Stages of Accreditation

CCAPP is committed to an accreditation process for pharmacy technician programs that is anchored to national standards of educational outcomes and entry to practice competencies. CCAPP is accountable to national organizations for the pharmacy profession in Canada (CPhA and CSHP), the representative body for the provincial regulatory authorities (NAPRA), and the national certification examination agency (PEBC) to manage a process that is rigorous, fair and ensures that accredited programs have all of the components in place to offer high quality programs that will produce pharmacy technician graduates that will be successful at gaining registration and practicing competently in any practice settings.

Institutions wishing to obtain CCAPP accreditation will normally proceed through several stages before it can gain full accreditation. CCAPP is most concerned with the operating history and maturity programs considering accreditation. These stages are intended to ensure programs develop its systems, resources, curriculum, facilities, instructional faculty, and practice experiences in an organized manner. The following information summarizes the approach that CCAPP has used to develop its accreditation process for pharmacy technician programs, and the factors that it uses to determine the appropriate stage that CCAPP will initially assign to programs applying for accreditation for the first time.

Qualifying Status

A program will be assigned for qualifying status if it is under development by the institution and currently has no students admitted. Qualifying status programs may also be relatively new programs that are still bringing various elements of an existing program into compliance with CCAPP standards and have not yet accumulated sufficient evidence demonstrating sustainability (i.e. at least one year) of the delivery of all program elements meeting CCAPP standards.

A program with qualifying status is not expected to meet all accreditation standards at the time of application, but has the resources and a plan in place to achieve this goal within one year.

While a program is in qualifying status and before it will be considered for a provisional accreditation, CCAPP will expect to see clear evidence that the institution can demonstrate the sustainability, consistency and predictability of its pharmacy technician program. That is, CCAPP requires programs to demonstrate that they can maintain all conditions that are necessary to achieve a positive accreditation status consistently for a reasonable and sustained period of time (usually at least 12 months).

The graduates from a program that is in operation at the time of the application and CCAPP site visit and which is subsequently awarded qualifying status are not permitted direct entry to the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) qualifying certification exam for pharmacy technicians. Students completing pharmacy technician programs at educational institutions holding CCAPP qualifying status should contact PEBC at www.pebc.ca for additional information concerning eligibility for its examinations.

The term of the qualifying status award is 1 year. Near the end of this term, the program will be given an opportunity to provide CCAPP with the necessary information about the continuing development of the program that supports compliance with all accreditation standards to be considered for Provisional Accreditation. Programs making progress, but unable to meet all accreditation criteria may be assigned to a second 1 year qualifying status. If it is unable to attain provisional accreditation by the end of the second term, it will be required to re-apply for accreditation no earlier than one year following the loss of its qualifying status.

Provisional Accreditation Status

Provisional Status is reserved for new programs defined with reference to its transition to a curriculum and structure that has its foundation in the CPTEA educational outcomes and NAPRA entry to practice competencies. New programs are defined with reference to its transition to a curriculum and structure that has its foundation in the CPTEA educational outcomes and NAPRA entry to practice competencies.

In its application the program asserts that it meets all accreditation standards and that it has the evidence to demonstrate sustainability of meeting all program criteria for at least one year.

In its initial period of application reviews (2008-2013), CCAPP only awarded provisional status to those programs that could demonstrate compliance with ALL core accreditation criteria. That is, it was CCAPP's decision not to award provisional status (and by extension, the benefit it would provide to graduates re the PEBC qualifying exam) to any program that, in fact, could not meet all core accreditation criteria.

For programs that are non-compliant in certain standards that are not likely to immediately effect the quality of the training program, CCAPP may issue a provisional award, with condition. For a program that is deficient in a criterion that is directly connected with the design and operation of the educational program, the accreditation award will be qualifying status.

Since compliance with these core criteria are so instrumental to the eventual quality of graduates and their educational readiness to be assessed using the PEBC exam, it would be quite inappropriate for CCAPP to convey the message that a program could gain CCAPP provisional accreditation (and explicitly signal to its students that their educational program has satisfactorily prepared them), when it still was in non compliance with one or more accreditation criteria.

That is, the PEBC qualifying exam blueprint has been constructed in such a way that students from non-accredited programs are likely have a higher rate of unsuccessful pass score performance than those completing their education in a program with a provisional award. In addition, it is CCAPP’s intention to clearly establish its own benchmarks and fairness of process by making sure those programs that had put in place the required investments of personnel, resources, curriculum, and procedures were duly rewarded with an accreditation award that required some challenge and effort to attain.

A student graduating from a program that holds provisional accreditation is permitted to write the PEBC pharmacy technician qualifying exam.

The term for programs with Provisional Accreditation status is three years. At the end of this three-year period, programs must make a new application and submit a complete self-study to be reviewed for full accreditation.

Full Accreditation Status

Full accreditation is awarded to an established program that has held a provisional status, accreditation award for at least three years. These programs will have graduated students from a curriculum that meets all CCAPP standards and will have sufficient students who have written the PEBC qualifying examination to make a judgment concerning the sustainable quality of the program.

Full accreditation is granted for a 5-year term. At the end of the end of the five-year period, programs must make a new application and submit a complete self-study to be reviewed for continuation of full accreditation award status.