Keeping your ePortfolio up to date
Date of publishing: 17th Jul 2018
Keeping your ePortfolio up to date
Source: Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
What is the ePortfolio?
Since May 2011, the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) has required doctors to enroll in a professional competence scheme (PCS) under arrangement with the Irish Medical Council (IMC). This scheme enables you to maintain your knowledge and skills by engaging in practical, evaluative, research and personal development activities, all of which are documented in an individual ePortfolio1.
The scheme operates within a two-part framework – you are required to accrue 50 continuing professional development CPD credits per annum and participate in one clinical audit. The ePortfolio makes it easy to record your credit achievement, search for upcoming activities that could contribute to your development and check your progress against the requirements. The ICGP provides further information on its website about how to navigate the e-Portfolio feature online, making this a very user-friendly and accessible tool2.
Keeping the ePortfolio up to date has a two-fold advantage in that it contributes to better patient outcomes and also enables you to plan the progression of your career. First and foremost, it supports a commitment to lifelong learning and serves as evidence of professional development, assuring patients and colleagues within the industry of your suitability to practice.
Secondly, it promotes reflective practice and serves as a tool to develop into a safe, independent practitioner, with the opportunity to monitor progress and to propel learning. Finally, it also aids in the process of career progression, helping in the interview preparation process.
The activities within the PCS are inspired by the eight domains of good professional practice, as devised by the IMC3. Briefly, these domains include patient safety and quality of patient care; relating to patients; communication and interpersonal skills; collaboration and teamwork; management (including self- management); scholarship; professionalism, and clinical skills. The ePortfolio is an invaluable tool in striving for these competencies, providing a resource in which you can record outcomes and demonstrate your willingness to constantly learn and improve.
The ICGP provides clear guidelines6 on the four main ways to earn credits for your ePortfolio – external, internal, personal learning and research or training – alongside a host of examples of what you can undertake to earn yourself the required credits. Both the external and internal categories require a minimum of 20 credits per year, while the personal learning requires five credits per annum and research and training requires two. The general rule of thumb is one hour of activity equals one credit.
Here are five ways you can ensure your ePortfolio stays up to date:
- Externally through attendance at conferences and clinical meetings or participation in seminars, workshops, lectures and online courses. An example of this includes a course accredited by the Royal College of Physicians Ireland (RCPI) or one of the other twelve Irish Medical Postgraduate Training Bodies.
- Internally through the attendance of case presentations or practice-based meetings, or participation in clinical risk meetings, peer review groups, and grand rounds. This could include presenting a patient case of special interest to colleagues in your practice or conducting practice meetings.
- Personal learning through journal review, e-learning and personal reading. In order to provide evidence of these activities, you will be required to provide brief notes in the description box of your ePortfolio as a minimum requirement. If you have read journal articles and wish to record these as credits, you will need to provide the journal reference and authors of the article.
- Research or training through article publication or contributing to GP trainer activities including attending as an examiner, tutor, or through question-setting. This could include acting as a GP examiner for trainee GPs or creating assessments for exams held by the ICGP.
- Carrying out a clinical audit. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), a clinical audit is a “quality improvement process that seeks to improve the patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change” An audit has three elements – measurement, comparison and evaluation – and could include topics such as heart failure, asthma, coeliac disease and repeat prescribing7.
An ePortfolio represents an opportunity to demonstrate professional competence. By keeping it up to date, you will be contributing to your professional and personal growth, ensuring that the services you provide to your patients is of the highest standard.
Date of Preparation: June 2018
- Icgp.ie. (2017). About the Scheme - ICGP Web Site. [online] Available at: https://www.icgp.ie/go/pcs/scheme_framework [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
- Icgp.ie. (2017). Using the ePortfolio - ICGP Web Site. [online] Available at: https://www.icgp.ie/go/pcs/frequently_asked_questions/using_the_eportfolio [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
- Icgp.ie. (2017). 8 Domains of Good Practice. [online] Available at: https://www.icgp.ie/go/pcs/scheme_framework/8_domains_of_good_practice [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017]
- Williamson, A. (2017). BMJ Careers - Building a portfolio. [online] Available at: http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/Building_a_portfolio [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].
- Rcpi.ie. (2017). RCPI » How to maintain a good Professional Competence record. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpi.ie/professional-competence/keys-to-success/ [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017].
- Icgp.ie. (2017). About the ePortfolio. [online] Available at: https://www.icgp.ie/go/pcs/eportfolio [Accessed 4 Nov. 2017].
- Collins, C. (2011). ICGP Audit Toolkit. [online] Dublin: Irish College of General Practitioners. Available at: https://www.icgp.ie/go/library/catalogue/item/07FBF7A8-0E50-44D4-AF442481EC60363E [Accessed 6 Nov. 2017].