What your standards say
Your standards of proficiency require you to:
Understand the value of reflective practice and the need to record the outcome of such reflection to support continuous improvement
(Standards of proficiency)
These requirements exist because understanding the value of reflection and reviewing practice is important for meeting all of your standards.
Reflection and CPD
As a health and care professional, you should never stop learning.
Keep their skills and knowledge up to date and understand the importance of continuing professional development throughout their career
(Standards of proficiency)
You must keep your knowledge and skills up to date and relevant to your scope of practice through continuing professional development
(Standards of conduct, performance and ethics)
You should also meet your standards of continuing professional development (CPD).
Reflection can form part of your CPD and we use reflection as an example of work-based learning in our advice on what activities count as CPD.
If you participate in reflection, the notes you keep about your reflection can be submitted as evidence in a CPD audit. If you are including reflective practice with your CPD profile, you must make sure that you remember to keep information about your service users confidential.
Reflection when things go wrong
To be effective, reflection requires you and your colleagues to be open and honest with each other, without fear of being blamed. This is particularly important if something has gone wrong, or not as expected. Taking time to reflect can help you to identify what went wrong and why, and what steps can be taken to prevent the issues from happening again
To support you to be open and honest, we would not require you to provide your personal written reflections when investigating a fitness to practise concern about you, although you could share those reflections with us if you wanted to.
Sharing your reflections with us may help to demonstrate your insights into what went wrong and any steps you have taken, or plan to take, to reduce the impact of these concerns or prevent them from happening again. If you decided to share your reflective notes with us, this will be subject to our data governance policies relating to CPD or to FTP.
Before sharing information with us, you may want to seek out advice, for example:
- Your professional body or your trade union: Many trade unions and professional bodies offer advice to their members on employment issues or will be able to provide you with other resources.
- Our registrant hub includes wellness resources
- Seeking independent legal advice
- A staff representative or someone you trust at your workplace
Reflection requires honesty and self-critical assessment, but it shouldn’t be a punitive exercise. While you can improve your practice and outcomes for service users by focusing on things which have gone wrong, you need to also be kind to yourself in the process.
Well-meaning reflection can soon become negative, if approached in the wrong way. Reflection should focus on what is in your control, rather than replaying past mistakes. It should leave you feeling positive and hopeful, rather than negative about your own abilities. If you find yourself coming back to a negative event over and over again, you should consider speaking to someone for support. Remember to check the HCPC’s registrant wellbeing resources and to check what materials your professional body may have.