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FAQ: Interns and Preceptors

The primary purpose of the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba internship is to prepare graduates for pharmacy practice in a professional setting. The internship acts as a bridge between academic and applied pharmacy where an experienced preceptor educates an intern on pharmacy practice through a process of explanation, repetitive practice, and constructive criticism.

Post-graduate internships must fulfill the requirements outlined in the College Internship Manual, which are based on the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) Professional Competencies for Canadian Pharmacists at Entry to Practice and Model Standards of Practice for Canadian Pharmacists .

The following FAQ addresses some the most common questions and concerns the College receives from both interns and preceptors.

1. How do I apply for my internship?

Internship candidates must successfully complete the requirements outlined by the provincial Pharmaceutical Regulation and submit all required documents, including an application form, to the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba. Internship candidates cannot begin their internship program without authorization from the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba

Students entering their final year of study at the University of Manitoba College of Pharmacy must complete an Intern Application for the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba and submit it to the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba. Please see the Fourth Year Interns page for more details.

International graduates of a post-secondary pharmacy program must complete all of the steps outlined on the Registration and Licensure for international graduates page on the College website. Completing an internship is Step Four of the registration and licensure process for international graduates. 

Graduates of a post-secondary pharmacy program in a province other than Manitoba who want to complete their internship in Manitoba must contact the College office.

2. How long will my internship take?

Graduates of post-secondary pharmacy programs from outside Manitoba or Canada must serve a 600-hour internship to be completed in a period of 15 to 21 weeks.

For students of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, 240 hours of the internship period can be served prior to graduation (pre-graduation internship) as part of the University’s 4th year Structured Practical Experiential Program (SPEP). The remaining 360 hours must be completed after students finish their 4th year SPEP rotations. Post-graduate internships must be completed in a period of 9 to 15 weeks.

3. Can I work more than 40 hours per week to complete my internship more quickly?

An intern cannot work more than 40 hours per week as part of their internship program.

4. Will my internship be paid?

Whether an intern works for wages or not is based solely on the discretion of the pharmacy owner or manager. The College does not oversee pharmacy team wages.

5. Can a family member act as my preceptor?

Family members are not permitted to serve as preceptors for their relations, including parents, children, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, and in-laws.

6. How do I find a preceptor to supervise my internship?

Preceptors are licensed pharmacists who have been practicing in Manitoba for two years or more, are compliant with all aspects of The Pharmaceutical Act, and have been approved by the College to act as preceptors.

Interns are responsible to find their own preceptors. The College website provides a searchable listing of licensed pharmacists in the province of Manitoba. Interns can use this list to contact pharmacies to ask if there is a pharmacist on staff who is willing to act as their preceptor.

A minimum of 400 of the total 600 internship practice hours must be served in a pharmacy that has direct contact with patients. If a practice site cannot meet this requirement, interns must contact the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba so additional arrangements can be made.

Once a pharmacist has agreed to act as a preceptor, the intern can log into his/her online profile with the College and follow the “Name Your Preceptor” link that will open a simple form. Once this short form has been filled out, an email notifying the College of the intern’s request will automatically be generated. The College will then notify the potential preceptor and provide him/her with instructions to apply to become a preceptor.

Please note that licensed pharmacists are not obligated to supervise internships and the preceptor role is entirely voluntary. If the pharmacist does not meet the requirements to become a preceptor, the intern will be responsible for finding another eligible pharmacist to act as his/her preceptor.

7. Can I change preceptors after I have begun my post-graduation internship?

Any changes in preceptor pharmacist and/or pharmacy will require the advance approval of the Registrar. Interns cannot switch preceptors and/or pharmacies during the post-graduate internship without approval from the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba.

8. How will my internship be evaluated?

The preceptor will evaluate the intern three times throughout the internship using the assessment forms outlined in the College of pharmacists of Manitoba Internship Manual. For a University of Manitoba graduate, a post-graduate internship is evaluated every 120 hours. For international graduates of pharmacy, internships are evaluated every 200 hours.

Following each evaluation, the completed assessment forms shall be signed by both the preceptor and the intern and submitted to the College within seven days of the completion of the portion of the internship. Success will be based on the preceptor’s assessment of the intern’s performance.

Interns and preceptors are also required to assess the internship program using the forms contained in the Internship Manual and submit them to the College within seven days of completion of the internship.

9. Can I perform all the duties of a pharmacists during my internship?

A post-graduate pharmacy intern can engage in any pharmacy practice under the supervision of a pharmacist excluding practices that require additional training or College of Pharmacists of Manitoba certification. For instance, pharmacy practices such as administering injections or prescribing Schedule III Drugs require College of Pharmacists of Manitoba certification. An intern can only perform these tasks under a certified pharmacist if they have received the appropriate training during their undergraduate program at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba.

A post-graduate intern can also perform a final medication check (as outlined by the Pharmaceutical Regulations to The Act, sections 70 (1j) and 70 (1k) only after successfully completing the demonstration of product release proficiency (DPRP) activity; however, this is allowed at the discretion of the preceptor who will remain accountable for the final medication check.

10. Once I complete my internship hours, is my preceptor required to recommend me to become a licensed pharmacist in Manitoba?

No, if a preceptor has doubts about the competency of the intern, the preceptor should not recommend the intern to be licensed to practice pharmacy in Manitoba. The Statement of Completion of Internship contained in the Internship Manual offers the following options:

  • A declaration that the intern has successfully completed the internship requirements and is fit to practice as a pharmacist whereby the preceptor recommends the intern to be licensed to practice pharmacy in the province of Manitoba
  • A declaration that the intern has not successfully completed the internship requirements and is not fit to practice as a pharmacist and a recommendation that the intern should not be licensed to practice pharmacy in Manitoba
  • A request that the intern be evaluated by another preceptor selected by the Registrar for a period of at least 40 hours

11. What happens if my preceptor does not recommend me for licensure to practice pharmacy in Manitoba?

If the intern is not recommended for registration and licensure by the preceptor, the intern will not be eligible for registration as a pharmacist under The Pharmaceutical Act. The opinion of a second preceptor, assigned by the College, can be obtained. If after a second preceptor has deemed the applicant unsuccessful, the intern may appeal this decision to Council within 30 days, as per The Pharmaceutical Act, Appeals Section 21(1). This can be done by filing a notice of appeal in writing with the Registrar by confirmed delivery (registered) mail.