Continuing Competence

Professional Portfolio

The portfolio is your collection of evidence of your learning year to year. It is your documentation of learning activities and description of learning outcomes. It can include but is not limited to course certificates; lists of articles read; summaries of discussions; record of events/experiences etc. A more detailed list is presented at the bottom of this page. It must include a copy of your Practice Reflection Submission Sheets for each of the last five years.

What is a Professional Portfolio?

A professional portfolio provides the opportunity to take time to reflect on your practice. A portfolio provides tangible evidence that learning has taken place by including documentation of learning activities and a description of learning outcomes. Examples of documentation are: a record of events or experiences, a list of critical reviews of articles read, or a description of projects carried out, patients seen, and teaching sessions attended. A professional portfolio is a tool for life. By establishing a portfolio and updating it throughout your professional life, your portfolio changes and grows with you. It assists you in maintaining and enhancing competence.

The Continuing Competence Committee recognizes that physiotherapists are:

  • Competent practitioners
  • Motivated adult learners
  • Able to select and implement continuing education tools
  • Self-directed in achieving a change in knowledge and/or skills that becomes reflected in their practice.

Why a Professional Portfolio?

Maintaining a portfolio will provide:

  • an educational experience for the physiotherapist
  • a method of setting learning goals
  • a method of planning future growth
  • a historical perspective of a physiotherapist’s career
  • evidence of reflection and integration of learning

Maintaining a portfolio will be:

  • focused on outcomes
  • relevant to the physiotherapist
  • applicable to all areas of practice
  • a tangible product
  • feasible in cost and time

How does it help me?

What value is the professional portfolio? Benefits arise from the use of professional portfolios that may not occur through other activities. A professional portfolio requires reflection upon your own professional experiences and enables you to consolidate what you have learned into your own practice. This approach allows you to use your preferred learning styles. It assists you in documenting the knowledge, skills and expertise gained through your professional journey while assessing your progress. Using self-directed learning, you create a personal plan for continuing professional development. A professional portfolio encourages reflection while providing a framework for lifelong learning.

Specifically, the portfolio will assist in:

  • developing reflection skills
  • identifying your areas of strength
  • identifying short and long-term learning
  • prioritizing short and long-term goals
  • identifying learning strategies to accomplish goals
  • assessing the impact of this learning on your practice
  • realizing the extent of your professional growth and development

You can use the portfolio to assist with:

  • completing your employment performance review
  • preparing for job applications
  • preparing for funding applications
  • preparing for applications to educational institutions
  • planning your career path

Each physiotherapist will customize their portfolio to reflect their learning requirements, their area of practice and their educational and employment history. A number of items or information should be stored in your Professional Portfolio. The following is an example of what documents you would include:

  • Performance Appraisals
  • Student Evaluation of Clinical Placements
  • Completed Practice Reflection Submission sheets
  • Course outlines or brochures
  • List of speaking engagements/presentations or materials produced or developed by you

A Note on Supporting Documents re: CONFIDENTIALITY

In all aspects of your work, you must maintain patient confidentiality. This is part of your responsibility under our standards of practice, and code of ethics.

Remember that:

  • Your Portfolio is for personal use. You do not have to share it with your employer or your co-workers. If called by your regulatory body, only the Practice Auditors will read your Portfolio.
  • If your Portfolio includes personal or confidential information about clients or colleagues, you must obtain informed consent prior to using the material or remove any details that could allow us to identify the patients. For example, cover any personal details before making copies of the documents to place in your portfolio.

Examples of evidence to keep in your portfolio

Certificates, qualifications.

Committee Work
A list of volunteer service on committees for CPM, CPA or MPA.

Chart Audits
How undergoing a chart audit or serving as a chart auditor at your place of employment impacted your practice?

Reflections on the sessions you attended.
How are they applicable to your professional development goals?

Critical Incident Analysis
Sometimes also called an ‘Aha!’ experience, or a ‘surprise’, or a thought-provoking incident.
Occasions where errors occurred or have been narrowly averted or where something went well and ‘the penny dropped’, bringing a clearer understanding of some component of the experience.

Formal Continuing Education
When taking courses, reflect on what you learned and how you will apply this to your practice. Include course outlines or brochures.

Formal Education Programs
Programs offered by a recognized educational institution.
What was the program, what did you learn, how has this affected your practice?

A list of In-Service Education/Rounds including:
Reflections on what you learned. How can you apply this in practice?

Information from the College you have reviewed:
College Web Site; Communiqué; Member Reference / Registrants’ Guide

Learning from Patients
What you have learned from patients with questions or conditions that you are not familiar with.
How did you approach these situations, what did you learn from them?

List of speaking engagements/presentations developed by you

Mentoring and Supervising
Opportunities for consolidating your learning, or finding out you don’t have all the answers, by working with staff or students.
How do you approach these situations, what did you learn from them?

Original Published Work
Journal articles, posters or abstracts.

Performance Appraisals

Personal Experiences
Real experiences from which you have learned something.
What happened, what did you learn, how can you apply this in practice?

Practice Reflection
Completed Practice Reflection Submission Sheets.

Professional Contacts
Situations where you learned from your peers.
From whom did you learn, what did you learn, how has this affected your practice?

Project Work
Projects that contributed to your knowledge.
What was the project, what did you learn, how has this affected your practice?

Reading/Journal Club
Critical appraisal of the literature and its relevance to your work.
Bibliography of articles read.

Research and Development
A list of Current and ongoing projects
What are the objectives, what have you learned, how will you use the information?

Student Supervision
Students continually question what they see, and providing answers keeps you on your toes! Keep copies of student evaluations of you and their clinical placements.

Teaching activities (said to be one of the best ways of learning)
What was the teaching experience (class, clinical situation), what did you learn, how has this affected your practice?

Educational teleconferences on specific topics, for example, those held by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association.
Performance Appraisals