CPDme Blog


The CPDme blog can be a personal CPD diary, a daily balcony to shout to the world, a collaborative workspace of useful information, a political or non-political soapbox, a breaking-news outlet, or a collection of links to share with the world.

Our blog is whatever you want it to be. If you would like to submit an article please use our article submission form. New items show up at the top, you can comment on them or share via social media.

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  • 31 Jan 2015 3:48 PM | Deleted user

    Helen Victoria Prout

    38 Francis Close, Ditton, Widnes, North West WA8 8SU

    Home: 0151 510 2139 Mobile: 07527829527


    About me:

    I am a confident and practical woman who likes to work in environments that are challenging, changing and rewarding. I have the communication skills needed to work in jobs involving contact with a variety of people on a daily bases. Team work is how I work best but I also contain the characteristics enabling me to work as an individual, taking the lead and commanding the situation when required. Patience, open-mindedness, tolerance, empathy, sympathy, focus and initiative are a few more of the characteristics I contain. I believe in making the most of every experience.   


    • ·         Basic level at using computers
    • ·         Organised
    • ·         Working as a team or individual
    • ·         Problem Solving
    • ·         Practical - hands on
    • ·         Communication

    Employment History:

    Employer:North West Ambulance Service

    Location:Warrington Ambulance Station, Merseyside and Cheshire, North West

    Employment date:April 2013 – Ongoing

    Job Title:Paramedic

    As a paramedic my job is to deliver the right care/treatment at the right time using all resources and services available to me. The main aspect of my job is to deliver immediate care and treatment to medical and life-threating injuries and illnesses. Although the ambulance service has the persona of only dealing/attending such jobs, as a paramedic my job has expanded to being more than just that. A paramedic is now a combination of more than one job; we are midwives, social workers/carers, GP’s, mental health nurses, paediatricians and even teachers. Therefore my role also includes referring patients to the correct service e.g GP’s as not to take anyone unsuitable to A&E when they can be treated in the comfort of their own home and not take up a bed that could be given to someone who requires it more. I’m a teacher; I educate the public on self-care, resources e.g. pharmacists, walk-in-centres, 111, on medication and how and when to take it and on general information about the human body. Another aspect of the job, which surprisingly is one of the largest aspects, is the social worker. A large number of our 999 calls are to the elderly who have fallen, are generally unwell or simply can’t cope; my job as a paramedic is not only to pick these patients up, transport them to the hospital or ignore their true needs but to go further in my job and help with prevention as well as cure. I can help and put referrals such as falls referral and social service referrals in for the elderly to help them in the long run to hopefully end the end for ambulance due to falling or being left all alone to cope.  Alongside the particular, hands on part of the job there other such aspects which also require time and attention e.g. drugs check (including use by dates), equipment checks and vehicle checks. As well as that there is also an importance of a paramedic to continue their job as a developing student of education and research. To keep all skills, information and protocols up to date and renewed.              

    Employer:Tread the Bored Theatre Company

    Location: Stratford-upon-Avon

    Employment dates:June 2009 – on going (as and when I can return to the midlands)

    Job Title: Volunteer

    • ·         Back Stage Manager
    • ·         Lighting/ music Technician
    • ·         Box office/ ticket seller

    Tread the Bored is a relatively new, semi-professional theatre company formed to give people, actors and people of other interests for example lighting, back stage manager etc a chance to learn, grow and perform.

    Back stage manager– prepare/ set up sets and props before and after show, changing scenery during performance, co-ordinating backstage crew.

    Lighting and music Technician– setting up lights and music, working to strict timings, problem solving

    Box office/ ticket seller -handling money, selling tickets, keeping records, speaking and interacting with the public, providing information on the productions or any questions asked.


                      11 GCSE’s all at grades A-C including Maths, English and Science - 2007

                       P.E AS level at a grade C - 2008

                        Drama A level at grade C - 2009

                        BTEC Sports at Distinction, Distinction, Distinction - 2009

                       Paramedic Science Foundation Degree from Coventry University – 2012

    Interests and hobbies:

    • ·         Sports – I enjoy playing all sports; in particular badminton but I’m more than happy to participate in any. I’m also a keen supporter of my home town Coventry’s Rugby Union team and watch them whenever I can. I find it all a great way to make friends, keep sociable and continue to build of communication skills.
    • ·         Music – I use music as a motivator but I also use it to ‘switch off’. I very much like a wide spread of music.

    • ·         Theatre – As scared as I am on stage, which I don’t really do, I love the many different tasks available to do behind the scenes. Endless changing tasks for example the different sets, props, costumes for each play, and the changes of choreography for the change of scenes. There are also plenty of opportunities to learn new skills e.g. setting of the lightening, directing or producing.  
  • 18 Dec 2014 3:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Association of Community First Responders (NACFR)

    An organisation called the National Association of Community First Responders (NACFR) has recently been formed. It was a concept that has been thought about and discussed by several people for several months. The non-profit making organisations aim is to help bring about consistency to CFRs across the UK.

    Why do we need a national standard/consistency? CFR training, usage and support varies massively across the UK. This rarely happens in any other large organisation of a similar kind, for example Police Specials, Retained Fire Fighters, Search and Rescue, BASICS Doctors, Mountain Rescue, RNLI. They all work to a national standard with some local modifications as required. 

    A Healthcare Commission report in 2007 recommended that an appropriate body should be set up to develop national guidance for ambulance services in the use of CFRs, to ensure that a more consistent approach is taken in the management, governance and development of this valuable service. This was 7 years ago, with no progress appearing to be made. A national standard exists for voluntary firefighters and voluntary police, why not the ambulance service.

    The team behind the newly formed National Association of Community First Responders (NACFR) come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, particularly in the CFR and medical sector as well as the business sector.

    The organisation is still in its infancy at the moment. We have been in talks with some very influential people and have gained the support of several organisations and people that understand the need for consistency with CFRs and have the ability to aid in the development of this concept.

    We at CPDme are excited by this concept and offer our support to the team at NACFR.

  • 28 Sep 2014 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Seven techniques for safeguarding vulnerable adults

    Written by High Speed Training – eLearning provider

    There are many different reasons that adults can find themselves vulnerable; old age, drug or alcohol dependency, mental health issues or illness can all lead to an increased need for care and protection.

    If you know, care for or work with vulnerable adults, then it's important to know how to safeguard them, while allowing them to live as normal a life as possible. Here are seven techniques that you should bear in mind at all times:

    • 1.     Assessing needs – every person and patient is different, and so are their needs, so they should be assessed on an individual basis. Making judgements or assumptions can lead to inappropriate care, so understanding their specific problems and requirements is always a priority.

    • 2.     Listen – one of the first principles of safeguarding adults in a vulnerable position is to ensure they have an open platform to raise issues or concerns, knowing that they will be listened to and respected. Only by taking the time to hear directly from them (and their carers) can you really start to build a picture of the problems they face and what they need in order to thrive. Depending on the nature of their problem, you may need to enlist the help of an advocate. 

    • 3.     Empowering – unlike younger vulnerable people, adults need to feel that they are able to make decisions about their care, or at least be consulted and asked for their consent where possible. It's also important to take into account the individual’s culture, religion and any other personal or lifestyle factors that may affect decisions about their care and support.

    • 4.     Partnerships – this applies both to the relationships between the person and those around them, and the support they’re able to access through other services available. By working together, with the person’s happiness and safety as the central priority, the duty of care is spread, the need for protection can be minimised and the more likely it is that the patient is getting everything they need from various support channels. 

    • 5.     Awareness of risk – different types of vulnerability can bring different risks in terms of abuse, neglect and disadvantage. By being aware of these risks, it is much easier to mitigate them from the outset.

    • 6.     Seeking support – if you're responsible in some way for a vulnerable adult’s care, it's important to know what other assistance and support is available, and to ask for help if needed. This also includes allowing the person in question to seek their own support networks and services should they wish to retain some independence and take an active part in their own safeguarding where appropriate.

    • 7.     Reporting abuse – any abuse towards or neglect of a vulnerable person should be approached with a zero tolerance policy. If you're concerned about the way someone is being treated or the quality of care they're receiving, it's essential to report your concerns to somebody or a service provider that can offer help and advice. 

      Written by High Speed Training – eLearning provider

    Remember to document your learning by using the CPD Diary option when logged in. Download this Blog and use this as evidence of your learning and development in your CPDme diary entry.

  • 11 Jul 2014 4:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Introducing Patrex Safety 

    Did you know that Fire safety policies have changed? 

    Businesses are required by law to prove that they are compliant with UK fire safety regulation as outlined by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

    The fire safety requirements are now left with the owner or occupier of the business and building to ensure that all measures are in place for a fire safe environment for their employee’s and the general public. 

    By undertaking this it also means that the business is also safe guarded & can also help reduce your insurance costs by proving you are conforming to the RRO 2005.

    Patrex Safety solutions have been providing fire safety advice & training for over 24 years, including blue chip companies, MOD and local government.

    PATREX is fully qualified & insured and can cater for all the requirements that you ACTUALLY NEED including:

    • Fire risk assessment 

    • General risk assessments 

    • Fire extinguisher training 

    • Fire Warden training

    • Portable appliance testing 

    • Servicing, supply and fitting of fire equipment – extinguisher sales, signage

    • Alarm testing

    • NEBOSH & IOSH health and safety issues

    Patrex Safety Solutions can also help and provide a range of courses which include most care home awareness courses including:

    • First Aid Instruction – emergency first aid, refresher and full

    • Manual handling 

    • Working from height

    For more information please contact Gareth on 07830831803

  • 03 Jul 2014 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Dark Side - Real Life Accounts of an NHS Paramedic -

    The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly

    ‘The Dark Side’ – an unofficial term used by Mersey Regional Ambulance Service personnel to describe the career transition from the non-emergency aspect, to the frontline emergency aspect, of the Ambulance Service; pertaining to the fact that what one frequently encounters is often a grim and sombre experience.

    What inspired me to write ‘The Dark Side’ and ‘The Dark Side Part 2’?

    Over the last ten years or so, there have been numerous fly-on-the-wall documentaries on television following the day-to-day working lives of ambulance personnel, and a variety of blog-based books released too; so there is obviously some demand or none of them would have been produced. Though, unfortunately, the documentaries seldom depict a true picture of what the job is really like. The true-to-life material is usually found on the cutting room floor, classed as too inappropriate for television. The books, however, paint a more accurate picture about what it’s like to be a paramedic, but none of them tend to go in to detail about the patient encounter.

    With all that in mind, I decided to pen a selection of my own personal memoirs, from the experiences that have remained with me through no choice of my own; they’ve become engraved, for one reason only – because they are all unforgettable.

    I have used anonymised copies of the official NHS documentation I recorded at the time of each incident to include precise details. I sometimes retained anonymised copies of particularly interesting incidents because, as a Registered Health Care Professional, I have to maintain my fitness to practice, and so I possess a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) portfolio containing a wide variety of work-based evidence and reflective practice essays. The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) undertake a random audit on its registrants every two years, and require submitted evidence to be within the last two years of clinical practice from the date of audit.

    However, since qualifying as a paramedic in 2005, my name has not yet been pulled out of the hat, so to speak. Needless to say, the photocopies that I have – the same ones I had intended to write a reflective piece on for my CPD portfolio – are now obsolete, for audit purposes that is, but not for allowing me to include specific details while writing my paramedical memoirs.

    About the Author

    In June 2002, Andy commenced employment with the Mersey Regional Ambulance Service, which later merged with the Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire Ambulance Services to form the Northwest Ambulance Service NHS Trust. He rapidly progressed from the Patient Transport Service (PTS) to qualified Paramedic status via Ambulance Technician training, experience gained in the job and further extended training from which, upon qualifying, he was presented with a ‘Professional Paramedic Development Award’ for most improved candidate.

    In 2005 he registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC), the national governing body for UK paramedics; this changed its name to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in August 2012.

    Andy spent the earlier part of his career working in the English counties of Cheshire and Merseyside. In 2007, after living ‘up north’ for 32 years, Andy relocated down south with his wife and two children, residing there until he and his family relocated to North Yorkshire in September 2013. There, Andy continues his career as an NHS Paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

    Buy the books now from Amazon.co.uk. Simply click the books below:


    To read more about the author, please visit: www.andythompson-author.com

  • 10 Jun 2014 10:10 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     7 Ways To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

    There are some things in life you’re sure you’ll never forget: your daughter’s wedding day, your godson’s first name, the street you live on, the way your wife looked the night you asked for her hand in marriage. But there’s one disease that can wipe your life’s most defining moments undefined and the rest of your memories undefined away for good. That’s Alzheimer’s Disease, a gradual loss of memory, cognition, and, eventually, motor skills caused by excess build-up of amyloid plaque in the brain.

    Each year, scientists around the world uncover important pieces to the Alzheimer’s puzzle, testing drugs and natural remedies to help eradicate the disease as it lives while discovering more and more ways to stave off or even prevent the dementia from happening. But let us bust one myth for you ourselves: you are not too young to be thinking about how AD could affect you or a family member. Millions of Americans are affected by AD.

    In 2013 there were a reported 5.2 million Americans that have been diagnosed with AD. This number is most likely on the low side, since many people with AD have not been diagnosed. What part of the population is most effected by AD? The aging population of 65 and over is the most effected according to the Alzheimer’s Association. What can you do now? Take a cue from the latest research to preserve your memory and keep Alzheimer’s at bay.

    Animal studies from the National Institute on Aging and Tufts University show blueberries increase cell growth in the hippocampus undefined the region of the brain that’s responsible for memory undefined and bolster navigation skills. The anthocyanin, or the dark blue pigment found in blueberries, is an antioxidant flavonoid that may help nourish brain regions that support learning and memory. Fresh or frozen, throwing a few blueberries in your morning smoothie is a great brain boost.

    Since 2005, researchers all over the world have been fascinated by the plaque-busting abilities of curcumin, a derivative of the Indian spice turmeric. A recent Duke university found high doses of curcumin actually has the power to dissolving amyloid plaques in mice. A buildup of these plaques, made of insoluble beta-amyloid deposits, are hallmark sign of AD and form first around areas of memory and cognition undefined so these findings are significant. Research is currently being conducted on human plaques, but the current studies show a normal, regular consumption of the stuff is all you need to begin reaping the benefits undefined even if you don’t have AD.

    Pumping all that blood to your brain is hard work undefined and having high blood pressure doesn’t make it easier. A 2013 Neurology report found a link between high blood pressure during middle age and a higher frequency of Alzheimer’s. Patients with a higher pulse pressure (that’s the systolic or top number of your BP reading minus the bottom or diastolic number) are more likely to have the Alzheimer’s biomarkers amyloid beta, also known as plaques, in their cerebral spinal fluid. They found the link in people between the ages of 55 and 70, so the ‘better late than never’ theory absolutely applies here.

    Mild cognitive impairment can affect up to 20% of the population at one time undefined and those people have a 50/50 chance of developing Alzheimer’s as a result. Thankfully, a recent study in Neuroscience Letters finds a rather peaceful way you can slow the progression: meditation. Just 15 to 30 minutes of daily stress-reducing meditation was enough to significantly impact adults ages 55 to 90. Previous studies have shown those who meditate have higher concentrations of hippocampal  gray matter undefined the area that usually atrophies during Alzheimer’s. And for just half and hour of your time (or less!), you’re also getting a major stress-buster and reducing inflammation from head to toe.

    7-7-7 PlanTRY DR. OZ’S 7-7-7 STRESS SOLUTION
    As Dr. Oz always says, stress is poison for your hippocampus. He recommends performing his 7-7-7 stress buster three times a day to reduce cortisol production and stimulate brain health: “Three times a day, close the door, remove your shoes and socks, and lower the lights. Breathe in for 7 seconds; hold it for another 7; then exhale for a final 7 seconds. Repeat the technique seven times to help “reset” your brain and get your cortisol levels under control.“ via DrOz.com

    If years of crosswords and other number or word puzzles still leave you searching for your new niece-in-law’s name,Learn New Skills don’t worry: it’s not you, it’s your brain games. A 2013 study in Psychological Science found brain games and puzzles aren’t nearly as effective at sharpening your mind as you think. What is: Learning new, productive skills like digital photography or quilting that engage multiple thought processes. Sure, they’re less comfortable than the Sunday crossword, but they’re better for your brain, but study participants who participated in these more engaging activities for three months performed better on visual and verbal memory, speed, and mental control tests than those who performed ‘passive’ tasks like listening to classical music, completing crosswords, and watching documentaries. The best challenge for your brain is learning something new, so now is the perfect time to take that photography class, travel to a new country (without a tour guide), or finally try your hand at the piano.

    A recent study in Neuroscience found having the low-iron condition anemia can up your risk for Alzheimer’s by 60%. What’s the connection? Iron helps maintain the important neurotransmitters essential to memory function, and your brain can be especially sensitive to low levels. Other things that can make your iron drop? Heavy periods, normal aging, Crohn’s disease, and heavy periods.

    Age of Alzheimers Graphic

    Contents and copyright from Health Perch. Health Perch is a digital health magazine focusing on physical and mental wellness, as well as ways to fight signs of aging. We aim to make health and wellness easy to understand and fun to read. 

    Contents notification courtesy of Aldo Baker

    Alzheimers UK website has lots of free resources for Health Professionals. Remember to document your learning in your CPDme CPD Portfolio. Join today HERE
  • 02 Apr 2014 4:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Avoiding Pointless Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
    By Glenys Bridges

    Avoiding Pointless Continuous Professional Development

    Do you struggle to see any merit in completing the CPD required for you to retain your GDC registration? If you do it may be because you are not feeling the benefit of your CPD activities. CPD activities represent a significant investment in your on-going skills development and ability to deliver patient-focused care, so it’s vital that you can recognise and enjoy the impact of your learning in terms of increased job satisfaction and more patient–focused care. This can only happen when CPD options are planned to meet the needs of dental professionals in their practicing environments and when activities are output assessed to measure direct impacts of CPD activities upon your day to day work.

    Since the introduction of CPD requirements multiple sources of input measured CPD has become available. Input measured CPD is recognised on the basis of time spent on CPD activities. The features of this type of CPD are that aims and objectives for the activity are predefined and to some extent the participant assesses the extent the learning activity, rather than quantifying what the participant achieved as a result of those learning activities, in most cases without reference to the impact of the learning upon the quality and safety of patient care the participant can provide. In some cases multiple choice questions measure understanding, directly after reading an article about a core or recommended topic. In the majority of cases there is no consideration of the practical differences this learning makes over specified a period of time. This is because the learning is input measured, rather than output measured.

    The General Dental Council has commissioned a Rapid Industry Assessment of CPD in Dentistry to gain insight of the current dental CDP industry. They have also consulted experts on the development of CPD in other sectors in order to develop CPD requirements relevant to revalidation and ongoing quality improvements in dental care provision. The research discovered that there are four main measurements of CPD across the board:

    • Input measured- the system currently used for dental professionals
    • Output measured- in which practical development as a result of CPD activity is recognised
    • Mixed combinations of inputs and outputs
    • No formal measurement.

    Across all professional sectors there is a steady movement away from input measured and toward output measured CPD. Output CPD is characterized by the fact that learning produces evidence of outcomes, which can be audited, or assessed to quantify the impact of the learning upon patient care. For output CPD outcomes pre-define the expected effects upon knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. Impacts are measures of the long-term consequences of CPD activity upon professional practice. Output measurements of CPD indicate whether or not learning has taken place and whether it has had an impact. The problem being that this measurement format requires greater resources and more complex measuring techniques- all of which present a new set of challenges for CPD providers.

    As the GDC fine-tune the ongoing requirements for CPD registrants are advised to look for CPD programmes offering:

    • Support with CPD planning to ensure assessment and audits of impacts care noted and assessed.
    • Help in developing Personal Development Plans for performance review outcomes
    • Interesting and engaging course materials delivered on line, in-house or at public workshops

    In response to this we have developed our CPD Options range to be:

    • Practical and directly linked to the Standards for Dental Teams 2013
    • Planned and continuous developed throughout the entire CPD cycle
    • Consistent with mandatory and optional content requirements (these terms may change when new CPD guidance is issued following the 2013 Consultation on CPD)
    • Output assessed for patient care and safety
    • Continuously developing
    • Delivered at levels appropriate to the needs of each team role

    When investing time, money or both in your Continued Professional Development, it’s only reasonable to expect to see tangible benefits from your input. After all what could be the possible point of completing CPD that has no measurable impact on your professional skills?

    Visit Glenys Bridges Training Website for more information or to contact Glenys.

  • 21 Mar 2014 11:50 PM | Anonymous member

    Collectors Limited Edition Poppy Box Set

    The ASBF has commissioned a further collector’s centenary limited edition of 50 poppy box sets, which has been endorsed by WW2 RAF hero – Squadron Leader Geoffrey ‘Boy’ Wellum DFC.

    The limited edition sets come in a presentation box complete with signed certificate and are selling for £49.50 including post and package. The sets are going quickly and to save disappointment please order today by contacting the ASBF Secretary by email:


    For further information about the Charity please visit our website:







  • 20 Feb 2014 3:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    West Midlands Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine

    CPD Study Day

    Main Lecture Theatre, Clinical Sciences Building

    UHCW NHS Trust, Coventry, CV2 2DX


    Monday 7th April 2014

    Cardiac arrest

    Awarded 6 CPD points by

    The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


    0845 – 0900 Introduction

                            Imogen Virgo - Consultant Emergency Medicine

    0900 – 0930 Journal Club: Maintaining SBP after arrest increases survivors

                            Caroline Leech – Consultant Emergency Medicine, PHEM TPD

    0930 - 1030  Cardiac Arrest Management and the use of KPI’s

    Adam Chesters – Consultant Emergency Medicine, Training Lead for EHAAT

    1030 – 1100 Relative Hypoxia may be beneficial

    Nageena Hussain – West Midlands PHEM trainee 

    1100 - 1130   Coffee (not provided)

    1130 - 1215 Morbidity & Mortality Case Review 1


    1215 – 1300 The LUCAS device

                            Richard Walsh - Physio-Control

    1300 – 1345 Lunch (not provided) Demonstration of LUCAS device.

    1345 – 1415 Submersion and Hypothermic Cardiac Arrest Management

                            Arun George – West Midlands PHEM trainee

    1415 - 1500 Morbidity & Mortality Case Review 2

                            Adam Nash – TAAS Paramedic

    1500 – 1530 SAH and Cardiac Arrest

                            Imogen Virgo – Consultant Emergency Medicine

    1530 - 1545 Closing remarks and feedback


    Attendance is free. To reserve a place you must email caroline.leech@uhcw.nhs.uk with your job title and organisation

    Remember to document your study and CPD. Join CPDme free at today or download our FREE CPD Portfolio builder APP.
  • 15 Feb 2014 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Importance and Benefits of a Continuing Professional Development ( CPD ) Portfolio.
    Rosalie Marsh

    As a passionate follower and practitioner of personal and professional development records for many years, I feel I am in a position to share my own perspective.

    As a health and social care professional – at whatever level – you may well be required to maintain a record of your development for continuing competence purposes. As a busy person, you will probably struggle to find time to do this. Indeed, you may struggle to complete these records in much detail at all.

    So “what do you know about it?” you may well ask.‘As with many things in life, it is not enough to declare that you can do this or that. You have to have some proof or evidence that you can actually do something; that you have actually done what you claim to have done.’ (Marsh 2011 P1.) 

    My ethos is that everyone should be able to release and realise their potential in whatever way that is. Before we were born, all our attributes were set into the pattern of our character. All our potential skills and qualities were there in that cluster of unique cells, which make us what we are, or could be. We are made up of many facets, which grow and develop at different times of our life. Like a flower, we start with nurturing, food, warmth, and shelter, until we gradually unfold until we come into full bloom before fading and dying. This is the cycle of life.

    You own development as a person in both your personal and professional life – and these two aspects are intertwined – continues throughout your life. It doesn’t end when you leave school with sufficient exams or a degree to get you into the profession of your dreams.

    As with most professions, you have to keep on top of new developments, legislation, practice, and procedures. With more people needing care at a personal level out in the community and in hospitals, this has never been more essential in your own sector. Your own organisation or department will no doubt keep a record of any training courses, which you have attended as part of your required hours of up skilling. You may be required to complete a feedback form at the end of these training courses to state what you got out of the course etc. This document will no doubt be kept on your personal file in the Human Resources department. Copies of any certificates will no doubt also be kept on your file. This is excellent.

    But wait! You have moved to a new job in a new organisation. How can you access these files? A few years down the line, you may be asked for proof of the courses you have attended or how committed you are to the job. This is where your own personal professional development portfolio comes in.
    • It is an umbrella, which encompasses all your development throughout your working life.
    • It contains actual living proof that you have taken control of your own personal and professional development.
    • It will impress your immediate superiors at your annual review; a prospective employer at interview; an interviewer if you are going for promotion. It will demonstrate that you are focussed on developing and achieving to the best level you can.
    • It will demonstrate that you are looking upwards to where you can go. That you want to be a winner.
    I was given the opportunity to undertake management qualifications at quite a late stage in my life. As part of the course, I sat with my tutor for a review. A ‘Taking Stock’ kind of review as well as a review of the module where my overall progress was discussed and new targets set with an agreed completion date for these activities. Later, as I moved into Further Education in the Work-Based Learning (WBL) area, I, along with the rest of my department, was introduced to the concept of a CPD portfolio. We were informed that eventually all prospective employers would require candidates for a job to be able to present one at interview. (I actually came across this a few years hence when I helped one of my management candidates who worked for a utility company to construct his portfolio prior to interview for promotion where he had to take along a CPD portfolio. He got the job by the way!)

    As the years rolled on and I undertook a variety of academic, technical, and vocational programmes, I found my portfolio invaluable. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD – formerly IPD) I had access to their software for completing somewhat very in-depth CPD records. Although the tutor for each course held a review for their own records, my own CPD records went much further, wider, and deeper. I was not only documenting and giving feedback on what I had done, I was looking at what I as a person wanted to achieve.

    I had to look at where I wanted to be in 1yr, 5yrs, and horror of horrors, even 10yrs. By keeping a focus – taking stock/reviewing my own learning and development every six months and re-setting targets, I actually did what I had planned to do.
    • At annual reviews, I was able to demonstrate my commitment to my own growth and that of my department. My reviewer actually found my records facilitated him/her in completing the review forms.
    • At interviews for promotion, I had a clear picture of my achievements. 
    • My CPD records helped me to keep my CV up-to-date and complete application forms in a timely manner – especially when the closing date was close.
    Many have to scrabble to gather all relevant information. Does this sound familiar?

    I said earlier that my ethos is that everyone should be able to release and realise their potential in whatever way that is. To do this you need opportunity and access and above all, a plan, which gives a focus on goals. Not solely in your job but personal life. Activities in your personal life can develop aspects of your character which in turn can have a positive impact on how you do your job.
    • As a professional in the health and social care sector, it is essential that you have a clear picture of what you know now and what you need to know in order to achieve your goals. 
    • You must follow the process of personal and professional development. 
    • You need to identify what you know now and need to know in order to achieve.
    • You need to identify what opportunities you have.
    • You need to identify what threats will stop you achieving your goals.
    • You must constantly do and review and set clear targets for each milestone along the way.
    • You need to keep your CV up to date.
    • You need to manage stress.
    • You need to manage your time and schedule in your learning programme. 
    • You need to record not only what you have learned, but also what you have learned from the learning experience. How you as a person have changed. How will you use the learning?
    • You need to set new targets if you did not meet the last one.
    In this way, you will get to where you want to go. It might not be a formal learning experience/training course. That doesn’t matter. (What about that department meeting? A difficult and challenging case that you dealt with?) All learning counts. No learning is ever wasted. Your goal may be a long-held dream.

    When I was interviewing mature learners for my dissertation some years ago, one said to me: “If you believe, if you really believe that you can do something, you can do it!” (Marsh.2011)

    One last thought. In 1609 Jan Van Comenius writing in Pampaedia wrote:“The whole of a person’s life is a school for everyone, from the cradle to the grave. . nor is a person given other goals in learning than in life itself. . . .

    Rosalie Marsh
    Award-Winning Author, Speaker, Learning and Development Consultant.
    BA(Hons) Professional Studies in Education, LCGI, T.Cert.
    ©Rosalie Marsh 2014

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