Reflection on practice

The late Tony Benn, renowned for his political diaries, described how he reflected at least three times on important political events. Firstly at the time of the event (Reflection in Practice), secondly when carefully writing down the details (Reflection on Practice) – an event that he noted often resulted in some moderation of his views.  Finally when he re-read them some years later and conceded that he was wrong!

Portfolios, such as MARS, encourage the professional to identify important aspects of one’s practice, to contemplate their effectiveness, or otherwise, and to consider means of bringing about improvement.  Opportunities to Reflect on Practice arise when entering evidence under the headings of the 4 domains and reminders occur under all the templates provided, as will be reiterated shortly.  Tony Benn’s third opportunity to reflect is akin to the section for ‘Insights and Reflections’.  Users are reminded to look back on their appraisal year in preparation for their appraisal discussion and enter their thoughts in this section.  This re-evaluation of the year’s progress is an important opportunity to ask those ‘Why’ and ‘What next’ questions that could help in self-assessing the success of the year and the requirements for future development.  

The appraisal meeting gives an opportunity to discuss this re-evaluation with a peer. Your appraiser is trained in helping you reflect and also gives a different viewpoint. Your appraiser may ask the “so what”, the “what next” and may encourage change or development.

To successfully revalidate the GMC requires you to provide evidence, to consider and reflect upon and to be prepared to discuss activities in the following areas:

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Quality Improvement Activities (QIA)
  • Significant Events
  • Feedback from Colleagues
  • Feedback from Patients
  • Review of Complaints and Compliments



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