Preceptor information for Clinical Placement

The Sydney Pharmacy School, University of Sydney welcomes and appreciates practitioners’ involvement in the training of our future pharmacists.

The Pharmacy profession cannot be maintained without the support and experience of a variety of professionals such as yourself. The experiential and clinical component of the student’s training is pivotal to their future practice competence and career. Your involvement in the training and education of future pharmacists is integral to this.

What is a preceptor?

A preceptor can be defined as a person, who teaches, counsels, inspires, serves as a role model, and supports the growth and development of an individual for a fixed and limited amount of time with the specific purpose of socialising the novice into a new role.

Preceptors are people working in a profession who work one-on-one with students in the professional setting.

What is the role of a preceptor?

Preceptors are usually responsible for guiding and supporting clinical placement students primarily through being a role-model for professional behaviour.

This may mean orientating students to the work environment, looking for learning opportunities and providing feedback to the student and university regarding student progress and performance.

Students should be orientated to the site and introduced to the other staff members. This assists in making the student feel part of the team and contribute to the professional socialisation process. It is also important to provide orientate students to meet Work Health and Safety requirements; we provide a short checklist in your preceptor package to make this process as easy as possible.

Set expectations and goals
Setting expectations and goals at the beginning of clinical placements helps to establish the tone of the rest of the clinical placement and can be used to help identify areas to focus on during the placement.

This should be a two way conversation:

  • What are your expectations of the student?

  • What does the student expect from their experience?

Although the student portfolio can be used to help guide this process, we appreciate that every site is different with a variety of learning opportunities on offer.

If possible, students should be provided with regular feedback throughout the placement as it will help improve student learning and enrich the overall experience. This could be informal and in the form of a casual conversation, or more formalised, depending on your own preferences.

Preceptors are asked to fill out an online short evaluation regarding the student performance after the placement. This is used for the student’s overall mark for their clinical placements.

What are the benefits of becoming a preceptor?

It has been shown that students, having been inspired by their preceptors and mentors at their initial training site, tend to return post-graduation, to continue on their chosen career paths.

Similarly, preceptors have reported that sharing their experience and expertise with enthusiastic novice practitioners, is a gratifying experience. The knowledge that they have had a valuable influence on the future of the profession is extremely rewarding.

Are there any requirements to become a preceptor?

The preceptorship opportunities are not limited to pharmacists. We welcome the placement opportunities within a range of practice settings, including:

  • community

  • hospital

  • specialist medical clinics

  • aged care facilities

  • professional organisations

  • pharmaceutical industry.

How can I become a preceptor?

The University of Sydney offers a variety of opportunities for various professionals, including pharmacists, other health care professionals and industry and professional organisation leaders, to mentor students during their journey to becoming registered pharmacists during their Pharmacy degrees.

If you wish to become a preceptor or for further information, please contact Vinnie (Weining) Xue or Sian O'Brien during office hours.

Vinnie Xue or Sian O'Brien (Student Services Officers, Clinical Placements).
T: +61 2 9351 8957 or +61 2 8627 0407
F: +61 2 9351 4391
E: .