Introduction of a continuing professional development tool for preceptors: lessons learned

J Pharm Pract. 2015 Apr;28(2):212-9. doi: 10.1177/0897190014544813. Epub 2014 Aug 8.


Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) guidelines state that preceptors should "have a systematic, self-directed approach to their own continuing professional development (CPD)." The objective of this study was to encourage preceptors to take advantage of the ACPE CPD resources and implement the concept of CPD (reflect, plan, act, evaluate, record) as a framework for guiding individual preceptor's continuing development as educators and to determine their opinion regarding the usefulness, effectiveness, and obstacles to implementation of this approach. A total of 3713 preceptors from the participating schools were encouraged to undergo CPD training and invited to respond to a series of questions. Of the initial respondents, 48% represented health system/hospital preceptors, followed by community/independent pharmacists (64 of 236, 28%). Preceptor respondents often train students from multiple schools/colleges (average = 1.9 schools/colleges per preceptor) and 90% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, "the CPD model, as learned in the webcasts, is beneficial for ongoing preceptor development." The general consensus was that the preceptor portfolio provided motivation to reflect, plan, and set more defined and realistic goals for students, residents, and themselves as educators and could be a valuable starting point for promoting preceptors' reflection, planning, and action related to rotation management, professional teaching, and student learning goals.

Keywords: continuing professional development; experiential learning; portfolio; preceptors.

MeSH terms

  • Education, Pharmacy*
  • Humans
  • Preceptorship*
  • Program Development / methods*