Mandatory training for community pharmacy managers launches online

August 16, 2018 The Tablet
Mark Robertson from Safeway

Safeway Pharmacy Manager Mark Robertson checks records at his Fort St. John pharmacy. Record keeping is just one component of the many responsibilities of a pharmacy manager.

Beginning this September, all community pharmacy managers in British Columbia will be required to complete the new B.C. Community Manager Training Program, designed to ensure pharmacy managers or pharmacists planning to become managers are equipped with the most up-to-date regulatory requirements.

The development of a community pharmacy manager training program was approved by the College of Pharmacists of BC in June 2017, based on a 2016 report from the College’s Inquiry Committee that demonstrated clear gaps and deficiencies between what was required at the community pharmacy level and what was actually delivered. The training tools were to be developed for the purpose of public protection and to be made mandatory by mid-2018.

“We want to make sure that we cover all aspects of the roles and responsibilities of a pharmacy manager,” says David Pavan, deputy registrar of the College. “A training program will assist them in better understanding their role. It’ll benefit them in decreasing the number of complaints we receive in regard to pharmacies across the province.”

On June 15, 2018, the College approved Professional Practice Policy-69 (PPP-69) Community Pharmacy Manager Education that requires all B.C. pharmacy managers to undertake mandatory training of their duties and obligations so that they understand all responsibilities of what the role involves. 

The College approached the BC Pharmacy Association to develop a new training program for community pharmacy managers that would help guide pharmacy managers in their role. It is accredited for a total of four Continuing Education Units from the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP).

The program, a self-paced, three-part course, includes the following:

  • Part 1 reviews the College’s legislative requirements as it pertains to the community pharmacy manager’s role.
  • Part 2 describes general fiduciary responsibilities and management skills.
  • Part 3 discusses general workplace rights and B.C. employment standards.

Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions:

Who should take this program?
This program is for pharmacists who are managers of community pharmacies and for those pharmacists wishing to become a pharmacy manager. Even if you are not a pharmacy manager, and are interested in the role, you can still take this course.

Why should pharmacy managers take this program?
The College of Pharmacists of BC has released a new PPP-69 which mandates that all pharmacy managers must undergo this training. As per PPP-69, “Pharmacy managers have distinct and extensive responsibilities that are beyond those of general registrants. All pharmacy managers have a responsibility to educate themselves with respect to their obligations under PODSA and the PODSA bylaws.”

When will the program be available and when does it need to be completed?
The program was recently launched in July 2018. Under PPP-69, the program is mandatory as of Sept. 1, 2018. Existing pharmacy managers will have until Sept. 1, 2019, to complete the course. For new pharmacy managers, they will have up to one year to complete the course upon appointment.

Is there an assessment and what is the pass mark? 
After reviewing the program, you must complete an assessment. The assessment is comprised of 40 questions. A pass mark of 75% (30/40 correct answers) must be achieved for successful completion. After passing, you will receive a statement of completion. The program can be counted towards your yearly professional development learning requirements.

How often do I need to take the online training program?
Every community pharmacy manager must complete the training program every three years from the date of initial completion. With the pharmacy profession continuously evolving, updates or changes to bylaws and policies may be required. This training program will be continuously updated and aligned with the College amendments and new frameworks. To ensure pharmacy managers are kept up-to-date with these ongoing changes, pharmacy managers, whether existing or new, will be required to review this program every three years.

How can I access the online training program? 
The B.C. Community Pharmacy Manager Training Program can be accessed at t.bcpha.ca/pmtraining. The program costs $135 plus GST.

After completion, do I still have access to the training program?
Yes, you will be able to access the training program at any time with your login details for up to one year after purchase.

How will the College know I have completed the online training program?
After successfully completing the program and assessment, you are required to self-declare by updating your account on the College of Pharmacists of BC’s eServices account by checking the attestation box, available on Sept. 1, 2018. (Those who complete the course prior to this date can submit their attestation on or after Sept. 1, 2018.) 

Who do I call if I have any questions about relevant legislation and resources?
Contact the College of Pharmacists of BC at (604) 733-2440 (1-800-663-1940) or email legislation@bcpharmacists.org regarding legislation or prp@bcpharmacists.org regarding practice support queries or visit bcpharmacists.org for more information.

Where can I find more information about the training program?
For further information or inquiries, you can go visit t.bcpha.ca/pmtraining or contact Pharmacy Practice Support at (604) 269-2880. 

This article is featured in The Tablet. The Tablet features pharmacy and industry news, profiles on B.C. pharmacists, information on research developments and new products.