Pharmacy Tech Program Recognized For Excellence
September 5, 2008
"As a College, we are extremely pleased to announce that our Pharmacy Technician program has been recognized," says Bobbi Thomas-Bailey, program coordinator. "The accreditation validates our program and how it has responded to the profession's shifting role."
Accreditation has two primary objectives: to evaluate educational programs against nationally-recognized standards, and to encourage continual improvement of such programs through strategic planning, systematic program evaluation and response to changes in the profession, within the field and in programs across the province. CCAPP is the national standards agency that evaluates pharmacy programs in Canadian universities and colleges in order to ensure continual improvement.
"The distinction is extremely positive not only for the College but for the graduates of the program," explains Thomas-Bailey. "Provisional accreditation provides assurance to the industry that our graduates meet national standards and are properly prepared to enter the workforce . . . it means their credentials will be recognized across the country. "
Granting accreditation to pharmacy programs is a response to the Health Systems Improvement Act, introduced in 2006. A number of changes were proposed relating to health care, including the regulation of pharmacy technician programs across the province. Some significant changes include the registration of pharmacy technicians as members of the Ontario College of Pharmacists; the title "pharmacy technician" being protected by law and used solely by registered members; and registered pharmacy technicians receiving authority to perform acts that were previously controlled, such as dispensing.
"Graduates of the program are prepared to write both upcoming national and provincial exams," explains Thomas-Bailey. "They enter the practice in community, hospital and specialty compounding pharmacies with high levels of proficiency." Graduates work alongside pharmacists dispensing prescriptions, preparing and packaging medications and providing customer care. "We've worked at modifying curriculum and teaching processes," says Thomas-Bailey. "We're looking forward to moving ahead and continuing to adapt our program to the ever-changing role of pharmacy technicians."