Taking learning to the EDGE

New unit to enhance experiential learning and professional connections

Workplace learning is the focus for a new organisational unit within the Faculty, covering the learning spectrum from commencing students to advanced practitioners.

Associate Professor Kristie Galbraith

The recently launched Experiential Development and Graduate Education unit (known as EDGE) expands on the work done by the Faculty’s successful Postgraduate Studies and Professional Development Unit but has a broader remit. EDGE’s focus will be on
strengthening the connections between education and practice.

This is great news for current and future students, as well as graduates. The primary goal is to improve links across all experiential programs at the Faculty and at all points in the practitioner development pathway. A key shift will be increased recognition of the value of lifelong learning. EDGE will be working to create a stronger bridge between the Faculty’s new undergraduate degree and its pharmacist graduate programs, including the Intern Training Program, Intern Foundation Program and Master of Clinical Pharmacy.

Leading the way for EDGE is Associate Professor Kirstie Galbraith, an international expert in practitioner development.

“EDGE is designed to cater to the changing reality of the pharmacy workforce,” says Associate Professor Galbraith, “and to better reflect the nexus between experiential development, education and ongoing practitioner development.”

The change has been prompted in part by the launch of a new course within the Faculty, the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons)/ Master of Pharmacy. A key feature of this course is early and enhanced experiential training.

The establishment of EDGE is also a response to recent initiatives from the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), which in 2016 ratified 13 global Pharmaceutical Workforce Development Goals. Five of these goals have a specific focus on professional development of the pharmaceutical workforce, and provide strategies to strengthen health systems toward improved patient care.

Associate Professor Galbraith is excited about the potential of EDGE. “This new approach will enable a stronger focus on collaborations with workplace partners,” she says. “We can better recognise the contribution they make to experiential development, and it ensures our students have a much richer appreciation of the context in which their learning is to be applied.

“For our preceptors and Clinical Educators it means greater insight into students’ skill development, and for our students it ensures exemplary preparation for internship and registration.”

Students enrolled in programs at the Faculty will have a seamless pathway throughout their undergraduate program and internship, and into practitioner development pathways supported by graduate master’s programs.

Practitioners interested in being part of this important work can register their interest at pharm.EDGE@monash.edu