Assignment: Professional Accreditation.

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Assignment: Professional Accreditation.

Assignment: Professional Accreditation.

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Professional profiles Timmins (2008 p. 24) suggests that whereas a portfolio may

be private, a profile is a selection of this evidence extracted from the portfolio to fulfil a particular purpose. In this way ‘…private learning may become public, thus making it available for viewing by others’ (Timmins, 2009 p.5) An example of this might be where a practitioner selects a range of evidence from their portfolio to present as evidence of having the skills and underpinning knowledge for a specific job role as part of the selection and interview process. It is important therefore, that while health professionals need to maintain a portfolio evidencing ongoing competence in all aspects of their professional life, they are likely to be required to provide a narrower range of evidence when profiling themselves for specific job roles or for academic or profes- sional accreditation. In these circumstances, individuals may be required to provide evidence of meeting pre-set criteria. The material presented must be mapped against the specific competencies or requirements. Box 3 provides an example of using evidence to map against a specific competency.

Assuring quality A professional portfolio can be defined as robust if it com- prises evidence that provides a true representation of the individual practitioner – in other words, their professional identity. Wilcox and Brown (2002) suggested that the mate- rial presented in portfolios must meet certain benchmarks: w Valid – this means that the skills, knowledge and expertise

being demonstrated by the evidence matches the require- ments of, for example, the employer, professional body or higher education institution

w Sufficient – there must be adequate amount of material for the assessor to make a judgement as to whether the competency or skills or experience is adequate

w Authentic – the assessor must be clear that work within the portfolio or profile is as a result of the professional’s own effort and expertise

w Reliable – different assessors should place a similar value on the evidence provided and make similar judgements when confronted with the same evidence

w Current – this refers to the date of the evidence. Assessors must be sure that the evidence submitted by the candidate is recent enough to be considered a measure of his or her current levels of competence. Records of attending skills training several years previously with no evidence of updating or ongoing development is clearly not evidence of current proficiency. These generic criteria can be used to as part of self-eval-

uation of a portfolio,

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