Portfolios

portfolioIf you are currently in training, your employing trust should require you to complete a portfolio of evidence. This portfolio is meant to document your postgraduate medical education. Generally, it records information about clinical rotations, assessments, meetings, courses, personal development plans, and your own reflections. How portfolios are used and what they consist of varies around the country and many local education and training boards (LETBs) have introduced electronic learning portfolios called e-portfolios.

A portfolio can be very useful for helping you to make good decisions regarding specialty training and should help you to collect examples of the skills you have developed. The reflective nature of the portfolio should also allow you to ‘unpick’ situations after they happen, much like a personal mini M&M, addressing questions such as what really happened? What contribution did you make to the situation?  What was the result and what did you learn from the experience?

Preparing your portfolio

If you have not completed a portfolio before, you will need to begin to collate one. First, check with your LETB to see what format is currently being used and the types of things to include. If you cannot acquire a template, create one by looking at other trainees’ portfolios and ask senior clinicians for advice. 

If you are applying from outside the UK and do not have access to these options, create a portfolio by including: 

  • your current CV
  • certificates of training
  • audit reports
  • annual assessments of competence
  • testimonials from nurses, senior clinicians and supervisors
  • reflections on your skills related to the desired specialty.

 

Further information

The Foundation Learning Portfolio was designed to help foundation doctors plan and manage their foundation programme experience. The portfolio is based on the foundation programme curriculum but the principles can be applied to creating and maintaining portfolios at any stage of your career.

Within the portfolio are tools that will help you identify educational needs, set goals and plan how to achieve them. The portfolio also contains advice on how to demonstrate competences you have achieved.

We have also written a guide to E-portfolios which includes some advice on how to write in your portfolio.

A very useful resource

The Health Education South West, SW Peninsula/AGCAS DVD is an excellent resource if you are attending an assessment centre. There is a section on the DVD about the portfolio interview.

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