The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC), in the course of providing its services, needs to collect personal information and has prepared this policy to inform PEBC candidates and staff about PEBC’s commitment to ensuring that candidates’ personal information remains accurate, confidential and secure. PEBC is committed to collecting, using, disclosing and protecting personal information responsibly and only to the extent necessary to affect the mandate and business of PEBC in accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
What is Personal Information?
Personal information is information about an “identifiable” individual. It means any information, recorded in any form, about an individual or an individual whose identity may be inferred or determined form such information, other than business contact information (e.g., name, title, business address and telephone number), which is not protected by privacy legislation. This Policy does not cover aggregate data from which the identity of an individual cannot be determined. PEBC retains the right to use aggregate data in any way that it determines appropriate.
How PEBC Collects, Uses and Discloses Personal Information
PEBC provides the provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities with various credentialing and examination services. In providing services, PEBC collects personal information from pharmacist and pharmacy technician applicants/candidates, their authorized representatives, or from pharmacist or pharmacy technician training, licensing, or regulatory authorities. PEBC uses only fair and lawful methods to collect personal information. PEBC shares that information on a limited basis with provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities. The personal information that PEBC collects is used for the purposes of:
- assessing and verifying the educational credentials of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians educated within Canada, as well as for those who were educated outside of Canada, in order to establish whether an applicant’s education is comparable to that of a Canadian-educated pharmacist or pharmacy technician;
- determining eligibility for PEBC examinations and services;
- administering the PEBC Evaluating Examinations and entry-to-practice Qualifying Examinations as part of the PEBC certification process to determine candidates’ readiness for safe and effective practice;
- administering and processing requests for re-scoring or for appeal processes;
- linking candidates’ identity to their pharmacy or pharmacy technician credentials;
- maintaining a record of various credential documents against which to compare other candidates’ documentation;
- providing information to Canadian pharmacy regulatory authorities and government territorial authorities for purposes of confirming credentialling status;
- meeting PEBC’s legal and regulatory requirements;
- processing payment for services; and
- conducting other processes consistent with PEBC’s mandate and business.
PEBC also utilizes a number of consultants who may, in the course of their duties, have limited access to candidates’ personal information. These include third-party examination site coordinators, Examination Presiding Officers, Chief Examiners and Administrators and other examination centre staff, as well as examination measurement consultants.
Please note that there are circumstances where the use and/or disclosure of personal information may be justified or permitted or where PEBC is obliged to disclose information without consent. Such circumstances may include:
- Where required by law or by order or requirement of a court, administrative agency or governmental tribunal;
- Where PEBC believes, upon reasonable grounds, that it is necessary to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of an identifiable person or group;
- Where it is necessary to establish or collect monies owing to PEBC;
- Where it is necessary to permit PEBC to pursue available remedies or limit any damages that may be sustained; or
- Where the information is public.
Where obliged or permitted to disclose information without consent, PEBC will not disclose more information than is required.
PEBC’s use of personal information is limited to the purposes described in this Policy and PEBC does not otherwise sell, trade, barter, exchange or disclose for consideration any personal information it has obtained.
A record is kept each time personal information is disclosed, noting the nature of the disclosure, the date and the identity of the party to whom the disclosure was made. Individual records of disclosure are not maintained for regular or routine actions such as transfers of personal information to businesses acting as agents of PEBC or pharmacy regulatory authorities.
Unless permitted by law, no personal information is collected, without first obtaining the consent of the individual concerned to the collection, use and dissemination of that information. However, PEBC will seek consent to use and disclose personal information after it has been collected in those cases where PEBC wishes to use the information for a new or different purpose and the individual concerned has not yet consented to such a use of their personal information.
By providing personal information to PEBC a candidate agrees and consents that PEBC may collect, use and disclose a candidate’s personal information in accordance with this Policy. In addition, in circumstances where appropriate, specific authorizations or consents may be obtained from time to time.
In most cases and subject to legal and contractual restrictions, a candidate is free to refuse or withdraw his/her consent at any time upon reasonable, advance notice. It should be noted that in certain circumstances, PEBC services can only be offered if the candidate provides personal information to PEBC. In certain cases, a candidate’s refusal to consent could prohibit eligibility for PEBC Examinations and/or the PEBC Certificate of Qualification – independent of the candidate’s application or registration and credentialing requests.
Accuracy and Retention of Personal Information
PEBC endeavours to ensure that any personal information provided and in its possession is as accurate, current and complete as necessary for the purposes for which PEBC uses that information. PEBC does not routinely update a candidate’s personal information, unless required. It is in the best interest of a candidate that he/she informs PEBC promptly of any changes in his/her personal information.
PEBC will, from time to time, verify the personal information that a candidate provides as part of its routine process of credentials verification and the credentialing process. This may include verifying other elements of a candidate’s personal information with associated stakeholders.
If a candidate believes that personal information in his/her record may be inaccurate, PEBC allows a candidate to verify and update it. If incorrect personal information has been provided to third parties, PEBC will convey the corrected information to them, if necessary.
If a candidate does not agree to change his/her personal information, the candidate may challenge PEBC’s decision. PEBC will make a record of this challenge and, if necessary, disclose the challenge to third parties who also possess the personal information.
PEBC keeps a candidate’s personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected. The length of time PEBC retains information varies, depending on the service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of a candidate’s relationship with PEBC but it will be only for so long as it is necessary for PEBC to have sufficient information to respond to any issues that may arise at a later date.
When a candidate’s personal information is no longer required for PEBC purposes, PEBC has procedures to destroy, delete, and erase this information.
At present, the principal place in which PEBC holds personal information is in the city of Toronto and nearby municipalities where off-site storage facilities may be located.
How does PEBC protect a candidate’s privacy?
PEBC protects the privacy of candidates by undertaking rigorous confidentiality and information security measures.
- All personal information held at PEBC offices is stored securely or is password protected and accessible only to PEBC staff who require access.
- All office staff coming into contact with personal information are trained to safeguard the information and follow strict confidentiality policies.
- PEBC has assurances from third-party consultants and external examination staff that they will follow PEBC confidentiality policies accordingly
- All staff, PEBC consultants and external examination staff who come into contact with personal information are required to sign a confidentiality agreement
- PEBC destroys unneeded paper files containing personal information by shredding them. PEBC destroys electronic information by deleting it and, when the hardware is discarded, PEBC ensures that the hard drive is physically destroyed.
Access to a Candidate’s Personal Information
PEBC permits the reasonable right of access and review of personal information held by PEBC about a candidate and will endeavour to provide the information in question within a reasonable time, generally no later than 30 days following the request. To guard against fraudulent requests for access, PEBC may require sufficient information to allow confirmation that the person making the request is authorized to do so before granting access or making corrections.
PEBC will provide information from records in a form that is easy to understand. PEBC reserves the right not to change any personal information but will append any alternative text the individual concerned believes to be appropriate.
PEBC reserves the right to decline to provide access to personal information where the information requested:
- Would disclose i) personal information, including opinions, about another individual or about a deceased individual; or ii) trade secrets or other business confidential information that may harm PEBC or the competitive position of a third party;
- Would interfere with contractual or other negotiations of PEBC or a third party;
- Is subject to solicitor-client litigation or other legal privilege;
- Is not readily retrievable and the burden or cost of providing would be disproportionate to the nature or value of the information;
- Does not exist, is not held, or cannot be found by PEBC;
- May harm or interfere with law enforcement activities and other investigative or regulatory functions of a body authorized by law to perform such functions; or
- May be withheld or is requested to be withheld under applicable legislation.
Where information will not or cannot be disclosed, the individual making the request will be provided with the reasons for non-disclosure.
PEBC will not charge a candidate for verifying or correcting personal information, however, to the extent permitted by applicable law, there may be a minimal charge imposed if a candidate needs a copy of records.
PEBC has designated a Privacy Officer to answer candidates’ questions and respond to concerns. The Privacy Officer can be contacted as follows:
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada
717 Church Street
Tel: (416) 979-2431
Fax: (416) 599-9244
To make a formal complaint about PEBC privacy practices, the candidate is asked to forward his/her complaint in writing to the PEBC Privacy Officer who will acknowledge receipt of the complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly, and ensure a formal decision with reasons is provided to the candidate in return.
For more general inquiries, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The commissioner acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Privacy Commissioner can be reached at www.privcom.gc.ca.
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is committed to providing online privacy and security to users of its website and takes precautions to protect its users’ personal information submitted to the website. Sensitive information provided on an application form, such as a credit card number, is encrypted during transmission and maintained in a secure database. While reasonable efforts are made to ensure the confidentiality of information submitted to this website, websites are vulnerable to interception, forging and unauthorized access. The PEBC cannot and does not make any representation, warranty or promise concerning the interception by third parties of your personal or other information. PEBC will not be responsible for any damages you may suffer as a result or in connection with the transmission of any information to this website.
The PEBC does not sell, distribute or disclose personal information to third parties, except: (i) as required or permitted by law (such as in situations where the information is required to be disclosed by subpoena or other legal process); (ii) where required by the PEBC to investigate, prevent, or address a violation of laws (when the PEBC reasonably believes that a violation has occurred or may occur). The PEBC may employ third party contractors or other companies to provide services for the PEBC, including processing of credit card payments, website design and maintenance. These entities may be allowed access to personal information as needed to perform their functions, and not for any other purposes. However, these entities will be required by the PEBC to maintain the confidentiality of all personal information to which they are provided access and to take reasonable security measures in respect of any personal information in their custody or control.
The PEBC collects and uses visitors’ personal information submitted to the website for the purposes of processing e-commerce orders placed through the website and answering visitors’ email enquiries. Visitors’ personal information is not disclosed to any third parties other than to payment processors as necessary to complete credit card transactions submitted to the website. The PEBC collects, retains and uses visitor statistical information only where permitted by law and useful in providing website users with products and services. Information generated by visitors to the PEBC website is maintained in log files that use IP addresses to track things such as pages accessed and actions taken. This information is maintained in statistical and aggregate formats to assess users’ priorities and interests, and is not linked to personally identifiable information.
The PEBC website uses session or temporary cookies to store information during an online visit. The session cookie is stored on your computer for your current visit only, and is deleted when you close your browser.