Top tips for getting started on your Faculty portfolio

Karan Shah and Ciara O’Brien, delegates at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference, discuss how best to map evidence to the advanced practice framework

 

Have you been thinking about making a start on your Royal Pharmaceutical Society Faculty portfolio, but have no idea how to kick it all off?  Delegates at the RPS annual conference attending a Faculty surgery session shared this useful advice:

  • There are two ways to approach your portfolio. One is to get a blank sheet of paper and write down everything that you are proud of, and then see how they can be mapped to the advanced practice framework. The other way is to start with the advanced practice framework and think about what you have done to demonstrate each competency.
  • Think about your best pieces of evidence first. These pieces of evidence can demonstrate your proficiency in several competencies. This means that you may not need to consider weaker pieces of evidence, which saves you time.
  • The fewest pieces of evidence submitted for one portfolio is 16. The most is around 500. Although neither of these are necessarily right or wrong, the former may demonstrate a lack of breadth of practice, and the latter may be slightly excessive – don’t forget that a minimum of two assessors have to read your entire portfolio.
  • One piece of evidence can be mapped to many competencies. In the impact box, explain exactly how your evidence demonstrates this particular competency. Be sure to write in first person and explain exactly what impact your practice had. The assessor will then decide whether that impact is good enough to show you meet that competency.
  • When mapping evidence, read the full competency descriptor, not just the title. For example, you may not believe that the title “strategic context” has anything to do with your role – you are not involved in strategy. However, you may find that you do have evidence to support the descriptor for this competency at advanced stage I: “demonstrates understanding of the needs of stakeholders”.
  • Try to avoid acronyms throughout your application – your assessor may not be familiar with your area of practice, and therefore may not know what they mean.
  • Storage location literally refers to where your evidence is kept. For example, the results of a project you were involved in may be stored on your work laptop in a specific folder. Your assessors cannot see this field – it simply serves as a reminder to you.
  • Once you’ve started entering evidence, you can see where your weaker areas are. If you have no evidence for particular competencies, it may remind you of other projects or services you have been involved with. Otherwise, you can think of a way to develop evidence for that competency – for example, “how can I be more innovative?”
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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 20 September 2014, Vol 293, No 7828;293(7828):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066381