Evidencing CPD: A Guide to Building Your Social Work Portfolio by Daisy Bogg and Maggie Challis, 2013, Published by Critical Publishing Ltd, St Albans, £15.30 (on Amazon), ISBN: 978-1-909330-25-2
The book opens with a succinct and clear summary of the history and development of social work education, training and registration and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). Beyond this brief introduction Bogg and Challis do not discuss the link between the politics that have brought about changes in social work education and the impact on the professional social work role.
Bogg and Challis see the expectations of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which focus on the relevance of training and learning to practice, as a significant improvement on the PRTL (post registration training and learning) that preceded registration being taken over by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). They provide evidence as to the value of using a portfolio-based learning as both an effective method of engaging with and managing adult learning as well as being relevant to the evidencing of CPD as part of the registration requirements of the HCPC.
The authors engage the readers with their easy to read style and Reflective Activities, working through what portfolio based learning means, what goes in a portfolio, as well as assessing your own learning style, skills and learning needs. There are separate chapters for those at different stages in their career, from developing portfolios for workers in their first year of practice (ASYE); using portfolios for CPD; to using portfolios for career development.
Appendix 1 gives a useful breakdown of the PCF domains and capabilities across all levels of learning and experience, from end of last placement through various levels of qualified worker status to strategic level.
The remaining appendices include useful exercises and templates to support the previous chapters, although unfortunately these do not appear to be available in a downloadable format.
The book is engaging and easy to follow. It contains useful guidance on what can be included in a portfolio and makes it clear that it is not just a record of learning achieved but an all round tool that can be used to plan future needs and development. This book will be a useful reference for practitioners at all levels from the first year (ASYE) through to senior social work staff, supervisors and managers.
Although portfolio based learning is not mandatory it is clear that maintaining an ongoing (electronic or paper) record of learning, experience and practice fits well with HCPC registration expectations and will make it easier for the 2.5% who are called upon at the two-yearly registration renewal to quickly provide the required evidence of CPD.