An afternoon of professional profiling.

Today, I had a strange desire to work on my professional profile. It seriously needs some dedicated attention. The purpose of this afternoon, I decided, was to understand what components my profile really needed and create the templates and structure that would help me to effectively and efficiently maintain my profile in the future.

Structure Before

The structure I was considering prior to this afternoon was:

  1. Table of contents
  2. Summary of my practice over the past two years
  3. Summary of CPD activities
  4. Table of CPD activities
  5. Previous learning objectives and progress
  6. Current learning objectives
  7. Sections based on whatever I decide below containing evidence/specific information

Keep the above in mind, as you will see that this will have changed at the end of my little adventure today.

What did I do?

I started off with creating a graph to help me reflect on where I think I am in relation to the standards of proficiency for the twelve skill categories my course uses (List A) (Wheeler & Lane, 2009). I read over the goals I set for myself in my last week of placement to work on after placement, two for each of the seven placement competencies (List B). I then remembered a discussion during a group supervision session on placement, in which we discussed the different ways you could divide up your professional profile, including using the Health Professions Council’s (HPC) own guidance.

The HPC has a section of its website dedicated to continuing professional development (CPD) (HPC, n.d.), as well as a collection of guidance documents that are useful when working on your profile (List C). They emphasise that CPD can come in many forms (List D) (HPC, 2009). They also have a list of standards (List E) (HPC, 2009), which I should use to judge which structure is best for my profile.

How should I organise my CPD?

I’m slowly compiling a selection of different ways in which I can organise my profile. Should I stick to the university’s structure for now (List A)? Or should I maybe divide it according to types of CPD activities (List D)? Personally, I prefer the latter, though this does not seem to be an option until I graduate, as we need to use our portfolios to inform our coursework for a module…

Structure After

But wait! I open up the pdf from HPC’s website titled ‘How to complete your CPD profile‘ (2009) and see that my previous structure is to be amended by how the HPC expects me to organise my CPD folder.

  1. Profession and CPD number
  2. Summary of recent work (max. 500 words)
  3. Personal statement (max. 1500 words) detailing how I have met HPC’s standards
  4. Summary of supporting evidence – this includes a complete list of CPD activities since registration/renewal (standard 1), as well as more detailed evidence to support what you wrote in your personal statement

Now, I realise that all I’m working on at the moment is Section 4, and I’ll be putting in detailed evidence for everything at this point (AKA a ‘portfolio’), but I want to have placeholders in my profile folder for the first three just to minimise panic if I get that audit letter in the future…


I spent a lot of time writing all this out. I did not expect to go this far…


List A – University’s professional profiling skill categories (Wheeler & Lane, 2009)

  1. Communication
  2. Working in partnerships
  3. Assessment and intervention planning
  4. Delivery and evaluation of intervention
  5. Ethical and culturally-competent practice
  6. Health and safety
  7. Promotion of health and wellbeing
  8. Management and development of self
  9. Management and development of others
  10. Service development and improvement
  11. Knowledge for professional practice
  12. Research and evidence-based practice

List B – Placement competencies

  1. Knowledge & theory for practice
  2. Professional/clinical reasoning
  3. OT/intervention process
  4. Professionalism
  5. Communication
  6. Professional development
  7. Self & environmental management

List C – HPC resources

List D – Types of CPD activities (HPC, 2006)

  • Work-based learning
  • Professional activity
  • Formal education
  • Self-directed learning
  • Other activities (e.g. voluntary work)

List E – HPC standards for CPD (Your guide to our standards for continuing professional development, 2006, pg. 2)

  1. Registrants must “maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities”
  2. Registrants must “demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice”
  3. Registrants must “seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery”
  4. Registrants must “seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user”
  5. Registrants must, “upon request, present a written profile … explaining how they have met the standards for CPD”


Works Cited

Health Professions Council. (n.d.). Continuing professional development. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2006, July 10). Continuing professional development and your registration. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2010, January 5). Guidance on conduct and ethics for students. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2009, May). How to complete your continuing professional development profile. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2008, July). Standards of conduct, performance and ethics. Retrieved November 20, 2010, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2007, November 1). Standards of proficiency – Occupational therapists. Retrieved November 8, 2011, from HPC:

Health Professions Council. (2009, May 30). Your guide to our standards for continuing professional development. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from HPC:

Wheeler, N., & Lane, E. J. (2009). Professional Profiling. Oxford Brookes University, Department of Occupational Therapy. Oxford: School of Health and Social Care.

So what do you think?