Alberta College of Pharmacists Name Change Update

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You have likely already heard that Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP) has agreed to change the name of the college to Alberta College of Pharmacy.

The Alberta College of Pharmacists governs pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies in Alberta to support and protect the public’s health and well-being.[1]  Their vision, mission and strategic direction are clearly articulated on their website.  They strive for lofty goals and clearly recognize that the Council determines the culture and priorities of ACP.  The ACP Council has elected to honor their newest regulated members by voting to change the name of the College from Alberta College of “Pharmacists” to Alberta College of “Pharmacy” to become more reflective of their mandate and the practice of pharmacy.  “The college regulates more than pharmacists,” says ACP Council past president Taciana Pereira.  “We also have pharmacy technicians, and we regulate and license pharmacies.  The new name would provide some clarity to the public and would be more inclusive for all of our registrants.” [2]

Pharmacy Technician Society of Alberta has actively pursued the name change for some time now.  Earlier this year, a letter writing campaign was undertaken to bring awareness to ACP of the urgency of accurately representing all members of the college, not just pharmacists and to highlight to the public that a team of qualified, licensed pharmacy professionals is responsible for their care.  Many of you rose to the challenge and reached out to ACP Council, your local councillor and to ACP administration to reinforce the desire and the urgency and we thank you for being active in this initiative.

What comes next?  Although it’s good to see this decision made, it is just the beginning.  The name “Alberta College of Pharmacists” is the name of a corporation and is also legislated within Schedule 19 of the Health Professions Act.  Following is an excerpt from Schedule 19 Profession of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians:  “Continuation of corporation – 1 On the coming into force of this Schedule, the corporation known as the Alberta College of Pharmacists is continued as a corporation under the same name.” [3]

Because the name of the college is embedded in provincial legislation, it means that revisions to legislation must be made for the name to be changed.  Now we must be patient.  At this time, it is not known when the Health Professions Act or its regulations will be revised.  There will be a brief window of time in which recommendations for changes to its content may be considered.  ACP will be instrumental in making these changes to the Act and to the regulations, which must be passed through legislation.  We will keep reporting to you as these changes are considered and will let you know when we need support in getting them completed.

Diane Reeder, PTSA Advocacy Director, is a pharmacy technician, living and working in Calgary.

[1] https://pharmacists.ab.ca/who-we-are Our Mission – accessed July 10, 2017
[2] https://secure.campaigner.com/csb/Public/show/hgt7u–cs3xl-5kq1gil8 What’s in a name?  ACP may soon stand for: Alberta College of Pharmacy – accessed July 10, 2017
[3] http://www.qp.alberta.ca/documents/acts/h07.pdf Health Professions Act Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000 Chapter H-7 Current as of January 1, 2017, Schedule 19 Profession of Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, page 220 – accessed July 10, 2017

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