- Pharmaciae (SAPC) - http://pharmaciae.org.za -

Giving a 3rd party your online password amounts to unprofessional conduct

Giving a 3rd party your online password amounts to unprofessional conduct

Did you know you are liable to be charged with unprofessional conduct if you give someone your online password? Providing a third party with access to your secure site on Council’s website comprises the protection of personal information and leaves you open to disciplinary action.

In 2012 Council launched the online application and secure section of its website reserved for registered persons, which gave pharmacists access to change their personal information, apply for certain services and record their continuing professional development (CPD) activities online.

To access this information people were issued with secure passwords that were and remain unique to each person. These passwords can be changed or customised by individuals following a secured process.

Why do we need a secure, password protected section on the website?

The obvious answer to this is for security reasons. The secure section of the website contains personal and private information including financial history and financial documents, disciplinary case information and access to an individual’s CPD activities. The secure section also contains personal information needed only by Council and which is not available as public information.

Why do some pharmacists give out their passwords?

Some pharmacists apparently give their passwords to companies to allow those companies to upload CPD activities on their behalf.

Don’t be guilty of unprofessional conduct

Providing a third party with your password so they can upload your CPD activities amounts to unprofessional conduct and will result in Council taking disciplinary action against you.

Irrespective of the reason for giving out your password, it is wrong!

Protection of Personal Information Act

In terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act, Council is a holder of information, reasonably needed to conduct its business. However, registered persons themselves, when providing their passwords to other people, compromise the protection of this information.

This is without even considering the moral issue of instructing a company to access, complete and record CPD activities on your behalf – a system that is not designed around the collection of points, but looks at personal planning, personal reflection and personal learning outcomes.

Don’t face possible disciplinary action

Should Council become aware of any registered person wilfully providing another person with their password to access the secure section of Council’s website, that person will face disciplinary action in terms of Chapter V of the Pharmacy Act.