Self-Selected Activity: Observations about the Practice Improvement Record Review

  •   June 30, 2020

Do you ever wonder what happens to your Practice Improvement Record after you submit it at renewal? After you hit “submit,” in accordance with the DO.LEARN.GROW. program rules, staff work on a review of regulated members’ Practice Improvement Records.

  • Each year, Physiotherapy Alberta randomly selects a sample of Practice Improvement Records for review.
  • In 2020, 330 submissions of 2018/2019 Practice Improvement Records were reviewed.
  • Outcomes of the review are reported in Physiotherapy Alberta’s 2019 Annual Report.
  • The records review criteria include but are not limited to the following:
    • Details of the Self-Selected Activity.
    • Reflection on how participation in the Self-Selected Activity improved personal competence, and either patient care practices or physiotherapy/health–care services.
    • Resources used for practice improvement (e.g., articles, assessments, audits, references, reports, scales, scans, course notes).

Observations on reviewed Practice Improvement Records

It is clear that physiotherapists are DOing a wide variety of activities which help them to improve their personal competence (LEARN) as well as impact their patients/work environment (GROW). Course participation was frequently used for the Self-Selected Activity requirement as well as supervision of students, workplace quality improvement projects, and post-graduate education.

Many records comprehensively explained what a physiotherapist did, why they did it, and how it changed them and their practice in meaningful and significant ways. The best stories were those in which a physiotherapist discussed in detail the process of combining existing knowledge with what they learned, how they applied it to their practice context and how the experience fostered the creation of new insight, knowledge and processes. These stories provided rich details of learning and growth.

Remember reflective reporting is considered in of itself to be competence building. Reflection helps with transfer of learning and fosters the creation of new knowledge and insight. We hope the time spent completing your Practice Improvement Record, expressing thoughts about your activity, the resources accessed, and the meaningful and sustained impacts of participation helped you to GROW.

With that said, when completing your next Practice Improvement Record consider the following:

Section 1:

  • In addition to describing what you did and when you did it, reflect on why given your current job, professional situation, and your choice of activity is meaningful and significant.

Section 2:

  • Remember reflections go beyond providing summative, factual statements. Reflections illustrate opinions and critical thinking abilities.
  • In addition to general summative statements, provide details illustrating specific indicators of improvement. (i.e., how you applied what you learned to practice. I learned . . . . . . I am more effective in assessing a shoulder impingement, because I now have added the following . . . . . to my practice. This is what I have observed in my patients . . . . . . . and why I think these effects have occurred.).
  • Express how participation resulted in the co-creation of new knowledge and effected practice.

In summary, from where I sit, the bulk of the Practice Improvement Records review told stories of the excellent work physiotherapists are doing to improve themselves, the health of Albertans and the systems they work in. When you sit down to complete your next Practice Improvement Record use the time to help you to reflect and GROW.

If you have questions about this article or about your Practice Improvement Record, Contact Audrey Lowe Continuing Competence Program Manager. Competence@physiotherapyalberta.ca. 1.800.291.2782, 780.702.5349.