I was fairly optimistic for the start of week four, as I had previously collected evidence for the portfolio during week two. However the week did not turn out as planned. Firstly, when I started adding the evidence to the portfolio, I thought it was best to add it cluster by cluster as this would be the most logical process. Using the evidence summary as a guide, I uploaded evidence and ticked it off on the paperwork so that I could keep track of my progress.
Reflecting on this process, I feel that this may have been more time consuming as I added the evidence for cluster one: expert professional practice and then mapped it to the APF competencies. The advantage of this is that I completed one cluster at a time, but the disadvantage was it was time consuming. Also, some of the examples that I have added may overlap with other clusters and competencies; therefore perhaps my process was not as efficient as I first thought. By the end of week four, I had added all my evidences to cluster one and mapped it, however whilst discussing this with Sue, I realised that I have merged week four and five by doing so.
In hindsight, I could have benefited from writing down the headlines of each piece of evidence and then tabulating which competencies they map to across all six clusters, so that when I added the evidence to the clusters, I mapped all of it in one go.
I found myself questioning my decision making regarding the evidence I had chosen and also quality and description of impact statement that I was uploading. I emailed the RPS support team with my thoughts and also had an example of evidence looked at. It was beneficial to receive feedback from an outside perspective as it’s sometimes difficult to critique your own work and identify gaps. I was given feedback that I was on track with my impact statement but I needed to be more explicit regarding the actual impact eg greater consistency of training leading to improved patient safety. Whilst discussing the evidence and my questions and thoughts over email, I was offered the opportunity to be assigned a RPS Faculty mentor, which I definitely think is needed at this point of the programme when working on the portfolio is the focus as they are experts in the Faculty process.
I discussed my process with Sue, and it was apparent that we had both approached week four very differently.
This week has certainly been more time consuming and I hadn’t realised quite how much time it would take. My approach was to list all the evidences without any mapping and I found these were fairly easy to enter. I started simply by going down my CV to add in all the relevant roles. I was tempted to go into detail at first describing all the events that I knew would map to the competences but I then realised it would be clearer to the reviewers if I separated out certain events from my roles that warranted that extra detail and deserved an entry of their own.
It was great having identified all the dates etc. for the CV so I could just transfer that across.
For each of the roles I just did a basic description of what the role was and I got better at this as I went through my CV. For the summary I’ve kept it fairly brief for the time being as it will depend on which of the events I take out and enter separately. I decided initially to include the work that was definitely a typical part of that role e.g. providing a clinical service to cardiology, but where I undertook a new project out of my own initiative that became a separate entry.
I have to confess I haven’t made it to the end of my list of entries this week so I recommend you perhaps either start earlier on this bit or put in a buffer week to help you catch up as it does take some hours to input everything even having identified it in previous weeks. If I did it again I would recommend you having a go at numbering your proposed entries on the “map your best bits” so you have some idea of the numbers of entries before you start. This will also give you an understanding of the time required!
It was really interesting meeting with Amareen and discussing our different approaches. Both of us could see the advantages of each other’s approach but felt we had both made similar progress. Amareen has helped me with the next week by highlighting the feedback she had from the RPS on the impact statement but I’ve got her thinking about maybe thinking more about her entries before starting the mapping with the rest of her sections. Either way for both of us I think there are going to be a few late nights this week!