Information for preceptors

A partnership in learning

Help shape the future of pharmacy in Alberta

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About precepting

Share your knowledge and experience with the next generation of pharmacists by becoming a preceptor in the Structured Practical Training (SPT) program, the in-pharmacy training period required for registration as a pharmacist in Alberta. 

The SPT program gives soon-to-be-regulated pharmacists – known as interns – the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and develop their competencies by undergoing three levels of supervised training before assuming sole responsibility as a proficient, patient-centered, and outcomes-focused pharmacist.  

Your support and involvement in our internship program are essential to the growth of our profession and greatly appreciated. We hope you will enjoy the many reported benefits of being a preceptor:

  • The joy of watching an intern develop.
  • The opportunity to learn and be challenged about how therapeutic decisions are made.
  • The intellectual stimulus an intern provides to “keep current” with clinical practice guidelines and literature.
  • The motivation to perform to the best of your own ability.
  • Stimulating interns in areas of interest.
  • The opportunity to influence an intern’s career.
  • The opportunity to share one’s knowledge and experience.
  • The opportunity to “give back” to the profession.
  • The increased visibility and recognition by peers.


In order to serve as a preceptor, pharmacists must meet certain criteria and practice in an eligible practice site. For full information on eligibility requirements, please read the SPT Program Rules located in the online SPT portal.

Pharmacists registered on the clinical register may be approved to act as a preceptor if they:

  • have been a clinical pharmacist on the register for 2 or more years
  • will take action to understand the principles of the program, and accept the role and responsibilities of a preceptor
  • are in good standing
  • are not in a close personal relationship* with the intern being precepted (*e.g. cannot be related to or residing at the same residence as the intern)
  • do not have more than two interns under their preceptorship at the same time
  • do not precept the same intern for Level II and III
  • An intern may be required to secure an experienced preceptor, as outlined in the SPT rules (Rule #2). The requirements for an experienced preceptor are outlined in the experienced preceptor declaration form.

Pharmacies may be approved to act as a preceptorship site if they:  

  • are a licensed community or institutional pharmacy in Alberta
  • operate a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • are in good standing
  • do not host the same intern for Level II and III

Roles and responsibilities

The SPT program provides suggested activities and resources, and provides an online platform for tracking activities, progress, and assessments. 

The intern is responsible for understanding and successfully completing the SPT program and becoming a competent licensed pharmacist.

The preceptor is responsible for assessing the intern’s knowledge, skills, and abilities; providing direct supervision during all restricted activities; and signing off on a level of training only when the intern has demonstrated competence and met/exceeded the acceptable performance levels for all the entry-to-practice competencies. Day-to-day, this looks like: 

  • Providing opportunities for your intern to complete the SPT program activities; supervising as appropriate.
  • Encouraging critical thinking and problem solving by enabling your intern to formulate his/her own answers.
  • Supporting your intern with providing patient care and answering patient questions; assisting with health promotional and interdisciplinary activities as needed.
  • Adjusting program activities as needed to be more conducive to the practice site and your intern’s learning needs.
  • Playing the role of the patient/prescriber in the role-play activities and supplementing details as required.
  • Being available for discussion and guidance; providing ongoing feedback and meeting with your intern to review and discuss assessment results.
  • Helping your intern determine activities and learning plans to help him/her meet acceptable performance levels.

Getting started 

Here is what you need to do if you would like to precept for an intern. 

  1. Log into the online SPT portal
    The online SPT portal contains full program rules and requirements. Login using your registration number and password, and familiarize yourself with the SPT program. Are you able to provide the guidance and support required? 
  2. Review eligibility requirements
    Interns can only be precepted by eligible pharmacists. For more information on eligibility requirements, please read the SPT Program Rules located in the online SPT portal. 
  3. Provide the intern with your registration number and pharmacy site licence number
    The intern will enter this information into their SPT profile, which will automatically send you a precepting request to approve via the SPT portal.  
  4. Accept precepting request
    Log into the online SPT portal to accept the intern's request. You may now begin the SPT program.