards, which would replace the existing individual pharmacist and pharmacy technician MSOPs. For now, the current MSOPs remain in effect.

Most of the new model standards are well-aligned with existing standards – and in a few instances where standards have been revised, the language reflects practice expectations already articulated in the College’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Operation. This means putting the new standards into practice should be relatively straightforward for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

Some of the high-level themes in the new model standards focus on:
  • Giving pharmacists and pharmacy technicians a broader, more holistic framework to guide their practice
  • Emphasizing the importance of health system collaboration, where pharmacy professionals are integral parts of a patient’s circle of care
  • Reinforcing the importance of being a partner in a patient’s health decision-making
  • Using professional judgment in decision making

As part of the College’s work to assess the adoption of the new standards, we want to hear from registrants, pharmacy stakeholders and patients to help us understand and consider the perspectives of pharmacy stakeholders throughout the province.

The College will be planning a series of stakeholder consultation opportunities to inform a Board decision about whether to adopt or adapt the new MSOPs. These consultations will help the College identify any resources registrants might need to meet the new MSOPs safely and successfully, and will gather feedback from patients on whether the MSOPs help them understand what to expect from their pharmacy professional.

More information about the Model Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in Canada (NAPRA, 2022) and any consultation opportunities will be shared soon.

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