As a result of this blog, and “a little help from my friends” I have a meeting next week at the Royal College of Physicians to discuss the NHS ePortfolio. I hope to articulate the discussions on this blog, and those that I have had over email, twitter and in person with many of you.
I hope to communicate the frustration felt by trainees and others about the NHS ePortfolio, along with the hope that it could be something so much better: a true educational and professional development tool to support lifelong learning. I hope to gain a better understanding of the views of the Colleges, in particular the view of the governance structures, the funding streams, and the future vision.
Broad areas I hope to discuss include:
- lack of user input on any decisions about the ePortfolio and proposals to change this
- poor communication of the rationale for, and timing of changes (personally, I had no warning about the change to formative and summative DOPS) and the effect this has on demoralised trainees
- technical limitations – such as speed, which increase frustration and decrease utility
- design limitations – such as lack of flexibility, poor organisation and visualisation of content so that it is hidden away and can’t effectively inform PDPs. These design limitations have an adverse effect on the educational utility of the ePortfolio
- educational limitations due to lack of an app, meaning delays between a workplace-based assessment being observed, and completed online (therefore feedback becomes meaningless)
- other limitations – lack of ability to share content with anyone other than supervisors, lack of interoperability and exportability of data for more creative uses
- what does the College believe is the answer to the question “who owns the data in the ePortfolio?”
- is there scope for greater collaboration between JRCPTB, RCPCH, The Foundation Programme and other groups who commission their ePortfolios through NES, to invest jointly for change – an app would be a perfect opportunity for this. The users of these systems share many basic needs, and could have individual specifics built in
- what is the future of the ePortfolio, in technical, and educational terms, and how will this be decided?
- how is the ePortfolio funded and commissioned? What are the plans for the future? How can we improve the process and increase transparency?
- the concept of an ePortfolio has great potential but is not delivering what is needed. Investment is essential. User input is essential. There is a great opportunity to get this right and improve both the perception and reality of postgraduate training. Who will lead this change? Will it be the RCP?
I am very grateful to the RCP for taking the time to meet with me, and hope it will be a very constructive and positive conversation. Please let me know what else you feel is essential for me to communicate, as we begin to get closer to a process for change.
What would you ask? Please let me know by commenting below. You can also still edit the ePortfolio Trainee Roadmap