December 23, 2008

New Portfolio System roll out

Most of you will be aware that the portfolio system is changing as a result of the portfolio review. For those interested, there is also information on the portfolio review elsewhere on this blog

Trial, block 11 2009
The new portfolio system has now been trialled with a full stream of students and following feedback, is now being rolled out further. Those interested can view the main outcomes of the trial new_portfolio_trial_2009_graphs.xls.
This is most easily viewed by looking at the charts marked with the red tabs. Overall, this trial was a great success. The new portfolio system was a significant improvement in a number of important areas and was not reported to be worse than the previous system in any of the measured areas. There are still some issues to be dealt with (see FAQ section) but overall, WMS is now in a possition to roll out the new system to all students over the course of 2009.

Block 7, 2009 – the new system is to be used in child health and the emergencies block.
Block 8 onwards – the new system will be rolled out to the other blocks – information will be sent out in good time and will also be updated on this page. The current plan is for Senior Surgery from block 8 and Senior Medicine and Obstertrics and Gynaecology in block 9. This will allow sufficient time for staff training and should mean that once students have moved onto the new system, they will not need to revert to the old system.

This site gives access to the new guidance notes and documentation. Anyone is welcome to have a look and comment. Please only use the new documents in the blocks listed above (Timetable). This will be updated during the year.

The new system involves new forms and new guidance. However the key change is that the end point is for students to present the case rather than hand in a written portfolio. This can be on a 1:1 basis or to a group. To do this, students must meet their teachers at the start of the block to ensure they have times booked during the block to present their cases.

Guidance documents
An overview of the new system can be downloaded here:

Those completing or reviewing the new forms for the first time should read the notes here:

In completing your portfolio cases, you need to be particularly aware of the University guidance on plaigarism, available here:
Plaigarism guidance

The new form is available here. There is also a version with guidance notes (see above)
Key changes are that the sections are now size limited. Please note that they are limited to the number of characters (not words). We are working to change this as a word limit would be clearer but this does not currently work well with word documents. Also, you cannot use normal bullet points – but you can use asteriscs, dashes etc; e.g;

- Diagnosis 1
- Diagnosis 2 etc…

Finally, it is no longer possible to spell check. Again, this is a result of size limiting the boxes – although it is not possible to spell check clinical notes so you do need to get used to writing up cases without being able to spell check

We are currently agreeing a mock prescription chart with the trusts. This is not currently ready, but when it is, it will be available here:
Prescription chart

Prior to presenting, students need to download a feedback form:

When the system is fully implemented, students will log their cases. The trial portfolio log is available here:

See also ‘Frequently asked questions’

- 11 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. I am completing my first portfolio using the new version. On the Management section there seems to be a formatting issue. Although 3000 characters are allowed, the box does not let you go over onto the next page (I typed about 1600 characters on one page and will need to use 2+ pages). As we are not able to copy or format the document, this is something I can’t fix myself! Also in the Management section there is a narrow column down the right hand side which cannot be populated and is just making the text in main box narrower than the text in the rest of the doc. I think the whole portfolio document is formatted like this meaning that none of the boxes can be split over 2 pages.
    Many thanks

    14 May 2009, 12:25

  2. Colin Macdougall

    This problem has now been solved. The new form seems to work well with all the versions of Word we have been able to try it on. Please let me know if this remains an issue for any student.

    22 May 2009, 16:44

  3. I am trying to use the form for the social portfolio for child health and am finding it difficult to note the relevant extra social information, due to the word limit, and the nature of the boxes listed. There doesn’t appear to be room to discuss the child’s physical illness as well as their complicated social situation. As the word limit is unbendable I am not sure that I will be able to include the relevant social information, which is the whole point of the exercise. Any advice?

    07 Jun 2009, 18:10

  4. Sorry, just to add, there are two portfolios on the child health page, both using the old proforma, and both looking like they are significantly longer than the word count of the new forms.

    07 Jun 2009, 18:55

  5. Colin Macdougall


    This worked OK with the last group – I have sent a message to Alan Dolan to see what additional advice they supplied if any. In the meanwhile, you should aim to condense the medical issues as much as possible (as is necessary when clerking such complex patients) to give you sufficient space to comment fully on the social issues. Again, remember that being concise about issues, including social, is a skill in itself and ‘social’ is not synonymous with needing huge amounts of text.

    09 Jun 2009, 14:25

  6. Not very important but the print date can’t be changed.

    Also- what do the ‘main diagnosis ref’ and ‘Others ref’ boxes refer to?

    Many Thanks


    03 Jul 2009, 13:05

  7. Colin Macdougall


    The print date should default to the correct date on the day it was printed. Let me know if this is not happening

    Main diagnosis ref – this is the ‘code’ for the relevant learning outcome from the phase 2 course document (e.g. 10.2). The ‘Other ref’ boxes are for cases that span a number of codes – for example, a cardiac diagnosis with ITU care and, say, renal failure

    06 Jul 2009, 09:14

  8. Where do i find the “attached prescription form” please.

    Many thanks

    29 Jul 2009, 21:25

  9. Colin Macdougall


    As stated above,

    “We are currently agreeing a mock prescription chart with the trusts. This is not currently ready, but when it is, it will be available here”

    Colin Macdougall

    31 Jul 2009, 09:35

  10. Please can we have the new template on the main website, in the portfolio section, so that we don’t have to come to the blogs to find it? Thanks.

    29 Sep 2009, 11:23

  11. Colin Macdougall

    We will be moving everything across in the next few weeks

    29 Sep 2009, 15:28

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