Pharmacy Board of Australia - Pharmacy Intern Experience Survey report published
Look up a health practitioner


Check if your health practitioner is qualified, registered and their current registration status

Pharmacy Intern Experience Survey report published

17 Mar 2020

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) has published the final report of the Pharmacy Internship Experience Survey, a large-scale survey of recent pharmacy interns and preceptors across Australia. 

The report can be found on the Professional Practice Issues webpage. Pleasingly the results of the survey, as presented in the report, show that the majority (>90%) of interns agreed that their period of supervised practice enabled them to gain the skills and knowledge to practise as a pharmacist independently. A large majority (>90%) of interns also agreed that their period of supervised practice enabled them to successfully apply what they learned during their pharmacy degree to their practice.

The survey results also indicated that a large majority (>90%) of preceptors agreed that the internship period provided their interns with the necessary skills and knowledge to practise as a pharmacist independently.

The Board undertook the survey about the intern year with recent interns and preceptors in response to anecdotal feedback which had suggested that there were some concerns with aspects of the internship experience. A commonly expressed concern related to inconsistencies in the quality of the training and supervision experience.

The survey was an opportunity for interns and preceptors to provide feedback on their own experiences, so the Board could assess the situation and continue to improve the supervised practice process for future interns and preceptors.

Although the majority of responses to the survey were positive, the survey respondents did indicate some areas for improvement based on individual experiences. Areas that may require further consideration and/or action identified by some preceptors and/or interns included:

  • interns’ time management/stress
  • orientation to the workplace setting
  • preceptors’ workloads and support
  • preceptors’ teaching skill and ability to provide feedback
  • preceptors’ knowledge about the Intern Training Program (ITP) requirements and the purpose of the supervised period
  • preceptors’ time spent with interns, and
  • preceptors’ rapport, interest and enthusiasm for teaching.

Now that the report is published, the Board will explore possible actions to help improve the quality of the supervised practice experience for interns and preceptors. This includes:

  • development of new content for the Board’s Intern pharmacist and preceptor guide, and
  • engaging with stakeholders to identify how best to provide additional support to interns and preceptors to facilitate good learning outcomes across all internships.

Page reviewed 17/03/2020