Healthcare Science Education Event 2018

On the 27th September some members of the LondonHCSTN board were given the opportunity to host our own workshop at the annual Healthcare Science Education event delivered by NECL healthcare scientists. The whole day was a fantastic event full of inspirational speakers and enthusiasm for healthcare science education.

The afternoon was formed of concurrent workshops including our own workshop which focused around portfolio based learning!

The workshop was aimed at discussing the challenges of portfolio based learning and working together to come up with means to address the challenges. We were fortunate to have a range of attendees including portfolio-based trainees, training officers and training assessors who were all able to give different perspectives on understanding and addressing the challenges.

Five main challenges were posed to the attendees to discuss and feed back on, we have listed these below with some helpful suggestions from participants.


Placement competencies – who signs them off and what to do if they are unreachable

  • Organise delivery of training with responsible individuals prior to training commencement, it is then clear who is responsible for what, and workload can be anticipated ahead of time
  • Take advantage of OneFile’s ability to remind people on your behalf!


Competences that are outside the scope of your specialism’s practice, or where no training has been given

  • Feed back to the NSHCS that specific competences outside the scope of practice should be instead treated as experiential learning
  • Have a verbal conversation with a reviewer which is then submitted as video evidence
  • ‘Take the spirit’ of the competence and apply it to something within the scope of practice


Different expectations of detail and competence

  • Use existing laboratory policies for competence in practice and apply these to training
  • Set up a training committee within the Trust to standardise and improve training
  • Share accepted competencies between trainees and trainers to establish what should be expected


Getting acceptable work signed off quickly

  • Incentivise trainers by emphasising the benefit of training for CPD
  • Keep competencies concise to reduce workload for trainers and trainees


Knowing who will train and assess the competency and the time frame for this

  • Establish good communication between the host department and rotational departments
  • Establish a contingency plan for if a member of staff leaves unexpectedly during training


We would like to say a big thank you to all those who attended the workshop and provided such good feedback to help us all to tackle these challenges going forward.

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