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Advice on Reflective Practice

Summary of The Reflective Practitioner Guidance (pdf)

The Reflective Practitioner Guidance (pdf)

Reflective Practice Toolkit (pdf)

This guidance has been produced jointly by the Academy, the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Medical Schools Council (MSC). Reflection is an important part of professional practice. By reflecting, doctors assess how well they are performing, as well as identifying their learning needs and enabling improvements to be made to their practice.

However, for many doctors, documenting or demonstrating their reflective practice is more difficult. This new guidance aims to help medical students and doctors understand the professional requirements for reflective practice. 

The guidance was developed following requests for clearer information on what is meant by reflection, and how those in training and engaging in revalidation should reflect as part of their practice. It has been developed with input from all four nations and is intended for use across the UK.

The guidance outlines the importance of reflection for personal development and learning; it highlights how reflection can help doctors and medical students to maintain and improve their professional practice, and drive improvements in patient safety. It emphasises ten key elements of being a reflective practitioner, including how reflection is personal; that there is no one way to reflect; and that reflective notes don’t need to capture the full details of an experience, but should focus on learning outcomes and future plans.

This work, which is a joint effort by all four organisations to provide clearer advice in this area, is part of a wider commitment to drive an open and honest learning culture. We will explore what other guidance or information could be developed to provide more practical support.

The documents are also available on the COPMeD website , along with the Academy and COPMeD Reflective Practice Toolkit

This Reflective Practice Toolkit (also attached) has been produced by the Academy and COPMeD.  It provides templates and examples of reflective styles, and aims to facilitate best practice in the documentation of reflection on a variety of activities and events. The toolkit is intended to provide practical help and documentation to help doctors with reflective practice. It complements the general guidance.

Trainees may have concerns about the GMC obtaining reflective records stored in their ePortfolios, this letter from the President of the RCPCH provides reassurance that this will not happen.


Page created February 2019

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