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Revised resources help to prepare pharmacy technicians for practice

March 8, 2023
ACP has launched an updated Structured Practical Training logbook for provisional pharmacy technicians and preceptors.

In 2022, ACP introduced a revised Structured Practical Training (SPT) logbook, along with an updated manual and forms, for provisional pharmacy technicians and preceptors. As of March 1, 2023, all provisional pharmacy technicians are required to use the updated logbook and assessment forms.

Why the change?

This was the first update to the logbook since the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities’ (NAPRA) first iteration of the Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians at Entry to Practice were approved in 2007. Much has changed both within the pharmacy technician profession and the overall pharmacy landscape within the past 15 years. The updated logbook reflects modern policies and guidance to help pharmacy technicians become qualified and ready to practise in today’s healthcare landscape.

What’s new?

The previous logbook focused primarily on drug preparation, verification, and distribution, which, while integral to the pharmacy technician role, did not adequately represent the full spectrum of knowledge, skills, and attributes expected of new-to-practice individuals.

The revised logbook focuses on competencies that reflect the myriad of roles that pharmacy technicians currently perform within our healthcare system. A few examples of these competencies include

  • leadership skills,
  • workflow management,
  • critical thinking,
  • cultural awareness, and
  • drug safety and error management.

What is the “Read, Reflect, Do” format?

The revised logbook now follows a “Read, Reflect, Do” learning format, where

  • the “Read” sections identify legislation, standards, and guidance documents, specific to each competency, that can be reviewed either independently or collaboratively with preceptors or pharmacy peers;
  • the “Reflect” sections prompt the provisional pharmacy technician and preceptor to frequently engage in guided conversations that drive self-assessment and practice improvement, regularly discussing how learning or practical experience is contributing to the learner’s competency; and
  • the “Do” sections outline activities that allow the provisional pharmacy technician to practise and demonstrate, under supervision, the core skills and tasks expected of a pharmacy technician.

This format helps to prepare technicians to step into their practice as autonomous professionals who work collaboratively with pharmacists to enable the best possible patient care.

What’s the feedback so far?

Morgan Lahl is the pharmacy programs coordinator at Robertson College. She is part of an advisory group consulting on updates to the SPT program for pharmacy technicians. Morgan shared her feedback on the new logbook.

What did you think of the new SPT logbook?

“As a seasoned pharmacy technician who mentors students, I enjoyed going through the logbook. It was a welcome change to see more resources on leadership and supervision added into the program.”

What stood out to you?

“The revised structure is excellent, especially the ‘Read, Reflect, Do’ format. Previously, it was sometimes a struggle to figure out how to apply learnings and this format helps provisional pharmacy technicians connect all the dots. It was also nice to see clear takeaways to implement into practice.”

How might the new logbook better prepare pharmacy technicians for practice?

“We are lifelong learners and this sets the stage for continuing education, especially in the area of applying the knowledge that we gain in our studies and through practice. Learning can be intimidating and this logbook offers an excellent introduction to the concept of ongoing learning as a professional.”

Visit the SPT for pharmacy technicians page on the ACP website for more information on the SPT program and the revised logbook