Assignment: Midwifery Council

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Assignment: Midwifery Council

Assignment: Midwifery Council

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The use of professional portfolios and profiles for career enhancement Deborah C Casey and Dominic Egan Deborah C Casey, Senior Lecturer, Dominic Egan, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, Leeds Metropolitan University Email: D.E.Casey@leedsmet.ac.uk

Since the introduction of the Post-registration Education and Practice (PREP) standard for regis-tered nurses and midwives in 1995, the relationship between the professional development, education and training of registrants, and their fitness for practice has been made explicit (Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2010a). The PREP continuing professional development standard requires registrants to: w Undertake at least 35 hours of learning activity relevant

to their practice during the 3-year period prior to renewal of registration

w Maintain a personal professional portfolio of learning activity

w Comply with any request from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to audit how these require- ments have been met. In addition, to meet certain NMC practice standards,

such as the standards for mentors and practice teach- ers (NMC, 2008a) or non-medical prescribers (NMC, 2008b), focused evidence to meet specific outcomes must be collected as evidence of continuing professional development. Maintaining a robust portfolio of material evidencing professional development activities and how they have informed and influenced practice is therefore a mandatory requirement and failure to do so could jeop- ardise NMC registration. However, this should not be the only reason for evidencing personal and professional development using a professional portfolio. This article will discuss the wider range of potential personal and professional benefits to the individual practitioner from portfolio development activities.

The portfolio defined There are a number of descriptions of what constitutes a professional portfolio but a particularly useful definition, provided by McCready (2007 p. 144) is:

‘…a visual representation of the individual, their experience, strengths, abilities and skills.’

Individual portfolios will therefore be unique in terms of content and presentation, reflecting the specific profes- sional biography of that health professional. Although part of the function of maintaining a portfolio may be as a stor- age portal for certificates, transcripts and job descriptions,

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