Quality Assurance

Quality assurance activities ensure pharmacy professionals meet and maintain standards of practice.

Quality Assurance and CPhM

There are several aspects of quality assurance that support safe, patient-centred, and progressive pharmacy practice, including:

  • Rules and standards that govern the practice of pharmacy
  • Pharmacy practice site environments
  • Competence of pharmacy professionals
  • Continuous quality improvement
  • Resolution of patient/public concerns or complaints

To ensure quality, CPhM routinely works to develop and assess each of these quality assurance practices to create the framework for safe, effective pharmacy practice.

The Framework for Pharmacy Practice Regulation

The framework for pharmacy practice regulation and quality assurance in Manitoba starts with the broad principles and legal mandate outlined by The Pharmaceutical Act (The Act). The Pharmaceutical Regulation defines how the requirements of The Act are carried out by CPhM. 

Through the authority granted by The Act and Regulations, CPhM governing Council sets conduct criteria called practice directions that give guidance to pharmacy professionals and owners based on the 17 Standards of Practice outlined in The Regulations. The Act and Regulations require pharmacy professionals to follow practice directions. 

Finally, pharmacy professionals must also follow a Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics outlines the values of ideal practice and the norms of professional integrity. Because these concepts are somewhat abstract, the Code of Ethics also outlines a set of concrete obligations for pharmacy professionals.  

Council reviews practice directions and the Code of Ethics on a yearly basis to ensure they optimize quality and safety in pharmacy practice. 


Pharmacy Site Standards 

Adequate space, equipment, lighting, and resources are just a few of the site requirements that enable pharmacy professionals to practice effectively and safely. 

Regular pharmacy site inspections ensure that facilities, policy and procedures, and practices meet College standards for patient safety and care. From routine inspections to new pharmacy openings, CPhM inspectors ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy managers have the knowledge and tools to meet practice requirements. 

Professional Competence 

Maintaining competence within our dynamic healthcare system requires pharmacists to upgrade their knowledge and skills through continuing professional development (CPD). Pharmacists in Manitoba rely on a Learning Portfolio system to help them plan for, participate in, and reflect on their CPD. The self-assessment component of the learning portfolio helps pharmacists to identify learning needs.  

CPhM conducts an annual Learning Portfolio Review to make sure pharmacists have met the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for maintaining their licence to practice 

Continuous Quality Improvement 

Continuous quality improvement (CQI) is an ongoing approach to problem-solving and harm prevention. CQI focuses on identifying what caused a problem and introducing ways to eliminate or reduce the problem through open-ended analysis and assessment of process change. In pharmacy practice, CQI focuses on preventing medication incidents and continually looking for ways to improve medication dispensing, therapy management, and counselling. 

Safety IQ is the mandatory CQI program for community pharmacies. Safety IQ helps community pharmacies to identify, resolve, and learn from medication errors. With Safety IQ, pharmacy professionals have the tools to be proactive when it comes to preventing medication errors and improving quality of care. Put another way, Safety IQ supports pharmacy teams to ask “how are we doing?” and “how can we do better?”  

Resolving Informal Concerns and Formal Complaints 

Members of the public often seek support and assistance from the College to resolve their concerns without submitting a formal complaint. Shared learning and CQI are the goals of informal concern resolution. Informal concern resolution is an opportunity to educate pharmacy professionals, mend relationships, and inform the public about how pharmacy practice is regulated in Manitoba. 

If a concern cannot be addressed through informal resolution, members of the public and the pharmacy profession have the right to issue a formal complaint against a pharmacist which will be investigated and resolved by CPhM. 

Safety Improvement in Quality (Safety IQ) is a standardized continuous quality improvement (CQI) program. Its elements include reporting, analyzing, documenting, and sharing learning from medication incidents and near-miss events to improve patient safety.

Pharmacy Operation

Access pharmacy standard forms, College pharmacy signage, and other resources related to the operation of your pharmacy.

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Filing a Complaint

Do you have a concern about the care you received at a pharmacy? Learn about the steps you can take to report your concern, including filing a complaint, to resolve the matter.

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