Canadian University Degree Programs In Pharmacy

Accreditation Standards

 

Stages of Accreditation

Stages of Accreditation

 

Pre-accreditation Stages

A new professional program at a pharmacy school may be granted one of two pre-accreditation awards, depending upon its stage of development. In the instance of a newly founded school, the program generally progresses through both statuses. The standards are similar to those used to review established programs, however, pre-accreditation involves, in large measure, documentation and verification of planning in accord with standards and provision of reasonable assurances for a quality outcome. A new or existing school that has been accepted as a member of the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada may be granted an accreditation award on the basis of a limited site visit and/or an institutionally prepared prospectus or academic plan.

 

Qualifying Accreditation

A new program that has no students enrolled but has appointed a dean or director may be granted qualifying accreditation. The granting of qualifying status confirms that a university’s planning for the pharmacy program has taken into account CCAPP standards and suggests reasonable assurances of moving to the next step, the award of provisional accreditation. Granting of qualifying status brings no rights or privileges of accreditation. Full disclosure by the university of the term and conditions of this award is required.

Qualifying accreditation is generally permitted for up to four years, after which the program is expected to apply for provisional accreditation (provided the program has admitted students). A program that has held qualifying status for four years but has not admitted its first class of students will be withdrawn from the pre-accreditation process unless information is provided by the university to satisfy the board that the program is making progress toward actual initiation.

 

Provisional Accreditation

A new program that has students enrolled by has not graduated a class of students may be granted provisional accreditation. The granting of the provisional accreditation award denotes a developmental program that is expected to mature in accord with stated plans and within a defined time period. Reasonable assurances are expected that the program will be eligible for full accreditation as programmatic experiences are gained, generally, by the time the first class has graduated.

The term of a provisional accreditation award is generally not permitted for more than four years. A program that has graduated its first class, but subsequently denied full accreditation in its first attempt, is eligible for conditional accreditation.

Graduates from a school designated as having provisional accreditation will be deemed by CCAPP to be graduates of an accredited program if the program subsequently gains receives a full or conditional accreditation award at its first opportunity.

 

Full Accreditation

The professional program of a Faculty of Pharmacy is granted initial or continued Full Accreditation status for up to eight years if it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of CCAPP that the program complies with accreditation standards, including the appropriateness of program goals, the adequacy of resources and organization to meet these goals, educational outcomes which indicate these goals are being met, and that plans and commitments are in place to provide reasonable assurance that these goals will continue to be met.

All programs receiving a full accreditation award are normally required to submit an interim progress report at some point over the duration of the accreditation period. The due date of this interim progress report will be specified in this accreditation award letter from the board. The required interim report should cover the period of time since the last comprehensive internal review report and include: changes in the academic program; changes in the financial resources available to the Faculty; changes in the academic staff; steps taken to deal with deficiencies identified in the site visit evaluation report; and, progress made in the implementation of the approved strategic plan.

 


Accreditation Award Decisions

The CCAPP board of directors makes the accreditation decision. In arriving at a decision, the board considers the accreditation history of the Faculty; the application, the comprehensive internal review report and strategic plan submitted by the University; the site visit evaluation report; the University’s response to the evaluation report; and, any other relevant information. In-person presentations to the Board from the University regarding their accreditation review will occur only at the request of the board.

Full accreditation may be granted for up to eight years. A shorter term may be granted, if significant areas of concern are noted. The accreditation term normally ends on December 31 of the specified year.

 

Full Accreditation

The professional program of a Faculty of Pharmacy is granted initial or continued Full Accreditation status for up to eight years if it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of CCAPP that the program complies with accreditation standards, including the appropriateness of program goals, the adequacy of resources and organization to meet these goals, educational outcomes which indicate these goals are being met, and that plans and commitments are in place to provide reasonable assurance that these goals will continue to be met.

All programs receiving a full accreditation award are normally required to submit an interim progress report at some point over the duration of the accreditation period. The due date of this interim progress report will be specified in this accreditation award letter from the board. The required interim report should cover the period of time since the last comprehensive internal review report and include: changes in the academic program; changes in the financial resources available to the Faculty; changes in the academic staff; steps taken to deal with deficiencies identified in the site visit evaluation report; and, progress made in the implementation of the approved strategic plan.

 

Conditional Accreditation

The professional program of a Faculty of Pharmacy may be granted conditional accreditation, if major deficiencies in compliance with accreditation standards and/or requirements are identified. Conditional accreditation will initially be granted for a maximum of three years, extendable to a longer term (not exceeding six years), subject to receipt of a report, which convinces the CCAPP that the matters giving rise to its concerns are being adequately addressed. If it is deemed that satisfactory progress is not being made, the program, at that time, may be granted probationary accreditation. Alternately, if the major deficiencies identified when conditional accreditation was initially granted are considered to have been satisfactorily rectified, the program may be granted full accreditation. In situations where the initially approved strategic plan was for a period less than six years, the interim report must include a strategic plan for the balance of the accreditation period.

 

Probationary Accreditation

The professional program of a Faculty of Pharmacy that has been accredited and subsequently fails to comply with standards may be given probationary accreditation status. The chief executive officer of the institution and the dean of the Faculty are given due notice of the Council’s action. A period of approximately six months is given for the institution to show cause why the probationary status should be rescinded or to present sufficient evidence of improvement, or plans for improvement, to warrant restoration of conditional accreditation or full accreditation. Should the University not demonstrate a commitment to rectifying identified deficiencies within one year, after the six-month period given to show cause, the program will no longer be accredited.

It is important that all constituents understand that a major goal of CCAPP is “to assist in the advancement and improvement of pharmaceutical education”. Hence, should a program receive probationary accreditation status, it is important that the University regularly seek CCAPP’s advice on the appropriate course of action to be followed.

 

Site Visit Cycle

Site visits normally will be conducted any time over an eight year period for programs granted full accreditation or conditional accreditation. For programs on probationary accreditation, a site visit normally will be required prior to the restoration of conditional or full accreditation. Requests to defer a scheduled site visit will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, subsequent to a well-justified request from the university.

 


Accreditation Application

In a very general way, each school seeking accreditation is asked to define what it wants to achieve with its professional program – i.e. what is its mission – what are the intended outcomes? It is asked to demonstrate that it has a program and the resources to produce those outcomes. It is asked to have procedures for evaluating whether or not the desired outcomes are achieved. Finally, it is asked to have a plan for correcting deficiencies and for incorporating new ideas into its program.

There are five steps in the accreditation process:

  1. The university makes application for accreditation under CCAPP. The application is composed of three sets of documents:
    1. Application for Accreditation – providing information on personnel, budgets, enrolment, etc.
    2. Self-Assessment Report – Using the Examples of Evidence for each Standard provide in-depth information for the school. The focus is on the present and the time since the last visit i.e. “where we have been and where we are”.
    3. Strategic Plan – detailing the school’s plans for the next five-year period. It focuses on “where we want to go and how we plan to get there”
  2. A site visit evaluation for a Baccalaureate or PharmD Program is conducted by a four or five-member team composed of a CCAPP board member, a dean, a pharmacy faculty member and the CCAPP executive director. Every effort is made to include individuals with expertise in university and pharmacy school policies, procedures and finances; in the pharmacy practice/clinical area and/or the social and administrative sciences; and in the basic sciences. When a post BSc PharmD Program is being evaluated, an individual with experience as a faculty member in a PharmD program is added to the team. The appropriate provincial regulatory authority (authorities) is (are) invited to appoint an observer to each site visit evaluation team.
    The team seeks information to supplement the Self-Assessment Report, determines the feasibility of the Strategic Plan, and prepares a draft report.
  3. The executive director prepares a final report on the school and a recommended accreditation status for consideration by the CCAPP board of directors.
  4. The board of directors makes a decision on the appropriate accreditation status to be granted pharmacy school and determines the time period and/or any conditions to be associated with the accreditation award.
  5. The university’s president and the dean of the school are advised of the board’s decision and the accreditation status is published in the CCAPP Annual Directory.

Full accreditation is granted for a specific term, not exceeding eight years. Thus, an ongoing cycle of self-assessment, strategic planning and external review is established within each pharmacy school.

University Pharmacy Degree Programs CCAPP Application for Accreditation of Professional Degree in Pharmacy Programs Form (English)


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