Dear students and alumni,
I am writing with an update regarding the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) Pharmacist Qualifying Examination Part II Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Since November, there’s been a lot of stakeholder engagement and advocacy, including significant efforts led by new members of our alumni community and our students. I’d like to thank our alumni and student leaders for their commitment to this issue.
We are actively engaging with PEBC leadership to support their efforts to host OSCE exams early this year. The PEBC is exploring a number of options, including holding exams in multiple locations across Ontario.
I have also been in contact with the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities and University of Toronto central COVID-19 planning groups to seek guidance on whether the OSCE exam would be considered as an activity falling under the amendment for capacity limits for in-person teaching, instruction and examinations at post-secondary institutions. The amendment allows for up to 50 people in one space with public health protocols in place to ensure safety. These amendments may make it feasible for PEBC to run limited tracks on campus, but this is only one factor in assessing feasibility to hold an OSCE exam.
The Ontario Pharmacists Association held a stakeholder meeting in December that included student representation from University of Toronto and University of Waterloo. The purpose of this meeting was to review progress and planning to ensure the PEBC is in the best position possible to run the OSCE exam in various settings in spring 2021.
I am also pleased to share that the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) Board unanimously approved proposed regulatory amendments that enable the creation of an emergency registration certificate class of pharmacy professionals in November. As required by law, consultations on changes to regulations were completed just prior to the holidays (December 20).
There was a special OCP Board meeting on January 11, 2021 when findings from consultations were reviewed and regulations were approved. The regulations have been submitted to the Ontario Government for their consideration and approval. If approved, this new certificate class will allow graduates that have not written the OSCE to practice to the full scope of their practice and compensated accordingly. The provincial Executive Committee that reviews these regulations meets weekly and we believe this is a high priority for their consideration.
Finally, our goal remains to keep all students on track to graduate on time. We are working with our partners to ensure that all our recent alumni and upcoming graduates are able to safely write the OSCE as soon as possible, as public health regulations allow.
I will continue to provide updates to our community as progress is made.
Professor and Dean
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto