March 24, 2011 (Thursday) - Specialist Portfolio Assessment

We had an inspector in at work today. Over the years I’ve had lots of inspectors to check that my trainees are of sufficient standard to become state registered. Today was a first – we had a specialist portfolio registration inspection. Today was the culmination of four years hard work, and was probably as nerve wracking for me as it was for the candidate. After a three hour assessment we were told she’d passed.

I was particularly nervous as, for all that my student had prepared the most excellent portfolio, we were neither of us entirely sure that it was actually what was required.
In my honest opinion, the guidance we’d received from the IBMS on the production of the portfolio was minimal, to say the least. I’ve produced a website of advice for students and mentors involved with this portfolio, but this website is purely my personal take on the thing. I’ve asked for those with experience of assessing these portfolios to give me help, suggestions and advice for this website, but (so far) have received nothing. So consequently today was very much a journey into the unknown. We didn’t know what to expect from the assessor, and were desperately hoping he’d like what he saw.

It was interesting that that the assessor shared our view of the IBMS – that they did not give enough guidance about this portfolio. He was under the impression that the idea was that mentors like me learn how these portfolios should be done from the experience gained as students complete them. The theory being that after you’ve overseen half a dozen, you get the idea. Which is all well and good for the poor students*provided* you’re not one of the first ones.
Mind you, I’ve still got eight other candidates preparing their own specialist portfolios. Hopefully that will be experience enough.

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