Getting started with your RPS Core Advanced credentialing journey
On the surface, the RPS Core Advanced curriculum and e-portfolio can seem large and daunting. To help demystify the process we have compiled this short guide to help you get started and give you a suggested structure for your first month or so.
We understand though that every pharmacist’s journey with this curriculum and portfolio will be unique. Everyone will be starting their journey with different past experience, different baseline skillsets, and will have different types of support structure around them. So, remember this is just a guide and not a hard and fast schedule! The process is designed to be flexible to meet your needs and context.
Getting familiar with the standard
- Get started with reading key sections of the curriculum about the standard. We know it is a big document so best to chunk it up into manageable pieces. Start by reading this summary version first. Then have a look at the programme of learning webpage. Now you have a good base knowledge, you are ready to read the more detailed sections of the curriculum document:
- Section 2 - Curriculum purpose: Find out how the curriculum aligns to patient and service need.
- Section 3 - The programme of learning: Look through the curriculum outcomes carefully and familiarise yourself with the standard.
- Open your e-Portfolio and just explore! It is important to familiarise yourself with the different sections.
- Identify who could support you through your learning journey by acting as an Educational Supervisor (ES). Information on this important role can be found on page 40 of the curriculum document. Although this role isn’t mandated, it is highly recommended. Share this document and the curriculum information with them.
Identifying your learning needs
- Complete a Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) using the LNA tool in your e-Portfolio. This tool will help you self-assess your current ability and confidence against each of the curriculum outcomes from the portfolio and then leave comments or actions about any area with gaps or need.
- Meet with your ES and discuss the results of your LNA. Come up with an action plan to begin addressing some of your priority learning needs and record these in your e-portfolio.
- Identify any particular areas of need where you may benefit from additional targeted support from a mentor.
Understanding how you will be assessed
- Start off by reading the summary on the programme of assessment webpage. Then, read the more detailed assessment sections of the curriculum document that explain how you will be assessed. We recommend you read through:
- Section 5 – Programme of assessment: Find out about the programmatic assessment strategy and how your portfolio will be assessed.
- The assessment blueprint: Details the potential assessment tools you could use to demonstrate the outcome, the stakes of the outcome and whether the outcome requires direct or indirect observation of practice.
- Have you completed RPS Faculty and achieved Advanced Stage II? If so, you will be entitled to automatic exemptions. More information can be found on the APCL webpage.
- If you have completed other certified learning that aligns to the RPS Core Advanced curriculum (e.g. an ACP Master’s qualification), consider applying for recognition of any accreditation of prior certified learning (APCL). More information on the APCL webpage
Uploading existing evidence to your portfolio
- Based on your LNA results (i.e. the areas where you score your current ability highly), start to upload any previous professional outputs that you feel already meet the outcomes from the portfolio (e.g. evidence of previously completed pieces of work). Some key tips:
- Read through our short guide Developing high quality evidence: balancing your portfolio to understand how to triangulate your evidence
- Remember to focus on the exact words the curriculum outcome when you explain how any previous work demonstrates the standard
- Remember to be explicit about your exact role in any previous piece of work (i.e. what did you specifically do and how did this meet the outcome?)
- Remember to triangulate as much of this evidence if possible, ensuring there is evidence of output, reflection and corroboration.
- Only map the evidence to the curriculum outcomes that are explicitly shown in the evidence. Do not over-map outcomes, with only weak or tenuous links to the evidence.
Creating new evidence for your portfolio, including SLEs
- Start undertaking Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) with collaborators in your work setting. Some key tips below:
- Re-familiarise yourself with the variety of SLE tools available to you. A summary can be found on programme of assessment webpage.
- Have a look at what success looks like by reading the Successful RPS e-portfolio candidates document
- Use the most appropriate SLE form to best demonstrate what you want to evidence, rather than the easiest. You need to have a variety of SLEs that you use, rather than always use the same one.
- Look for easy opportunities initially, clinical and non-clinical, in your normal day-to-day jobs and start with those
- When you are familiar with how it all works, you can start tackling your Actions from LNA and Expert Mentor Reviews
- Try and complete at least a few different SLEs each week, using different types across the curriculum domains
- Focus on clinical cases where you have needed to ‘live in the grey’ and use your knowledge & skills to make bespoke decisions
- Focus on non-clinical clinical duties that have team and/or service impact
- Remember to be explicit about your exact role in any evidence (i.e. what did you do and how is this directly linked to the outcome(s) you are demonstrating?)
- Ask collaborators to feedback specifically on the outcome(s) you are demonstrating
- Add reflection to SLEs to record any significant learning from the event
- Add further Actions needed to further develop the outcome moving forward
- Only map evidence to the curriculum outcomes that are explicitly shown in the evidence. Do not over-map outcomes with only weak or tenuous links to the evidence or SLE.