Faculty eight week fast track plan – Week one: Identify peers

faculty-eight-week-blogby Amareen Kamboh MRPharmS PGDipGPP PGCertClinEd FHEA – Senior Teaching Fellow, and programme lead for the JPB postgraduate diploma at the Centre for Inter-Professional Postgraduate Education and Training (CIPPET) at the University of Reading. Education and Training Lead Pharmacist, Educational Programme Director for pre-registration pharmacists at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

I began the Faculty Fast Track by familiarising myself with the resources on Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website that were associated with the peer review, I wrote a down a list of peers that I could contact to assist with the peer review process. Peer review is valuable in supporting the Faculty assessment, and also is a useful validation and quality control to support professional development. The RPS Faculty pages recommend identifying 15 to 20 individuals from a variety of different roles and experience. I chose a range of peers that I have worked with in both academia and secondary care. From this list I identified those who I had mentored and tutored, members of the multidisciplinary team and senior team members and line managers. As well as identifying peers in my current organisation and university role I also contacted team members from the previous trust that I worked for where I first started as an education and training lead. Alongside this, I also felt it was important to obtain feedback from fellow education and training leads from neighbouring trusts, who I work alongside for regional roles in order to capture feedback fully, identify areas for development and evaluate my current working practice.

I wrote my list in advance of inputting the names and corresponding email addresses on the Faculty e-portfolio. This enabled me to revisit the list and reflect on the range of colleagues I had identified. I also felt it was important to contact peers in advance with a courtesy email before the automated peer review was sent out. This was also important as some of the peers I identified were non-pharmacy members of staff who had no context of the RPS or the Faculty. Once I had sent out the courtesy email and gained consent from my peers, I then inputted all the names and emails onto the Faculty system. All the names and emails have to be typed in manually, so typos must be avoided!

As all good meetings and brainstorming start with coffee, I arranged to meet Sue for coffee on campus. We chatted through our initial thoughts and ideas of how we would start our portfolios and looked ahead to the week-by-week plan to identify what would be areas that we would think we would need more support with and that would be time consuming, for example week two: collate your best bits. We felt that the week of identifying peers was not time intensive and a week was quite generous. But as we were already familiar with the Faculty resources this may have put us at an advantage this week.

Sue’s thoughts

image-150x150by Sue Slade MRPharmS DipClinPharm FHEA. Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice/Teacher Practitioner at the University of Reading. Lead for Pharmacy undergraduate placements and Accountable Educational Officer for Pre-registration pharmacist and technician training at the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Like Amareen I wrote my contacts out first and entered them once I had got their permission. Even though I have more years’ experience than Amareen most of my advance level practice has been in the last ten years so I actually didn’t feel the need to chase people from the “past” too much.  I thought very carefully about the people who weren’t pharmacists to make sure they would feel able to contribute.  I sent the link to the peer review page so they could read about the process in advance before accepting. It helped me to read through the framework again to identify examples I might use and then pick people who I was working with during that time.  Working in two different departments has also made it easier to identify peers I guess but I was surprised how easy it was in the end.

I’m still feeling a little apprehensive about embarking on this process but having someone else to meet with each week has really helped drive me to get on with it.  The comments people have returned to me when asking them to provide a testimonial have also been really encouraging which is great. Now for the hard bit….!

Record of Expert Professional Practice (REPP)
As mentioned in my previous blog I have been qualified for under 10 years. This means alongside the weekly activities of the eight week fast track plan, I also have to submit a REPP to show that I am meeting the criteria for advanced practice. This can be made up from a variety of different tasks and assessments, such as direct observation of practice (DOPs), case based discussions (CBDs) and reflective accounts, for example. This currently is not factored into the eight week activities and therefore extra workload to be completed to support my application. The thought of completing CBDs and DOPs again brings back memories of ward based assessments with senior pharmacists whilst I was completing the postgraduate diploma! I must say that this felt quite odd, as I have not had to complete any workplace assessments since finishing the diploma.

I was not sure which topics to choose for a CBD and whether or not they would have to be patient facing/clinical encounters especially as my predominant role is now education and training, and I support cardiology/medical wards on an ad hoc basis. I contacted the RPS support team via email, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive a response to my queries within a few hours. This gave me confidence in identifying what I needed to do for the REPP and that I could submit non-clinical CBDs.

So far, so good, we have survived week one and we hope to continue carrying the momentum forward for the remaining seven. However, from looking ahead at the activities for each week, I am conscious that some weeks may be more onerous than others, and balancing the tasks with daily workload and life will be more difficult.

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