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Preceptors play a huge role as SPT transition deadline approaches

July 5, 2017

Pharmacy interns who are completing ACP’s original paper-based Structured Practical Training (SPT) program have until July 31, 2017, to complete their requirements and must submit their evaluation and completion forms to ACP by August 31, 2017. The option to complete the paper-based program is only available to interns who registered with ACP before February 1, 2017.

Preceptors who have interns working through the paper-based SPT program are encouraged to complete their intern evaluations in a timely fashion, and remember the responsibilities that go along with being preceptors.

“Preceptors play an important role in the overall education and evaluation of pharmacy interns,” said Debbie Lee, ACP’s Registration Director. “The SPT program is about more than just the interns putting in the hours. Preceptors need to ensure that interns can demonstrate the competencies required to be a practicing pharmacist before giving them a passing grade. Assessing the interns’ readiness to practice is vital.”

Acting as both mentors and instructors, preceptors provide the gateway for interns to become licensed pharmacists.

“The SPT programs, both the original paper-based program and the new online program, are intended to set a minimum expectation for pharmacists entering the profession,” said Debbie. “It’s important for preceptors to know what those expectations are and provide consistent instruction and evaluation.”

Debbie says preceptors should also take note of the professionalism demonstrated by their interns during their internship.

“Accountability, honesty and integrity are key components to professionalism and our Code of Ethics,” she said. “To retain the high level of trust and respect that is given to pharmacy professionals, by patients, the public, and other health professionals, all pharmacy professionals must be both competent and professional in all they do.”

As a reminder, making a false declaration on an assessment of an intern could be interpreted as unprofessional conduct and referred to ACP’s complaints director. If an intern can’t demonstrate they are ready to practice, it’s the preceptor’s responsibility to hold them back. Interns who fail to complete the paper-based SPT program by the deadline will need to complete the new online SPT program. The new program features an objective approach to assessing an intern’s readiness to practice, providing a more consistent SPT experience for interns and preceptors alike.

For more information about the SPT program and/or precepting, click here or contact ACP.