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RPS Faculty membership – you don’t need to go it alone

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“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Championing our profession by joining the RPS Faculty can be seen as an obvious next step in our professional development as pharmacists. Rather than tackling this on your own, how about forming a group and supporting each other through the journey?

The purpose of this blog is to outline the journey of how a group of pharmacists, specialising in Education & Training (E&T) as their ‘Expert Professional Practice’ cluster, are supporting and encouraging each other towards the joint goal of RPS Faculty membership.

This process may provide the outline that you have been looking for or at least the motivation to form a group rather than undertaking the journey by yourself.

Participants

Invite participants through the networks you already have to form a group. With the E&T group, email invitations were sent to various networks, resulting in a group of over 30 pharmacists indicating interest to join. Typically invitations are best done online, but if there are enough of you within a region this may be easier to be co-ordinated after a specialist or local practice meeting.

Support meetings

Dates

For the E&T group an online survey was created to ascertain available dates for support meetings. These have been timetabled in for approximately every second week for an hour. The online platform used also allows recording – so a link can be sent around for those unable to attend. For such a regionally diverse group, online meetings were proposed, but this might be easier after face-to-face specialist network meetings within a region. It is important to keep in mind how any meetings tie in with RPS Faculty application dates to keep up the intrinsic motivation of participants but not provide an unrealistic deadline.

What to cover

In true E&T style, participants were asked for their ‘top three’ things they wanted to cover in the meetings (utilising the same online survey). From these results a proposed outline of a series of five online meetings were created (see “Outline of meetings”), complete with suggested ‘pre-meeting’ activities. 

Proposed outline of RPS Faculty application meetings

Pre-meeting 1: Look at RPS introductory webinar

First workshop: Introduction to the RPS eportfolio

Getting started – gathering evidence

Looking at the evidence required

Looking at examples of transcripts

 

Pre-meeting 2: Spreadsheet tool created to begin to map own evidence

Second workshop: Creating your own evidence

What detail do we need?

What does ‘good’ look like?

Identifying and addressing ‘gaps’

What to include and detail required

Peer testimonials

Creating your CV

 

Pre-meeting 3: Access and begin entering on the e-portfolio system, contact colleagues for peer testimonials

Third workshop: Creating your eportfolio

Writing clearly

Mapping different entries, mapping competencies 

How to write an impact statement

What to include and detail required

 

Pre-meeting 4: share entries with others

Fourth workshop: Feedback on entries

Peer feedback on entries

Constructive critique

 

Pre-meeting 5: Complete eportfolio

Fifth workshop: Completing portfolio

Sharing transcripts

Q&A with RPS expert

Peer review/discussion

Support structures

Online

An online support area (Google+) was created that allowed members access to transcripts from other successful RPS Faculty E&T pharmacists, an example CV, mapping templates, the specialist E&T curriculum guide1 and links to interesting Faculty related resources or articles that members highlight. This support space, which is also linked to a twitter hashtag, allows members to communicate, share, ask questions and encourage each other in the journey. If you know of others in your speciality who have been through the journey, why not ask them to attend a meeting (or two) to share how they did it… or what they would have done with the benefit of hindsight!

Faculty Champions

Both of the meetings that have occurred so far have been attended by a different Faculty Champion. Sarah Ridgeway-Green shared her mapping journey in the first meeting, while Michelle Styles answered questions around her transcript and creating her CV. Inviting a Faculty Champion to your meeting(s) can provide the expertise you need and will encourage those ‘sitting on the fence’ to attend.

It’s up to you…

The next steps are up to you. In addition to completing your personal Faculty application, this process will provide great evidence for those leadership competencies!

Reference

1. Education and Training Expert Professional Curriculum (2014) NHS Pharmacy Education and Development Committee (NHSPEDC) and United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) E&T Group Committee

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