This page provides learning material and guidance to help interns, supervising pharmacists and preceptors implement workplace-based assessment in pharmacies. You can find each of the Workplace-Based Assessment (WPA) tools below.
The material promotes learning and development for both interns and preceptors.
Workplace-based assessment (WPA), also commonly referred to as WBA, tests performance of an individual in their real work environment. It measures what they do in real-life situations.
WPA involves regular observation, feedback and measurement of an individual's ability to conduct day to day tasks and duties. To be effective, this is done using authentic tools applied by a variety of people who are familiar with the tools and who are already competent in the work they're observing.
WPA is gaining more popularity in health practitioner education.
The advantage of WPA is that it enables the assessment of clinical reasoning, decision making, communication skills, professional judgement and other capabilities, which can be done with a level of practicality and efficiency not always available by other means.
Pharmacist interns complete their supervised practice period in diverse workplaces under the guidance of a nominated preceptor. Preceptors are responsible for providing assurance that an intern is ready to advance towards independent practice. The WPA process provides evidence that helps the preceptor make this decision.
We've outlined the performance outcomes for pharmacist interns in the Performance Outcomes Framework. Each domain describes expectations for pharmacy students at the end of their degree program (left side of the table) and for interns upon general registration (right side of the table).
To assist those responsible for assessing interns, an Intern Year Assessment Blueprint (IYB) is also available. The IYB recommends a single optimal assessment method for each of the performance outcomes.
WPA allows interns to show how they are progressing towards meeting these performance outcomes.
Satisfactory completion of an accredited Intern Training Program (ITP) is a registration requirement. Interns must demonstrate attainment of the requisite performance outcomes to receive an ITP certificate of completion.
Interns must therefore work closely with their ITP providers (and preceptors) to ensure their portfolio is complete and provides evidence to support competency claims. Such evidence may include WPA activities completed and attested to by the preceptor.
Effective WPA requires the use of different strategies to observe and assess an individual's performance. An initial suite of WPA tools for Australian pharmacist intern assessment is now available. You can read our report on the development and testing of the WPA tools (8 pages PDF).
These tools cover 15 of the 51 performance outcomes relevant for pharmacist interns. Some of the tools can be used to address more than one performance outcome simultaneously.
The tools comprise:
Each of these tools come with a Preceptor and Intern User Guide, and a Feedback and Assessment form. Some of the tools include additional templates and forms that interns can use.
Case-based discussions (CbD) are retrospective explorations of cases or scenarios by interns and supervisors.
Components of the CbD tool:
Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs) are the newest innovation in workplace-based assessment.
We have developed three small EPAs that can be used independently or in combination.
Components of the EPAs:
EPA - 1: Dispensing pharmaceutical products
EPA - 2: Compounding pharmaceutical products
EPA - 3: Providing counselling
In training assessments activities (ITA-act) are specific assessments administered by the ITP provider which may be carried out in the workplace and/or as part of the ITP activities. The are two ITA activities, health promotion and reflective practice.
Components of the ITA-act tools:
ITA-act health promotion