Vachon, Brigitte, PhD, OT; Rochette, Annie, PhD, OT; Thomas, Aliki, PhD, OT; Désormeaux, Welove Foucar, MSc, OT; Huynh, Ai-Thuy, BSc.
Professional portfolios are widely used in continuing professional development (CPD), despite limited evidence of their effectiveness for improving practice and professional competence. Occupational therapy regulatory organizations in Canada have implemented professional portfolios as tools that support engagement in CPD. To advance research and practice on the use of portfolios, we conducted a critical analysis of their format, content, and embedded learning process. This paper aims to describe and compare the portfolios’ characteristics when they are used as a tool to facilitate engagement in CPD. A document review approach was used to analyze documents describing continuing competence programs and portfolios and to compare their characteristics. Data was retrieved from documents using a coding scheme and content was compared to the literature. In Canada, seven out of 10 regulatory organizations have implemented a portfolio. They are similar in their content and proposed self-directed learning approach. Their strength is that they all promote self-assessment, reflection, and development of a CPD plan. However, the tools provided can be improved to help engage in more genuine reflection and integration of learning into practice. Our review of the content, tools, and proposed learning process of portfolios revealed avenues for improvement and future research.
Vachon, B., Rochette, A., Thomas, A., Foucar Desormeaux, W., & Huynh, A. (2016). Professional portfolios used by Canadian occupational therapists: How can they be improved?. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 4(3). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1280