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Experiential Benchmarking - An Assessment Tool to Improve Pharmacy Students' Progress and Achievement

1 July 2009


Objective: Preceptors' opinions and suggestions play crucial roles in the improvement of the experiential and didactic components of a curriculum. Although regular Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) evaluations are instrumental in evaluating student achievement, they do not benchmark students' performances. Preceptors were surveyed to evaluate students learning and benchmark our students' performances with their peers from other pharmacy institutions. Methods: A series of APPE competencies was extracted from the ACPE Standards to generate a preceptor survey. The survey comprised of quantitative and qualitative questions which were organized into three sections: i) learning competencies, ii) professional competencies; and iii) preceptors' general impressions of students' knowledge and skills. Results: Thirty preceptors responded to the anonymous survey. Approximately 80% of preceptors stated that our students perform as effectively as other pharmacy students. Forty percent of preceptors indicated that our students' professionalism, maturity, motivation, and enthusiasm skills and attitudes stand out among their peers from other pharmacy institutions. In addition, 25% stated that knowledge, confidence, productivity and responsibility also stand out. Furthermore, while 50% of the preceptors stated that student performance met their' expectations, 47% stated that our students' knowledge and skills exceeded their expectations. Implications: Experiential benchmarking plays an important role to identify a need for experiential and didactic improvement and is a supportive tool to the APPE regular evaluations. The experiential benchmarking process is of particular interest for new pharmacy institutions that have not yet graduated their inaugural class and, as a result, do not have external comparable data for students' achievement.

Program evaluation


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