Frequently Asked Questions on the Learning Portfolio
What is a learning portfolio?
A learning portfolio is a tool used by a practitioner to develop and manage their professional learning. It is a document that:
- helps you identify your learning needs;
- helps you plan a course of action;
- allows you to track your professional development activities;
- guides you through evaluation and reflection of your learning activity;
- identifies the impact your learning activities might have on your practice; and
- documents your growth and professional development.
Do I have to use the College's format for my portfolio?
No. A learning portfolio should help you achieve your learning goals, and therefore the portfolio format you choose should work for you. You may modify the College’s portfolio to better meet your individual preferences or adopt a totally different format. Should you choose to develop your own model, we strongly recommend that you incorporate the key elements provided within the College’s template, including an education action plan and a continuing education log.
What can I document as learning activities or resources in my portfolio?
Professional development and lifelong learning can include a variety of learning activities. You may document learning activities that involve a structured traditional format, such as attending a workshop or taking a self-study course. In addition, you may also include non-traditional self-directed learning resources, such as reading articles on a particular topic or discussing an issue with colleagues. Everyone's learning needs are different and yours will be driven by your practice and personal goals. Because there may not always be an accessible structured education program available to address your specific learning needs, any learning activity that helps you to achieve your learning goal may be documented.
How many learning activities do I need to complete each year?
The College does not set a required number of learning activities or contact hours to be obtained each year. We recognize that learning needs are unique and will vary for an individual from year to year depending on their practice. The Learning Portfolio has been designed to put you in control of your professional development. This way you can be responsible for identifying your learning needs, choosing the activities to achieve your goals and applying your learning to your practice. The emphasis should be on the quality of your learning and how it relates to your practice versus the number of hours spent learning.
If you would like a pre-determined number of learning hours or activities to complete each year, set yourself a realistic target number at the beginning of the year and work towards that goal. For example, some other provincial pharmacy regulatory authorities have set annual required minimum contact hours at 15-20 hours. Documenting each of your learning activities in the learning portfolio will help you track your progress and determine when your goals have been achieved.