Structured tools for assessing interns trial to start

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The Pharmacy Board has updated the profession on its structured tools for assessing interns, with a trial set for August

In its latest newsletter, the Board discussed its collaboration with the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) on the tools.

“This work follows finalisation of the Intern Year Assessment Blueprint which is now mapped to the new pharmacy student and intern Performance Outcomes Framework,” it said.

“During the internship year, supervising pharmacists and preceptors are expected to assess and provide feedback on the knowledge, skills, and performance of the intern so that experiences can be built upon, and difficulties identified and remediated.

“The Board’s survey, The intern training experience from perspective of the intern and preceptor – a large scale study, found that the majority of pharmacists and interns agreed that the internship period gave them the necessary skills and knowledge to practise independently as a pharmacist.

“Preceptors were most concerned about workload and support.”

Key concerns raised by interns included:

  • preceptor teaching skill and ability to provide feedback;
  • preceptor time spent with interns; and
  • preceptor rapport, interest, and enthusiasm for teaching. 

Improving the internship experience by providing more structured assessment tools will ensure that interns are achieving the performance outcomes necessary for general registration, the Board says.

These structured assessment tools aim to:

  • support intern learning and reflective practice;
  • help preceptors provide better feedback to interns; and
  • improve interaction and time spent between preceptors and interns to support intern learning.

“Supervision of an intern already requires a significant amount of work, and the introduction of new assessment tools may increase the time commitment for both preceptors and interns,” it notes.

“We realise that many preceptors will be quite familiar and comfortable with the use of the proposed types of assessment tools, while others will have minimal experience with them.”

It says that with the help of the profession, it aims to make the tools easy to use and applicable across a range of internship sites.

APC sought feedback through consultative workshops and an open consultation between May and July 2021.

A trial of the proposed tools is scheduled to begin in August this year.


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