December 31, 2022, marked the end of the Pilot Program to Prepare for Practical Training (P4T). The National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) launched this Canada-wide short-term pilot project in 2019 with the aim of providing access to tools, resources, and a mentorship program to specifically address the learning and skills gaps identified as barriers to success for international pharmacy graduates (IPGs) pursuing licensure as a pharmacist in Canada. Over P4T’s three-year run, 181 mentorship placements were completed and 376 IPGs enrolled in the P4T online Diagnostic Tool and Learning Modules (DTLM) program, with 269 completing the diagnostic tool and 179 completing the DTLM in its entirety, comfortably exceeding original project targets.
P4T was fully operationalized under unpredictable and difficult conditions as the COVID-19 pandemic introduced lockdowns and other novel challenges and pressures to program delivery. The project owes its success amidst such tumultuous times to the remarkable efforts and unwavering commitment of P4T supporters and administrators whom NAPRA would like to recognize and thank.
Government of Canada
NAPRA is grateful to the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program for its support and project funding. We greatly appreciate the recognition of the important contribution P4T could make to introducing IPGs to the Canadian pharmacy environment and helping them become better equipped to complete their formal training and, ultimately, protecting the public’s health and well-being through safe, regulated pharmacy practices.
P4T Steering Committee
The project was guided by the P4T Steering Committee through its lifecycle, a group comprised of representatives from pharmacy regulatory authorities, a mentor representative, and an IPG representative. We are thankful to the committee members for serving the profession of pharmacy in this capacity and for their ongoing commitment. Their leadership and guidance helped ensure the smooth functioning of the project from start to finish.
The P4T mentorship program matched IPGs with experienced Canadian pharmacists, providing them with a unique opportunity to gain experience in a Canadian pharmacy prior to formal assessment. The importance of internationally trained pharmacists – the majority of whom are newcomers to this country – having this hands-on experience of the practice of pharmacy in Canada, allowing them to learn on the job while consolidating prior learning and building their confidence, cannot be overstated. We are profoundly grateful to our P4T mentors whose participation and commitment made the mentorship program a reality. P4T mentors dedicated their time, energy, and expertise to support mentees on their path to licensure. The generous support P4T mentors provided their mentees has led to an appreciable improvement in those IPGs’ level of preparedness to successfully challenge mandatory clinical assessments after their in-pharmacy experience. We thank them for agreeing to take on this demanding and important role, and for their contributions to the profession in this capacity.
Additional P4T Supporters
NAPRA is also grateful to: Touchstone Institute who developed the diagnostic tool and learning modules; the subject matter experts who tested and reviewed them; Michael Obrecht, President of Intelligence Flows, who guided us through multiple surveys which contributed to the final evaluation data which could be used for future programming; and other vendors and project partners who supported the project and provided assistance in various forms. P4T’s success would not be possible without their thoughtful and generous support.
While the mentorship program administered as part of P4T ended 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. To learn more, visit NAPRA Diagnostic Tool and Learning Modules (DTLM) or contact [email protected].