Reflective Practice is the term used to describe systematic reflection and analysis on an event which has been significant in training (learning) or employment. There is sometimes a tendency to link reflective practice to negative events. This is by no means a full representation of the scope of its use. Reflective practice can be equally used for situations where the outcome was optimal as for those that represented a departure from the desired outcome.
The format by which you record reflection is not set in stone but the important part is to reflect as this is expected for your annual progression, revalidation and for your own learning and development. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC), the Conference of Post-Graduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), the General Medical Council and the Medical Schools Council have jointly produced guidance on reflection. The COPMED / AoMRC reflective toolkit is now live on the website on the link below:
The GMC has also produced guidance (click here):
Regarding reflective practice, you must ensure it is available to demonstrate to your educational supervisor and/or ARCP panel in relation to Significant Events, teaching events, courses etc. Some people find a “reflective” journal or diary useful whilst others find making notes immediately after an event and then setting aside time to fully reflect on it works for them.
In order to comply with Information Governance, there must be no patient identifiable information contained within written reflections.
Your notes on reflective practice should never be used as evidence or a report for a case you were involved in. Such specific information should be kept separately if needed. The aim of reflective practice is to review one’s practice and prompt further learning.You should discuss with your educational supervisor if you are having problems with reflective practice and they should be able to advise what is required within your training programme and suggest alternative ways to reflect.