Planning a submission

It is the combined decision of you and your supervisor to determine what activities should be planned and recorded for submission for assessment in the e-portfolio.


In developing a plan for the evidence of activity that will be submitted into the e-portfolio, you and your supervisor may wish to consider:

  • What are the key indicators of competence in the trainee’s particular role, and at that stage of training.
  • What would constitute convincing evidence of progress, and of being fit to progress from Year 1 to Year 2, etc.
  • A typical target of one piece of evidence of activity per month.
  • Ensuring that the schedule incorporates a blend of different types of evidence and of methods in order to triangulate evidence of competence. This means that, over the course of a year, or the training programme as a whole, trainees should capture evidence of particularly important learning outcomes from different angles (e.g. using a CBD to demonstrate understanding and ability to discuss a topic in depth).
  • What is realistic and achievable, given service delivery expectations and the demands of the Professional Doctorate or FRCPath.
  • Producing evidence that is meaningful and valid for the purpose for which it is to be used (making a judgement about a trainee’s progression or fitness to practise in their particular role and specialism).
  • Trainees and their supervisors should ensure that the e-portfolio contains sufficient evidence of proficiency to enable a third party to make a confident judgement about the trainee’s fitness to progress, or, at the end of the five-years, their fitness to practise. This means that the evidence should be of sufficient depth and breadth to be convincing.

The table below is for guidance only and shows three possible approaches to a Year 1 work based assessment plan.

HSST Trainee Workplace-based assessment activity in Year 1 Comments
Trainee X
  • 4 submissions of evidence of activity;
  • no entries in the reflective journal
Potentially too little: this could represent insufficient evidence to make a judgement on Vikki’s learning and competence. More evidence would be required to determine if Vikki is fit to progress to Year 2.

Vikki has not made any entries in the reflective journal. Reflection is an important skill that may be assessed as part of FRCPath or the Professional Doctorate. Trainees may or may not wish to take the opportunity to practise their reflection skills in the e-portfolio.

Alternatively, Vikki may, with the support of her supervisor, be focusing on important assessments for the Professional Doctorate or FRCPath and she may plan to dedicate a specific period of time for completing workplace-based assessment. In this case, Vikki should alert the Professional Lead at the NSHCS to ensure that this is not perceived as a failure to engage with workplace-based assessment.

Trainee Y
  • 12 submissions of evidence of activity, which include 2 CBDs and 1 DOPs;
  • 3 entries in the reflective journal
Potentially about right: a good number and blend of methods that will allow the supervisor and annual progression board to triangulate evidence. This may have represented a fairly heavy workload in Year 1, but as Rosalind gains experience in gathering and presenting evidence she may become more skilled and confident in cross-referencing her evidence across different submissions in future years (e.g. using some of the evidence that was submitted in Year 1 as part of a CBD in Year 4).
Trainee Z
  • 38 submissions of evidence of activity, which include 10 DOPs and 15 CBDs;
  • 15 entries in the reflective journal
Potentially too much: there is a likelihood that the evidence will be repetitive. Jarid’s emphasis may have been on assessment and evidence-gathering and perhaps not so much on learning. Over-assessment can be burdensome for the trainee and supervisor. The quality and usefulness of feedback (and trainees’ tendencies to act on feedback) can also diminish when there is over-assessment. The large number of assessments for Year 1 may suggest that Jarid and his supervisor have missed some opportunities for using the same evidence to ‘sign off’ a reasonable number of the Standards of Proficiency. Alternatively, it may be the case that Jarid is highly experienced in service delivery at HSST level and has been able to use his past experience to make a significant number of submissions mapped against the HSS Standards of Proficiency. Jarid has made 12 entries in the reflective journal which is a very healthy number.