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Workplace-based assessment and the portfolio

A portfolio can be seen as a dossier of evidence collected over time, which demonstrates a doctor’s education and practice achievements (Wilkinson et al., 2002).

In essence, a portfolio, if well constructed, should describe the journey of a learner towards the attainment of professional competence.

The box below demonstrates the key functions of a portfolio and how it relates to workplace-based assessment.

Functions of a portfolio

  • It aims to serve as the reflective learning log of the learner, available to be shared with their educational supervisor.
  • It demonstrates the learner’s progress towards covering the breadth and depth of the curriculum.
  • It acts as a repository for assessments carried out as part of workplace-based assessment.
  • It acts as a framework for the learning agreements between learners and teachers.
  • It charts a learner’s progression and ‘learning journey’, and can help in making career choices and decisions.  

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