Preceptor Development


The resident shall be under the preceptorship of individuals who have the experience, desire and aptitude to teach. 


  1. A preceptor shall have the knowledge, skills and practice experience to act as a role model and to assist in the development of the resident’s skills.

  2. A defined process shall be in place for orientation of new preceptors.

  3. Continuing preceptor development shall be made available to all instructional staff.

  4. A qualified pharmacist shall be designated as the primary preceptor for each learning experience (referred to as a rotation).

    a) The primary preceptor shall be responsible for ensuring that a training plan is established and that all assessments are completed.

    b) Co-preceptors or secondary preceptors from pharmacy or other professions may be appointed to assist in delivering the educational experience, but such preceptors shall be fully appraised of rotation obejctives, the resident’s progress to date, and assessment expectations of the program.

  5. Time shall be allocated for instruction, observation and assessment of the resident in each rotation.

  6. The preceptor shall review and confirm learning goals and objectives with the resident at the beginning of the rotation.

  7. The preceptor shall provide timely and regular feedback to, and assessment of, the resident.

  8. A defined process shall be in place for preceptor self-assessment and incorporation of constructive feedback provided by the resident, program coordinator, program director, and (where applicable) other preceptors and members of the interprofessional team.


Our resident preceptors are prepared, supported, and recognized for their contributions to our residents’ development.

Precepting Skills

Effective preceptors aren’t born, but they can be made. Although the skills required for effective precepting take years to hone, several launching points are provided here. Taking the time to invest in your own learning and reflection about being an effective preceptor can pay big dividends in terms of resident learning, your satisfaction with precepting, and integrating precepting with your daily workflow.

Preceptor Roles

Consider the four preceptor roles (direct instruction, modeling, coaching and facilitating) and when to use them.  The roles are sequential in nature, but consider each resident individually, their learning style/needs, their experience/skills to date and which role might be most beneficial for your resident.  Review ASHP’s “Starring Roles: The four preceptor roles and when to use them”

Asking the Right Questions

The questions preceptors ask are a key to leading residents to deeper understanding.  Bloom’s Taxonomy can be used to help you ask the RIGHT questions to get beyond “testing” for Knowledge and Comprehension to where we want our residents to be:  Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.  See Asking the Right Questions and Powerful Questions

Also consider the Socratic Questioning vs Pimping teaching strategies and reviewing the article Teaching How to Think Is Just as Important as Teaching Anything Else.

Giving Feedback

Establish this from day 1 of your rotation.  Ask your resident for permission to provide feedback and that you, too would like feedback in return.  Then set aside time EACH day to do so.  See “Beyond Praise in Public - Systematic Approaches to Feedback” presented at the 2014 ASHP NPPC and Giving Feedback to Residents

* New preceptor development & support subcommittee

A new subcommittee is being formed that will focus on the preceptor development and ongoing educational needs and other supports. This subcommittee will have members from various sites who will help in the development and delivery of the educational content or the facilitation of group discussions on precepting at your sites. Stay tuned for more information.

DRAFT Preceptor Development and Support Subcommittee Terms of Reference

Resources to Develop Your Precepting Skills

  1. UBC OEE Practice Educator Resource Centre - Preceptor Resources - Visit this site for the OEE Practice Educator Resources Centre. You must create a free online account to access the many online modules and resources.

  2. CSHP Program Resources There are various papers and webinars with useful information for preceptors.

  3. Preceptor Education Program (PEP) for Health Professionals and Students - An excellent Ontario-based preceptorship course.

  4. Preceptor Resource Guide: Supporting Clinical Learning - An excellent handbook for clinical preceptors developed by VCH Learning & Career Development. Required reading for all new resident preceptors.

  5. The 1-Minute Preceptor - A classic framework for precepting embraced by clinicians around the world.

  6. A Lesson in Clinical Reasoning for the Preceptor - an excellent article that breaks down the intuitive steps of clinical reasoning and how to coach/mentor these steps.

Advanced Precepting: resources & Tools for Self-Evaluation and Reflection

  1. Precepting-Coaching Assessment Tool - Thanks to Helen Roberts for this.

  2. Teaching Perspectives Inventory - This will get you thinking about whether your espoused beliefs about what makes good teaching/precepting jive with your actual practices. Thanks to Dr. Daniel Pratt for this.

  3. ”Preceptor's Handbook for Pharmacists” by Lourdes M. Cuellar and Diane B. Ginsburg

  4. "Letters to a Young Pharmacist: Sage Advice on Life & Career from Extraordinary Pharmacists" by Susan Cantrell, Sara J. White and Bruce E. Scott

research on preceptor resources in lmps

We conducted a survey of LMPS preceptors to learn more about their perceived challenges when precepting and their most desired or useful resources.

View the poster here>

preceptor self-assessment

Just as we ask residents to reflect on their learning and what they might do differently in their next learning opportunity, we also ask preceptors to reflect on their rotations from the past year.

On a regular basis the resident feedback evaluation results will be shared with you in a collated format so that you can continue to learn and grow as a preceptor.

You will be sent a Self-Assessment form via one45 once yearly (see the Preceptor Self Assessment form here) where you can consider what went well with your rotations and any changes you’d like to implement. You can also provide any program feedback to the Residency Coordinator here - we welcome your input!

Toxic Preceptor Behaviors

Even veteran preceptors are sometimes guilty of these “toxic” behaviours known to hinder student/resident learning.  Reflect on these, consider whether you are guilty of any.  

Toxic Preceptor Behaviors:

  1. Allow/make the resident feel disrespected or demeaned through words you say, tone of voice, ignoring them. This is the most effective way to short-circuit learning, demotivating the resident, and make the precepting experience unrewarding.

  2. Fail to consistently provide positive feedback about activities done well and learning having occurred. Need help? Recognize when learning has occurred and acknowledge it. (eg. "It seems that you now have a good understanding of how ACE-Inhibitors can affect hemodynamics in a way that is useful for understanding how they can affect renal function. Remember a couple of days ago when that was really a struggle for you? You've come a long way.") "Precepting Through the Eyes of a Coach" can help here.

  3. Teach, teach, teach, talk, talk, talk. Fail to give residents time to articular their own understanding and explore connections between ideas, facts, and concepts. Need help? Learn the difference between when you need to ask good questions and lead the resident to deeper understanding (most situations) vs. when you need to teach (ie. transmit information for supposed absorption by resident) (occasionally, infrequently). Precepting is more about guiding than teaching. "Precepting Through the Eyes of a Coach" can help here.

  4. Ask useless or uninspired questions that seem to emphasize "trivia" and recall rather than understanding and synthesis. Need help? Check out Asking the Right Questions and Powerful Questions.