Note: The number of candidates having enrolled in the DTLM by the end of 2022 has been revised to reflect updated final figures.
Nearly 200 international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) placed as mentees in pharmacies across Canada. Double that number enrolled in an online learning program to introduce IPGs to the Canadian pharmacy environment and to help them become better equipped to complete their formal training. Multiple long-lasting professional and personal relationships formed. It is on this high note that the Pilot Program to Prepare for Practical Training (P4T) came to its successful completion on December 31, 2022.
Launched by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) as a national short-term pilot project (2019-2022), with the financial support of the federal government of Canada, P4T’s aim was to provide access to tools, resources, and a mentorship program to specifically address the learning and skills gaps that pharmacy regulatory authorities had identified as barriers to success for IPGs pursuing licensure as a pharmacist in Canada. The project had three main components to support a smoother entry to pharmacy practice in Canada: a mentorship program, a diagnostic tool, and three learning modules.
A Successful Mentorship Experience
The P4T mentorship program matched IPGs with experienced Canadian pharmacists, providing them with a unique opportunity to gain exposure and experience in a Canadian pharmacy prior to formal assessment. Despite the many challenges of piloting a program at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, P4T was able to run the full mentorship program across Canada, with participation increasing year-to-year. A grand total of 181 mentorship placements were completed by the end of the project, exceeding the original target of 150 placements by over 20%. Mentees have lauded the value of the practical experience the mentorship provided while mentors have noted an appreciable improvement in their mentees’ level of preparedness to successfully challenge mandatory clinical assessments after their in-pharmacy experience.
Online Learning Support for International Pharmacy Graduates
The P4T online diagnostic tool and learning modules (DTLM) addressed learning and skills gaps in three knowledge areas relevant to pharmacy practice in Canada: knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system, cultural diversity and awareness, and professional communication. The diagnostic tool helped IPGs assess any gaps in these three areas and based on the results provided by the diagnostic tool, IPGs were directed to three interactive learning modules to further develop knowledge and skills relevant to Canadian pharmacy practice in the areas assessed. Once again, P4T met and exceeded its registration targets for the DTLM, with 376 candidates enrolled in, and 177 having completed, the assessment and learning program by the end of 2022.
Profound Gratitude to All P4T Stakeholders
NAPRA is gratified for the opportunity this pilot project provided to introduce IPGs to the Canadian pharmacy environment and to help them become better equipped to complete their formal training and, ultimately, protect the public’s health and well-being through safe, regulated pharmacy practices and wishes to recognize all who participated in the project and contributed to its success. This includes the P4T Steering Committee Members, the subject matter experts who reviewed the programs, the vendors who supported the project, the project partners who provided assistance in various forms, and the mentors who dedicated their time, energy and expertise to support mentees on their path to licensure. P4T’s success would not be possible without their dedication and contributions. Most of all, NAPRA would like to thank the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program for its support and project funding throughout the project’s lifecycle.
What Is Next? NAPRA Diagnostic Tool and Learning Modules (DTLM)
While the mentorship program administered as part of P4T ends with the completion of the pilot project, NAPRA is pleased to share that the online diagnostic tool and all three learning modules continue to be available to interested participants for a single fee of $50, plus applicable taxes, effective January 2023. There are no other conditions to access the DTLM. Pharmacists, international pharmacy graduates and pharmacy students alike will find information relevant to their pharmacy practice in Canada in the DTLM and are encouraged to participate in this learning program.
Those who wish to participate in the NAPRA DTLM are invited to do so as follows:
- Visit the NAPRA DTLM registration page
- Create a new account
- Choose a course
- Pay the fee of $50.00 (+ applicable taxes)
For further information or any other questions, please contact [email protected].