- Accreditation Standards for Canadian First Professional Degree in Pharmacy Programs 2018
- CCAPP Guidance for Standards 2018
- Normes d’agrément pour les programmes canadiens de formation professionnelles de premier cycle en pharmacie 2018
- Directives relatives aux normes d’agrément CCAPP 2018
- CCAPP Application for Accreditation 2017
Stages of Accreditation
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.
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.
Qualifying accreditation is generally permitted for up to four years, during 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 A program that has held qualifying status for four years but has not admitted its first class of students will be withdrawn from the pre-accreditation process unless information is provided by the university to satisfy the board that the program is making progress toward actual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.
Qualifying Accreditation status brings no rights and privileges of accreditation. Full disclosure by the university of the term and conditions of this award is required. The program is required to apply for accreditation during the term of the Qualifying Accreditation award. If the program fails to apply for accreditation during the term of the Qualifying Accreditation award but goes on to admit and graduate students during that same time frame, the students are not considered to be graduates of an accredited program.
A new program that has students enrolled but 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 other categories of accreditation as programmatic experiences are gained, generally, by the time the first class has graduated.
A Provisional Accreditation award ends when the first admitted class has graduated. The program is required to apply for accreditation during the term of the Provisional Accreditation award.
Graduates from a school designated as having provisional accreditation will be deemed by CCAPP to be graduates of an accredited program.
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.
Initial or continued Accreditation status is granted 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 an Accreditation award are 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 the accreditation award letter. 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; and, progress toward achieving Accreditation Standards that were published since the last site visit.
Conditional Accreditation reflects that there are concerns about the progress in addressing requirements of the Standards. The timing of a Progress report will depend on the nature of the deficiencies. Subject to the receipt of a Progress report and upon review of the extent to which deficiencies have been met, the Board may change the award to Accredited, if concerns have been adequately addressed, or Probation, if satisfactory progress has not been achieved.
Probationary Accreditation reflects that the program fails to comply with standards, or the program has minimal or non-compliance to some standards over two or more survey cycles that result in serious weaknesses in one or more major components of a program. The maximum term of Probationary Accreditation is eighteen months. An unannounced visit by CCAPP and Ministry officials may occur at any time during the probationary period at the program’s expense.
Within six months of receiving notice of Probationary Accreditation, the institution is required 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 accreditation. It is the responsibility of the program and the university to address the non-compliance by submitting additional information, correcting the weaknesses in the deficient component, or considering whether the program should cease operation. The chief executive officer of the institution and the Dean or Director of the school are given due notice of the Board’s decision to award Probationary Accreditation.
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.
Should the institution not demonstrate a commitment to rectifying identified deficiencies within one year after the six-month period given to show cause, the Board will withdraw Accreditation.
Withdrawal of Accreditation
Circumstances that would warrant withdrawal of accreditation are:
- The program fails to meet the requirements of the Accreditation Standards.
- Probationary Accreditation has been awarded and the program fails to address the required changes to achieve the basic structures, processes, and intended educational outcomes.
- The accredited program is revised an no longer meets the requirements of the CCAPP Accreditation Standard (e.g., conversion to a program intended to develop pharmaceutical chemists, etc).
- The accredited program is without a graduate for a period of one year and has no registrants for a new cohort to commence within the same year.
- The program fails to submit progress reports to the CCAPP Board in a timely fashion.
- False or misleading statements are made publicly about the status, condition, or category of CCAPP Accreditation.
- The program has Accreditation Fees in arrears for a time period in excess of 120 days.
- The program ceases to operate.
Withdrawal of Accreditation becomes effective immediately. If a program has received a Withdrawal of Accreditation award, the institution is required to submit a new request for accreditation. The Dean must immediately advise students in the program, those who have been admitted to but not yet started the program, and applicants to the program that a Withdrawal of Accreditation award has been issued to the program. The CCAPP Executive Director notifies the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada, all Registrars of Canadian provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities, and the Provincial Ministry responsible for the school that a Withdrawal Accreditation award has been made.
Site Visit Cycle
Site visits normally will be conducted any time over an eight year period for programs granted Accreditation or Conditional Accreditation. For programs on probationary accreditation, a site visit normally will be required prior to the restoration of Conditional Accreditation or Accreditation. Requests to defer a scheduled site visit will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, subsequent to a well-justified request from the university.
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:
- The university makes application for accreditation under CCAPP. The application is composed of three sets of documents:
- Application for Accreditation – providing information on personnel, budgets, enrolment, etc.
- Self-Assessment Report (also know as a Self-Study) – Guided by the Examples of Evidence for each Standard, this report provides in-depth information about 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”).
- Strategic Plan – detailing the school’s most current plan. The plan focuses on “where we want to go and how we plan to get there”.
- A site visit evaluation of the 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. 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.
- The executive director prepares a final report on the school which is submitted for consideration by the CCAPP board of directors.
- The board of directors makes a decision on the appropriate accreditation status to be granted to the pharmacy school and determines the time period and/or any conditions to be associated with the accreditation award.
- 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.
Accreditation awards are 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.