The Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (PCN) has inaugurated an “Internship Accreditation Improvement and Placement of Internees Ad Hoc Committee” to address challenges faced by Pharmacy interns in securing placements and also proposed modalities for improvement.
The Council disclosed this on Thursday, 24 November, 2022, through a statement on its website, signed by the Registrar, Pharm. Babashehu Ahmed, stating that the internship programme is a compulsory one year training of fresh Pharmacy graduates, under the supervision of registered pharmacists in the Council-approved internship centres.
According to Ahmed: “Registration as a pharmacist is granted to a person only after the successful completion of the internship programme”.
The internship programme is designed to introduce fresh Pharmacy graduates to the practice of the profession, teach them on how to apply academic knowledge to the practice of Pharmacy as well as train them to uphold ethics of the profession by avoiding the formation of bad professional habits.
“The purpose of this programme is to provide an opportunity for fresh graduates to perform all the skills and functions of their profession, under close supervision, thereby improving such skills and helping them to acquire sufficient confidence and competence to practice safely on their own after the internship training period.
“We believe this will give graduates an appreciation of the need to continually improve their competence, through experience and continuing education throughout their professional career as well as apply the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for optimal performance as a pharmacist,” the registrar said.
Ahmed also disclosed that the Pre-registration Examination for Pharmacists (PEP) is designed strictly for pharmacists who have completed the one year internship programme in only PCN accredited centres and serves as a precondition for registration and practice of Pharmacy in Nigeria.
He said the objective of the PEP is to ascertain that those who have undertaken the internship programme have acquired the requisite knowledge, attitudes and skills to practice Pharmacy in Nigeria without endangering public health.
The PCN is empowered by the PCN Act, CAP P17 LFN 2004 to determine among other functions the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become registered members of the Pharmacy profession.
Pursuant to the above mandate, the Governing Council of PCN at its 39th Regular Meeting of May 21, 2015, approved the Report of the Ad hoc Committee on PEP for fresh pharmacy graduates, who have completed the twelve-month mandatory internship prior to seeking full registration to practice Pharmacy in Nigeria. The PEP for pharmacists is a quality assurance tool, geared towards standardising Pharmacy training and practice in Nigeria.