In partnership with the Pharmacy Board of Australia, the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) has launched a set of workplace-based (WPA) assessment tools to help supervisors and preceptors mentor, advise and train pharmacy interns. The tools aim to support interns consolidate learning in the workplace so as to transition to competent pharmacists.

In 2021, APC tested the tools across 12 community and hospital pharmacies in Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. Preceptors and interns who trialled the tools said they would have a positive impact on intern training experiences.

Adam, pharmacist at Christies Guild in Adelaide, said the tools help formalise what they already do as preceptors.

"The tools themselves were quite neatly summarised and there were no big surprises in the sorts of things that the interns were required to do.

"It didn't feel like anything too different, but it was nice in that it was fairly brief and it seemed quite clear what was required of us. It seemed like a good opportunity to formalise some of the conversations we've been having more ad hoc as part of the internship," he said.

"We liked all the tools, but the tool that was really ingrained in us, and which will change our practice for the future, is the Entrustable Professional Activity on Dispensing," said John, Pharmacist at Calvary Public Hospital in Canberra.

"We'll definitely be implementing this with our current interns," he said.

Eliza, intern pharmacist at Calvary Hospital said the Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) said dispensing was most beneficial to her learning.

"We found it worthwhile to undertake as it helps to develop a more competent intern. Everyone is more confident that when I am registered, I will be able to complete the tasks assessed in the EPA," she said.

The APC also received positive feedback on the structure and format of the tools.

"I was really impressed with the design and structure of the program. The intern said that practice using the tools helped her to be more confident when she went for her oral exam," said Pharmacist Waqas at Amcal Canberra.

APC CEO Bronwyn Clark said the tools will give preceptors greater confidence in providing feedback to interns about their performance.

"As part of our duty to assure quality, we strive to support everyone involved in pharmacy education, and the intern year can be particularly stressful for both preceptors and interns.

"We've created the tools to align with international best practice, and after a few months in the making, we are thrilled to have them come to fruition in Australia," Ms Clark said.

For an overview, pharmacists and interns can listen to a short presentation on the tools.

The APC is working closely with Intern Training Programs (ITP) to integrate the tools into the supervised practice period and to support preceptors and interns to use them. Interns should contact their ITPs for more information on when these workplace-based assessment tools will become part of their intern program this year.

For more information, email APC at

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