Preparing your physiotherapy CPD portfolio
By Dan Allard
All physiotherapists must keep a continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio which highlights all learning and development. Not only does this help you to consider what you have learnt and how it has been incorporated into your physiotherapy practice, but it must also be used as evidence if you are randomly selected to be audited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
What is CPD?
Your physiotherapy CPD portfolio should be a resource for tracking personal development. It should showcase examples of what learning you have undertaken which is specific to your work practices and duties. This could include training courses, seminars or online workshops. It can also include work that you have produced, such as case studies, articles, or compliance with frameworks.
When used correctly, your CPD portfolio can be a useful aid for personal evaluation. It can help you to identify areas where you could improve your practice. If you have engaged in reflective practice or clinical supervision sessions with your line managers, then you should write down any notes and incorporate them within your portfolio. Similarly, if you have received any letters or testimonials from patients or colleagues, then your CPD portfolio is the ideal place to keep them!
It is a requirement of the HCPC that all registered physiotherapists must maintain an accurate record of continual learning and development. This is to ensure that skills and knowledge are updated, and that patient care is always delivered to the highest possible standard.
Use your CPD to help your career development
You should take a strategic approach towards your CPD. Chosen activities should be structured around your areas of clinical practice. You may benefit from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s (CSP) professional framework, which explains what your capabilities should be during each stage of your career.
Once you know what you want to achieve, you can start to build your learning around these areas.
You can also take a flexible approach. You may learn best through academic learning. You may prefer to learn through training workshops or conferences. Or you may prefer a more informal style of learning, which focuses upon supervision sessions with co-workers or reading journals/articles to update your knowledge.
The CSP has published an informative article in its Frontline magazine about how to make your CPD meaningful. We highly recommend that you read it and consider incorporating some of their practical tips.
If your portfolio is continually updated, you can use it as the basis for discussion during your next personal review or even your next physiotherapy interview.
How should I capture evidence of my learning?
The Charted Society of Physiotherapists suggests that your portfolio should clearly show what you have learnt from each activity. You may wish to record your notes using the following headings:
What the CPD activity was
The impact of the learning on your practice
How the learning is ensuring you remain a competent practitioner
How your ongoing development will maintain this competence
Evidence of the learning (this may be a certificate, screenshot, photo, verified notes, information leaflets, letters, etc)
If you are a member of the CSP, you can maintain and update your portfolio online via their ePortfolio and Learning hub.