Resource spotlight: Precepting tools

January 3, 2023


Written by Eric Katula

This article was written and researched by a CSHP student member for Interactions, our biweekly newsletter. Crafting these pieces not only helps students gain in-depth knowledge of specific conditions, treatments, and resources, it also helps them hone their skills in research, critical appraisal, evaluation, synthesis, and writing – all of which will serve them well in clinical practice. The Professional Practice Team works with the student to select topics that are of interest and utility to both the student and to you, the reader. We hope you enjoy this piece by one of our future colleagues! Let us know what you think: If you would like to provide any comments or constructive feedback for our students, please email us at



A crucial part of pharmacy education is experiential learning, which gives students and interns the chance to apply their vast knowledge to real-world situations while being directed by pharmacists with relevant expertise. Being a preceptor is a difficult and crucial job that aids in
preparing graduates for the expanding complexity of the health care system, varied modes of care delivery, navigating the diversity and ambiguity of clients, and the quickening pace of technological advancements. This article aims to highlight tools and resources that can aid in facilitating preceptors' important roles. 

University of Alberta
The faculty of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Alberta has a preceptor guide that contains answers to any questions preceptors may have about student placements. The guide provides a range of information and suggestions regardless of the student’s year. Among other resources, the faculty offers a checklist for new preceptors, a policies and procedures manual for PharmD students, a guide to teaching clinical problem solving, complete training modules for preceptors, and a document outlining novel models of precepting. Also, the Alberta Health Services has a free preceptor module to help enhance preceptors’ skills. 

Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University offers a free preceptor eLearning course, available to students and instructors at the university, that provides both refresher modules and comprehensive preceptor practice information. The course highlights preceptor roles, teaching methods and styles, providing feedback and evaluation, and interprofessional learning. 

University of Saskatchewan
The university has resources and tools for new and seasoned preceptors that can help guide them through student mentorship. The university has a one-page document outlining the reasons to become a preceptor, how to be an effective preceptor, the roles of a preceptor, and Saskatchewan Health Information Resources and Partnership (SHIRP), a health information resource. 

Western University
The Preceptor Education Program is an online interprofessional program that has eight interactive learning modules. The program is free and available to the public. The modules include downloadable resources, learning exercises, video case scenarios and references. Learning is self-directed and the modules can be completed in any order. The learning modules will help preceptors to prepare for their roles, help students develop learning objectives, resolving conflicts, foster clinical reasoning, and learn how to provide effective feedback

American Society of Hospital Pharmacists
The ASHP offers its active members resources to help mentor and educate students in real world settings to fulfill experiential learning objectives. Their resources can serve as guidance as preceptors develop the most effective methods to teach and mentor students and residents. Such resources include a generational learning document that outlined tips to offering feedback to students of different generations, residency specific resources, student-specific resources, and a preceptor’s playbook that includes nine modules designed to enhance the skills of pharmacy preceptors. 

Suggested Reading Materials

Below are links to reading materials that outline current research on improving preceptors' abilities to guide students throughout their rotations. The studies and articles contain practical ways to implement the suggestions into practice.
  • Biagioli FE, Chappelle K. How to be an efficient and effective preceptor. Fam Pract Manag. 2010;17(3):18-21. This paper is a tool for preceptors to aid in pharmacy students' development of professionalism. The article defines professionalism, describes it in the context of contemporary pharmacy practice, discusses the professional socialization process of students, and suggests strategies for preceptors to facilitate improvement in professionalism among students during experiential training.

The following studies and articles introduce preceptors to the clinical reasoning and problem solving. The teaching strategies offered in the articles are aimed at facilitating the preceptor role in helping students develop their own clinical reasoning.