The National Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program is intended to assist individuals already working in the role of pharmacy technician to upgrade their skills to align with changes in the scope of practice of pharmacy technicians, without returning to school to complete a full-time training program.
The Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program was originally developed and introduced in Ontario in 2008 by CONNECT Strategic Alliances (the marketing alliance of the Ontario college system) in collaboration with the Ontario College of Pharmacists. It was then adapted for use in Alberta and British Columbia in 2010, as those provinces began regulating pharmacy technicians. On August 1, 2011, ownership and responsibility for administration of the Pharmacy Technician Bridging Education Program was assumed jointly by the pharmacy regulatory authorities of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.
However, as more and more provinces began the steps towards regulating pharmacy technicians, it became clear that a national curriculum was needed to support consistency in the knowledge and skills of all pharmacy technicians across Canada in order to facilitate labour mobility. Thus, in 2012, NAPRA secured funding from the Government of Canada’s Inter-provincial Labour Mobility Initiative to revise the existing bridging programs in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario in order to create a program that was more suitable for national delivery.
NAPRA recruited a curriculum advisor and subject matter experts from across Canada to review the curriculum and complete the necessary changes to ensure an appropriate and effective product for national delivery. The project was undertaken in consultation with representatives from pharmacy technician education programs across Canada and overseen by committees of representatives from its members, the provincial/territorial pharmacy regulatory authorities.
The project was completed in April 2013 and has been delivered by authorized educational institutions since the fall 2013. The program is available for in-class or online delivery in both English and French.