Understanding the Pharmacy Technician’s Scope of Practice

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Scope of Practice for Alberta Pharmacy Technicians

In their practice, pharmacy technicians promote safe and effective drug distribution. Sounds simple, right?! Have you or a colleague ever asked what that actually means? One of the first tools developed when pharmacy technicians were regulated in Alberta was the Scope of Practice for Alberta Pharmacy Technicians chart.

This tool, developed jointly by PTSA, the Alberta College of Pharmacy (ACP) and Alberta Pharmacists Association (RxA) outlines the tasks that are within the pharmacy technician’s scope. This includes patient care, dispensing, compounding, inventory management and other pharmacy services.

Role Clarification of Non-Regulated Pharmacy Employees

In follow-up, PTSA created a supplemental document that describes the Role of Non-Regulated Pharmacy Employees. In Alberta, Pharmacy Employee means an individual employed in a pharmacy who is not a regulated
member of the Alberta College of Pharmacy and includes a volunteer who works in a pharmacy. Pharmacy Assistant is the most commonly used title for non-regulated pharmacy employees.

Pharmacy assistants are not authorized by legislation to complete certain activities that fall within the pharmacy technician’s scope of practice. Other tasks are more appropriately performed by pharmacy technicians and pharmacists because of the professional judgement needed to complete the task.

Useful Practice Resources

Both of these tools are useful for developing workflows and new practices that allow pharmacy professionals to work to full scope with the support of pharmacy assistants. Print and post copies of these documents in your pharmacy and share with members of the team to help inform discussions about roles.

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