Professor Bryony Dean Franklin FFRPS MRPharmS
When it comes to the Faculty, the general advice I’d heard was to start with the cluster you’re most comfortable with, that’s why I’d left Education, Training and Development until nearer the end. However when it came to starting this cluster I was more certain of the process, therefore I found it much easier than I had first anticipated.
I started by downloading the Faculty Core Professional Practice Curriculum for Education, Training and Development from the RPS website. This includes six individual competencies:
- Role model
- Conducting education and training
- Professional development
- Links practice and education
- Educational policy.
I then read the general descriptions for each of these competencies, together with the specific descriptions for each of the three levels (advanced stage I, advanced stage II, Mastery) I did some brainstorming to come up with examples of my practice that worked with each competency including what evidence I could provide for each. I scribbled these thoughts on the curriculum document as I worked through it.
As with all of the clusters, I found some of the competencies harder to address than others and for some of them I initially couldn’t think of anything at all. To avoid getting ‘stuck’ I initially tackled those I felt were easier, and came back to some of the others later. I found that for those I was struggling with, if I left it for a week or so I often came up with examples of what I do on a daily basis that fitted the competency – sometimes things that were so obvious that they hadn’t occurred to me initially. For example, I initially drew a blank for ‘role model’ and ‘mentorship’, but then it occurred to me that a key part of supervising PhD students is to act as a role model and mentor to the student as well as supervising the research. I think we sometimes take for granted what we do every day. I was then able to come back and fill in the gaps. There are also some useful tables at that back of the curriculum guide that suggest the knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours for each competency at each of the three levels.
Once I had identified some key pieces of evidence that would address one or more of the competencies, I entered these into the online system. Since each piece of evidence can have multiple mappings, I tried to pick evidence that would address several competencies to save having to enter too many. I tried to ensure that the ‘description’ field would be clear to another reader without knowing anything about my particular role, and that I was fairly explicit about how it addressed the competencies concerned. I then mapped the entries to the relevant competencies. This meant that clusters I did later would already have some evidence mapped onto them, and there were fewer new entries that I needed to make.
I completed the whole Faculty process on my own as there weren’t many other pharmacists I knew doing it at that time – I was in the first wave of Faculty members. However, I’d recommend brainstorming the competencies and suitable sources of evidence with a colleague if possible as I am sure this would be more effective and more motivating.
I found the whole process very useful in identifying any gaps in professional expertise to allow a more focused approach to professional development. Getting started and entering the first piece of evidence is the hardest – once you have done one, the rest are much easier!
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