Saturday, 24 September 2011

Creating a CPD Folder/Portfolio

Also in the “New OT seeks first job”  trilogy:

This week I’ve been doing a bit of reflection on my preparation for a job interview I had recently after speaking to a friend who had asked for a bit of advice over the creation of a CPD folder. Having evidence of CPD (continuing professional development) is a common feature on many person specifications and is an essential element of the HPC standards – which all occupational therapists must conform to in order to practice under this title. To be honest I thought the whole concept of creating one to be fairly simple and that it wouldn’t involve much more work than a bit of collating and organising, however the reality of the task was quite different and proved to be challenging.

I found the task of creating a CPD folder confusing – what information was relevant and how should I organise it, the two questions I faced. I had previously attempted compiling a CPD folder using the guidance from the HPC example activity types however this didn’t work. I found the answer though through the use of the ILOD, produced by the BAOT/COT

The ILOD (interactive learning opportunities database) has within it a career planning section which enables you to search for development opportunities and ideas relevant to your career level and aims, for example I selected and searched:

The search resulted in a list of key elements and their associated post-qualifying framework requirements alongside a list of ideas/opportunities to maintain and develop that element. I found these suggestions incredibly useful as they both gave me ideas as to the types of evidence I needed to put in each section but also put my activities into perspective as to their relevance to my CPD such as this blog.

It only took me about a day to put together and largely because I had to do a bit of writing and printing for it. Basically my CPD portfolio is just a lever arch folder divided into ten sections and below I have provided a few examples of what sorts of information I have put within each section.

1. CPD and Lifelong Learning
 - Personal development plan, a copy of which is available to download through the ILOD 
 - Placement reports 
 - Certificates such as manual handling; basic life support etc. 
 - Lecture notes on preceptorship and the KSF 

2.    Knowledge and Skills
 - Certificates from training attended during placements e.g. sensory impairment study day 
 - Information on the relevant field (to the job) 
 - Reflection on a networking meeting I attended 

3.    Communication
 - Anonymised copies of a couple of reports I had written on placement 

4.    Team-working
 - Appraisal letters – which make comment upon my ability to work within the team 
 - Summary of the various professions involved within the MDT 

5.    Leadership and Management
 - Supervision notes 
 - The Department of Health’s Allied Health Professions Bulletin (sign up on DH site) 

6.    Evidence Based Practice and Research
 - Copy of COT Briefings 23 – definitions and core skills of OT which I have annotated 
 - My summaries of the Model of Human Occupation and Canadian Model of Occupational Performance (due to being evidence-based) 

7.    Critical Thinking
 - A printout of my blog post on ‘Quest for a Professional Identity’ 
 - Written Reflections (unless they are more relevant in another section)

8.    Risk Management and Ethical Practice
 - COT guidelines 
 - I actually haven’t got anything in this section yet! 
9.    Service User Involvement 
 - I actually haven’t got anything in this section either

10.  Educating Others
 - (Relevant) presentation copies in

These are just a examples of what I have in mine and ideas of what you could include – remember everyone will have different CPDs – even new grads qualifying from the same course. What I have in mine may not be completely right but I believe demonstrate my skills as a professional and what I have thus far learned in OT and this is what the evidence is supposed to be proof of.

Despite being a part of the person specification, my portfolio wasn’t actually looked at directly but I was asked if there was anything I was particularly proud of which I would like to share. If you haven’t got one yet it is defiantly worth starting a basic one, which you can add to later - mine isn't that full (about a quarter) which I think is fine because I'm only recently qualified so haven't got vast amount of experience to document from. Even if it is not required of you – I think taking a CPD portfolio to interview looks good as it does show a degree of how serious you are about maintaining your standards as a professional.

Want some interview advice and example questions see this post

*members-only resource


  1. This is really interesting and completely different to how mine is put together! Realised today my CPD portfolio isn't very "CPD" and been looking for a new way to do it... think I might have to give the ILOD method a try! :)

  2. Very useful so difficult to find a basic outline of what a CPD portfolio actually is! Thank you so much!

  3. this is a really useful find- thank you! Now I know where to start!

  4. No education is necessarily easy, but knowing what to expect and how to go about it all will make the process as smooth, hassle-free and hopefully successful as possible. View the site for the details.

  5. Interesting thoughts on CPD - I have been using to log my cpd and found it measures up to the job nicely.

  6. Thank you! very useful :)

  7. Thank you so much this has been incredibly useful. x

  8. This is article really is a great read, also thank you to Simon for his comment above as that websites system is fantastic!