Our commitment to you
The College of Pharmacists of BC (College) is committed to protecting your privacy. We seek to use best practices in doing so. We collect, use and disclose personal information in accordance with our province’s Health Professions Act (HPA), Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act (PODSA), Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and other applicable legislation.
Some of the personal information that we hold is publicly available under section 22(1) of the HPA and section 39(1)(2) of the College’s HPA Bylaws.
We have designated staff who are responsible for making sure that we comply with privacy legislation. Our Registrar is ultimately accountable for the College’s compliance with FIPPA.
If you have questions about our privacy practices, please contact our Privacy Officer. Please see below for our Privacy Officer’s contact details.
When we collect personal information we explain why we are collecting the information and our legal authority for doing so. For example, we collect (and, where applicable, use or disclose) personal information from our registrants (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians). We also collect personal information from people who apply for registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician, or who apply for a pharmacy licence. This is so we can operate our programs of registration and licensing for registrants and pharmacies. In these examples, our authority to collect personal information is found in section 26(c) of FOIPPA. We also have authority to collect personal information, in these and other cases, to:
- Meet our duty to serve and protect the public under section 16 of the HPA.
- Operate the College’s programs, and carry out our activities, under the HPA, PODSA, our bylaws and any other applicable legal authority.
- Perform criminal record checks on registrants or applicants as required by law.
- Consider and assess applications by individuals for registration as registrants under the HPA and the College’s HPA Bylaws.
- Consider and assess application for licensure of a pharmacy under the PODSA and the College’s PODSA Bylaws.
- Maintain our register of registrants as required by section 21(2) of the HPA.
- Maintain and protect the College’s systems, as well as provide system support for registrants, pharmacies and applicants when requested by them.
- Administer and implement the College’s quality assurance program under sections 26.1 and 26.2 of the HPA and Part V of the HPA Bylaws.
- Investigate and dispose of complaints against registrants under Part 3 of the HPA.
- Comply with the procedures and requirements of the Health Professions Review Board, and participate in proceedings before the Review Board under Part 4.2 of the HPA.
- Contact registrants and pharmacies about our programs or activities and to obtain feedback on them.
- Obtain opinions and feedback from registrants and pharmacies on regulatory issues.
- Obtain information on the effectiveness of our communications to registrants, pharmacies and other stakeholders (e.g. date and time our electronic communications are opened or links within messages are opened) in order to tailor and adapt our communication messages and approaches.
- Send invitations to participate in third-party research to those registrants who have asked to receive those invitations.
This list is not exhaustive. There may be other situations where we collect, use and disclose personal information.
As part of a pharmacist’s or pharmacy technician’s registration, we share registrants’ personal information with these organizations for the following purposes:
The BC Ministry of Health for the BC Provider Registry System. The Ministry uses registrants' information:
- to identify and authenticate pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, and to confirm the registration status of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
- to obtain the contact information of registrants
- to administer and deliver health programs (for example, the Medical Services Plan and PharmaCare
- for the purposes specified in section 5 or 18 of the E-Health (Personal Health Information Access and Protection of Privacy) Act
- for disclosure to healthcare providers such as health authorities, health care bodies, health professionals using electronic medical record systems or other persons as authorized by law
- for other purposes required or authorized by law
A registrant's employer, where required by Part 4 of the BC Criminal Records Review Act.
The Canadian Institute for Health Information, which uses pharmacists and pharmacy technicians' information:
- for health system uses such as statistical analysis and reporting
- to support the management, evaluation or monitoring of the allocation of resources to, or planning for, the health care system in Canada, including support for the improvement of the overall health of Canadians.
Service providers and contractors contracted to provide services to the College that require them to handle personal information. These service providers and contractors agree in writing to protect personal information and comply with FIPPA.
We also collect information from non-registrants. We explain the reasons when we collect the information.
When we need to collect personal information about someone, we usually get the information directly from that person. Here are some examples of where we may collect personal information from another source:
- So that we can assess the competency of a person applying for registration as a pharmacist or pharmacy technician in British Columbia and so that we can confirm that applicant’s past employment;
- When we receive exam results and other information from the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC);
- To receive information on an internationally-educated pharmacist or pharmacy technician from the PEBC;
- To enable us to perform a criminal record check of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician or applicant;
- For the purposes of our investigating and disposing of a concern or a complaint about a registrant;
- As otherwise authorized by law or court order.
Scope of collection, use, disclosure and retention
We collect and use personal information that is needed to meet the purposes described above.
For credit and debit card payments made to the College, we designed our systems so that most credit and debit card information is collected directly on our behalf by our payment processor. Where we collect credit or debit card information ourselves, we shred the forms promptly upon processing the payment.
We only share pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians' and applicants' personal information with the organizations listed above, unless authorized or required by law or court order, or with the individuals' consent. When we send invitations to registrants to participate in third-party research or surveys, we do not share any personal information with that outside organization.
We keep personal information used to make a decision about an individual for a minimum of one year. Personal information may be kept for longer, for example if required by law for financial records. Personal information is retained and disposed of in accordance with the College’s records retention and disposition schedules, which are developed and administered in accordance with generally-accepted records management practices.
Paper containing personal information is shredded by a service provider that provides a certificate of destruction. Personal information in online electronic form is deleted from our information systems.
What personal information is being collected by our website?
The information collected by the College includes:
- web browser and operating system you are using (e.g. Vista, XP, Safari)
- date and time of visit
- pages or services accessed
- If you were on another website before visiting the College website, the URL (web address) of that previous website if it referred you to the College website
- URL (web address) of the first website you visit immediately upon leaving the College website if you were referred to that website by the College website
The College, via its websites, will notify you if cookies will be collecting any additional information and in that case we will give you the right to decline to accept cookies of that kind. A cookie may remain on your computer after the Internet session finishes (until the cookie expires or is deleted by you).
Accuracy and requesting correction of your personal information
We make every reasonable effort to ensure that personal information is accurate and complete. We may contact you for an update if we become aware that your information is inaccurate.
It is your responsibility to contact us if your information needs to be updated. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are required by section 17 of the BC Criminal Records Review Act to report any new charges and convictions to the College that are relevant to their registration.
To access your personal information or request a correction of an error or omission:
- If you are a registrant, you can login to your account or contact our Registration Department at 604-733-2440 or toll free at 1-800-663-1940.
Members of the public:
- Please contact our Privacy Officer using the contact details below.
A correction request has to be in writing. You have to give us reasons why you believe the correction is reasonable. If we are satisfied that your request is reasonable, we will correct your information as soon as reasonably possible. If we decide not to correct your information, we will note your requested change on the information. We will also note why we did not correct your information as you asked. Correction requests will only be considered if they are about factual errors or omissions, not opinions or evaluations about the individual requesting the correction.
Asking for a copy of your personal information
You can ask us to give you a copy of your personal information that is in our custody or control.
To do this you have to contact us in writing. You must contact our Privacy Officer using the contact details below.
If we believe your request may involve someone else’s personal information, or information protected under FIPPA, we may require you to make a formal request under FIPPA for access to your information. FIPPA gives us 30 business days to respond to a formal request, starting on the date your request is received. (It also allows that time to be extended.) Please note that in some cases FIPPA may require us to refuse you access to even your own personal information. We will give you written reasons for our decision.
Before disclosing your personal information, we will require you to verify your identity, so we can be sure that you are the individual whose information is being requested. This helps ensure we do not disclose your personal information to someone we should not give it to.
We are using reasonable security measures to protect the personal information we have collected, such as but not limited to physical and logical access controls and regular application of vendor-issued system updates.
We may update this notice from time to time to reflect changes to our information practices. We will post any changes to this page.
Questions and Complaints
You may send your privacy-related questions, concerns or complaints to our Privacy Officer who is responsible for ensuring our compliance with this notice and with the appropriate privacy legislation.
200 – 1765 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6J 5C6
If our Privacy Officer is unable to resolve a complaint, you may complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia. That office’s contact information is here:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
PO Box 9038 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria B.C. V8W 9A4
4th Floor, 947 Fort Street, Victoria BC V8V 3K3
This policy does not create any legal rights, benefits, duties, obligations or requirements of any kind.