Faculty eight week fast track plan – my experience

faculty-eight-week-blogAmareen 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.

For a while I have been contemplating starting my Faculty application for professional recognition of advance practice to validate my experience post-registration as an education and training lead pharmacist. Once my development has been recognised post-nominals will be granted that signify my stage in practice. This provides a means of demonstrating to patients, the public and my employer, that I have achieved a designated level, thus providing evidence of capability as a professional.

I am about to embark on the Faculty eight week fast track plan to assist me in the process of portfolio development. Its structured programme with weekly activities will hopefully lead to a portfolio submission in 8 weeks, and this blog will track my journey. As an ‘educator’ within academia and secondary care, I find myself reflecting on why it is so difficult to ‘practice what I preach’ as I embark on this challenge. In my current role I regularly provide support, guidance and encourage others to develop, but I have struggled to take account of the experience I have gained since completing my postgraduate diploma and transitioning to the advanced level framework. On the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) website, as a member you can express interest in starting the Faculty journey. I find myself pondering over why it was so difficult for me to pledge to this commitment?

“Contemplation is the stage in which people intend to change” (1)

In hope of finally taking the leap and starting my Faculty portfolio, after discussions with my line managers at University of Reading and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we added completion of Faculty application to my personal development plan (PDP). Surely, I would now have the incentive and motivation to proceed. Months passed since I committed to start the Faculty journey, but had not progressed further with my portfolio. Balancing day to day work responsibilities versus career development was proving a difficult hurdle to overcome. I think it’s fair to say I felt overwhelmed and daunted about the situation. But also a slight sense of failure, perhaps due to my role as a tutor, mentor and coach to many pharmacy professionals. Asking for support from others can be an alien concept.

So I decided to take initiative by accessing the Faculty resources, including the ‘Expert Professional Practice Evidence Summary.’ My thoughts were if I printed the framework, I could plot myself against the competencies and descriptors during day-to-day practice. Queue – empty summary crumpled in my handbag! Despair! I had failed to complete my application again.



Figure 1: Kolb’s Learning Cycle
Applying my thoughts to Kolb’s learning cycle: I am stuck at the reflective stage (2).
As a result it was time to collect my thoughts and revaluate my stance. My thoughts turned to the advice I usually give to learners – the valuable role of peer support and a ‘buddy’. I was aware that some of my university colleagues within the pharmacy practice team were also considering starting their Faculty Journey. I approached my colleague Sue Slade, Teacher Practitioner at the University of Reading, who I had previously worked alongside when I was a teacher practitioner on the undergraduate pharmacy course. She also has a split role between academia and an educator role in secondary care.

Thankfully, Sue was on board with my Faculty application and, with each other’s help, we felt empowered and inspired to pursue our applications further. We believe there is value in having this support as we have similar roles. The difference however, is length of experience; I have been qualified less than 10 years and my colleague significantly more. We want to share our journey week-by-week to show our different approaches through the programme, what we found easy/difficult and how we worked together although we have different levels of experience. We hope that our insights will help you prepare for your career development, including future Faculty applications; so that you are aware of the challenges and opportunities that we faced

From week commencing 3rd October 2016, Sue and I will partake in the first cohort of the eight week Faculty fast-trackers. We will share our experiences week-by-week as we move through the programme. I’m excited to see what the next eight weeks will be like and optimistic that I will be submitting my portfolio in the not so distant future. Week 1: Identify peers…

  1. Prochaska, J.O, Redding, C.A, &Evers, K (2002). The Transtheoretical Model and Stages of Change. In K. Glanz, B.K. Rimmer & F. Lewis, (Eds) Health Behaviour and Health Education: Theory, Research, and Practice (3rd Ed.) San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, In.
  2. Kolb DA (1984) Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

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