What is a Preceptor?



A preceptor is an experienced practitioner who provides supervision during clinical practice and facilitates the application of theory to practice for students and staff learners. A preceptor works with the learner for a defined period of time to assist the learner in acquiring new competencies required for safe, ethical, and quality practice. They assist the learner by setting expectations, providing effective feedback about their performance, and providing appropriate opportunities to meet their learning objectives.

A preceptor may also be known by another name, depending on the profession or school. At Dalhousie University, schools within the Faculty of Health Professions use the following terms to describe their preceptors:

  • Clinical Vision Science Program – Preceptor or Clinical Supervisor
  • School of Health and Human Performance (Health Promotion, Recreation Management, and Therapeutic Recreation) – Agency Supervisor
  • School of Health and Human Performance (Kinesiology) – Mentors
  • School of Health Administration – Preceptor
  • School of Health Sciences – Preceptor
  • School of Communication Sciences and Disorders – Clinical Educator
  • School of Nursing – Clinical instructor and Preceptor
  • School of Occupational Therapy – Preceptor
  • College of Pharmacy – Preceptor
  • School of Physiotherapy – Clinical Instructor
  • School of Social Work – Agency Instructor