With the festive season upon us and revalidation set to come into force in early 2018, Tess Fenn explains how this is the ideal time for reflection 

As 2017 draws to a close, it is a good time to reflect on what we have personally achieved this year – something we often don’t have time for in our busy schedules. As accountable and responsible pharmacy professionals, we are duty bound to apply reflection to our CPD entries and this will only become more important as we move into the GPhC’s revalidation model in the New Year.


A number of years ago I read an article on self-reflection that transformed my thinking. It detailed a seven-step approach to self-reflection, which you may like to try and apply it to recording your CPD entries in 2018:

1. Pick a specific subject or event related to your work that you want to reflect on

2. Set aside a time when you can be alone, quiet and not interrupted

3. Write down all the questions you would like to explore, such as: What did I do well? Where could I have done better? Where did I hesitate? What did I learn?

4. Note your answers to each question

5. Be honest and look into your true self, as this is personal for you and your development and does not need to be shared with anyone

6. Identify action steps you will take to start, stop or continue doing something next year. This can include how to communicate more openly, being more supportive or being more collaborative with others you work with, patients or the public

7. Celebrate your successes – don’t forget these – and congratulate yourself on all the great things you accomplished this year and what you are most proud of.

The benefits

Self-reflection can help to maximise your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. The three main benefits are linked to professionalism: 

1. Strengthening emotional intelligence – the ability to recognise your own emotions and those of others to allow you to adjust and adapt to specific situations. Self-awareness allows you to understand your drives, values and goals and helps to develop self-regulation. Building these skills will improve your professional role as a leader

2. Acting with integrity – knowing your own values and those of your workplace can strengthen your integrity and support you in making better decisions. Consistently reviewing the actions of your key decisions and looking at these against your core values is key to acting with integrity

3. Confidence – the more you increase your awareness of your strengths and build on these, the more confident you become, which in turn allows you to reflect on closing the gap on the areas that require improvement. 

Pharmacy framework

Reflection helps guide how we want to improve our lives and that of our pharmacy and patients, as well as make changes for the coming year. 

APTUK’s Foundation Pharmacy Framework can help your reflection and self-development. It supports the delivery of pharmaceutical care by helping pharmacy technicians identify their own learning gaps and provides them with a structured career progression. 

Read more about our framework and how this can help your reflective practice.

I would like to thank everyone who made 2017 a great year and I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2018!

Celebrate your successes, don’t forget these and congratulate yourself on all the great things you accomplished this year and what you are most proud of


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