Understanding Structured Practical Training for Pharmacy Technician Applicants
What is a Pharmacy Technician Applicant?
This term applies to a person in the process of registering as a pharmacy technician with the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP). The title “pharmacy technician” is protected and may only be used by someone who is registered as such with the OCP.
What is Structured Practical Training (SPT)?
SPT is a practice-based, structured training program that is completed in a pharmacy practice site under the direct supervision of a preceptor. It is developed to measure entry to practice competency.
What is the purpose of SPT?
SPT allows you to apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in your pharmacy technician program into a real-life setting. It also provides opportunities to assess your performance in areas that are difficult to recreate in classrooms, labs or test settings. The structured activities within SPT standardize your training period so that your preceptor can assess you in all of the competencies.
How long is this training program?
SPT runs over a minimum of 12 weeks during full time practice (35 hours/week) in a site that has been approved by the OCP. If you are not able to successfully demonstrate the outlined competencies at the end of 12 weeks, the training period may be extended to accommodate your continued development of these skills.
How does the OCP know if I am competent?
You will complete activities developed to reflect the nine Entry-to-Practice competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians published by the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (NAPRA) . The activities that you complete during the SPT will provide assessment of your competence in these areas.
Who assesses me?
You are required to identify a preceptor who is willing to supervise and assess your performance during the SPT. The preceptor and practice site (community,hospital or long term care) must meet the OCP Preceptor and Site Criteria for pharmacy technicians respectively. Both you and your preceptor will complete an assessment every four weeks based on the NAPRA competencies. Your self-assessments and your preceptor’s assessments will be reviewed by OCP to determine if the requirements have been met by the end of the training.
What is the passing grade?
As mentioned above, SPT is based on your competency and therefore a letter or number grade is not assigned. Instead, successful completion of SPT is based on evidence indicating that you have met the NAPRA Entry-to-Practice Competencies for Canadian Pharmacy Technicians.
Can I become registered after successfully completing SPT?
SPT is one of the requirements to become registered as a pharmacy technician with the OCP. In addition to SPT, you must also successfully complete the OCP Jurisprudence exam and the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada’s (PEBC) Qualifying Exam.
How do I start?
The first step is to pre-register online with the OCP to confirm your eligibility to begin SPT. Then, you are required to find a preceptor and practice site that meet the criteria outlined by the OCP.
How much does it cost?
$463.30 (includes HST) Structured Practical Training Fee (paid upon application to Structured Practical Training)
The fee for SPT covers the cost of training the preceptors, developing and maintaining the online program as well as monitoring the assessments and activities throughout your rotation.
$146.90 Pre-registration Fee (includes HST).
The pre-registration fee is the cost that all applicants are required to pay. This covers the cost of opening and maintaining your member profile with the OCP as you proceed through the registration process and ongoing as a member of the OCP.
How can I get more information?
The OCP offers information webinars and workshops to pharmacy technician applicants and preceptors on a regular basis. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to inquire about an upcoming workshop.