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A professional portfolio is an essential element of the assessment criteria leading to the Institute’s diplomas of expert/extended practice and must be submitted and approved prior to entry for the examinations. The portfolio is expected to document and define the candidate’s roles, responsibilities, goals and contributions to both the employer and the profession.
A professional portfolio must include information that characterises the candidate and distinguishing them from other professionals and colleagues. Brown states: "A portfolio is a private collection of evidence which demonstrates the continuing of skills, knowledge, attitudes, understanding and achievements. It is both retrospective and prospective, as well as reflecting the current stage of development and activity of the individual."
The aim of a professional portfolio is to provide evidence of the development of personal and professional standards to facilitate critical evaluation and reflective practice, leading to the developing of standards for a framework of progress, and the maintaining and developing of professional knowledge and competence.
A professional portfolio provides the opportunity to:
Reflective statements are essential to show clearly how the candidate’s knowledge and skills relate to their personality and uniqueness and may take two different forms: assessment of evidence included in the portfolio; and statements of career goals and objectives. Both forms of statement must be included in the portfolios required for Institute diplomas.
Relective statements should be brief but describe clearly current status, purpose, values, reviews of practice, evaluations, aspirations and visions for the future.
The guidance set out for the portfolio gives some basic direction but is by no means exhaustive. It provides a brief summary of the types of information and evidence that may be included in a professional portfolio leading to Institute diplomas of expert/extended practice.
The Institute encourages its members to attach training records and any lengthy evidence as an appendix, with a brief outline in the main portfolio document.
Place of work.
Line manager (if appropriate).
Professional mentor (if appropriate).
Function of employing organisation:
Work of the department within the organisation.
Evidence of CPD
contributions to conferences, professional networks and working groups for healthcare scientists.
It is essential that relevant material of the highest quality is included in this section. It should reflect personal aims, expectations, training, development, profiles and competencies relating to the diploma, and should be accompanied by mentor references and reflective summaries. The material must demonstrate professional practice as outlined below in four categories: scientific and clinical; personal and professional development; education and training; and management.
Scientific and clinical
Specialist knowledge and laboratory expertise, introduction of new techniques or technology, standard operating procedures (SOPs), technique/slide evaluation, involvement in the monitoring of internal quality assessment (IQA) or external quality assessment (EQA).
Personal and professional development
Attendance at relevant update courses, seminars and local/national conferences. Continuing professional development, including evidence of self-motivated learning and reflection and the presentation of one’s work through written reports, posters or oral presentations.
Education and training
Involvement in training of healthcare staff and students, training courses, meetings and conferences. Attendance and participation in user groups, local/national committees, and tutorials for all grades of laboratory staff.
Supervision of staff, assessment of staff proficiencies, staff appraisals, risk assessments, investigation and reporting of clinical incidents. Involvement in service development and clinical audit. Liasion with other healthcare staff and stakeholders.
Additional specific information/documentary evidence of competencies should be included depending on the specialty involved and the requirements of the expert/extended role.
A professional portfolio will remain with the candidate throughout their career and will be transferable for all Institute diplomas. Candidates wishing to submit portfolios for more than one qualification are advised to reference clearly the relevant areas using colour coding and indexing.
1 Brown R. Portfolio development and profiling for nurses. Lancaster: Quey Publishing CHS, 1992.
2 Bhamra A, Rattenbury S. Developing a portfolio for biomedical scientists. London: IBMS. Biomedical Scientist, November 2000
3 Rasanayagam P. Reflective learning. The Biomedical Scientist 2003; 47 (8): 847–8.