Practice Portfolios

Creating a practice portfolio requires you to review and adapt not just your activities and your practice but your values and beliefs about your practice.

See Peter Drucker for a reminder about who is responsible for our professional development. Click HERE.

Individual Development

The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility

by Dr. Peter Drucker

The person with the most responsibility for an individual’s development is the person him or herself – not the boss. The best priority for one’s own development is to strive for excellence. Workmanship counts, not just because it makes a difference in the quality of the job done, but because it makes such a difference in the person doing the job. Expect the job to provide stimulus only if you work on your own self-renewal, only if you create the excitement, the challenge, the transformation that makes an old job enriching over and over again. The most effective road to self-renewal is to look for the unexpected success and run with it.

The critical factor for success is accountability – holding yourself accountable. Everything else flows from that. The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility. To be accountable, you must take the job seriously enough to recognize: I’ve got to grow up to the job. By focusing on accountability, people take a bigger view of themselves.

ACTION POINT: Strive for excellence

Personal Benefits of Practice Portfolios

Dr Laurel Edmunds and Jessica Pryce-Jones have researched the issue of happiness at work at length and have produced the following definition from their findings:

Happiness at work is about mindfully making the best use of the resources you have to overcome the challenges you face. Actively relishing the highs and managing the lows will help you maximize your performance and achieve your potential. And this not only builds your happiness but also that of others who will be affected and energized by what you do.

From Happiness at Work


We have chosen a visual representation to explain what you are aiming for; that is, to create a showcase portfolio. This portfolio will demonstrate your capabilities to employers and clients.  However, before you can create that showcase portfolio you will need to keep a developmental portfolio for a number of years. A developmental portfolio will include your reflections of your practice. Some of these reflections will be very personal and you may not wish to include them unedited in a showcase portfolio. For these reasons you will need the bigger, private developmental portfolio, and draw from it to create your smaller, public showcase portfolio.

By the end of this forum you will be able to:

Understand the terminology, concepts and principles of practice portfolios.
Collect, select, and reflect on evidence for a portfolio.
Human Dimension:
Collaborate with peers, employers and stakeholders to support your portfolio. Create and maintain a practice portfolio for a range of professional purposes.
Learning how to Learn:

Access, evaluate and share resources.
Initiate and sustain a professional profile.

Integrate your portfolio within your professional practice.

My research for The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking found that before someone will actually meet you, they will have normally already have formed a first impression of you by looking at your online footprint. Yes, your online footprint – how many of us, actively manage our personal online footprint? Unless you have an active content marketing strategy for your career and/or business, your LinkedIn profile is most likely to be in the top three results when people Google your name. Don’t be under any illusions, the first step in any process to find out more about you will involve a google search. So, what does your LinkedIn profile look like? A shortened version of your CV? Or an active profile showcasing your personal credibility?
Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. Over the past decade, Heather has worked with more than one hundred partners, coached and trained over 1000 lawyers, accountants and other professionals at every level, within the UK’s leading and most ambitious professional practices.She specializes in working with professional services firms and is the founder of The Efficiency Coach.

Inspiration from Jack Zerby on Vimeo.


Portfolios have a language all of their own. So we are giving you some of the key words here before you start on your learning journey.

Practice portfolio: An all encompassing term for any portfolio demonstrating professional practice.

A narrative portfolio tells a personal story. Your portfolio should be written in the first person and tell your story.

A good portfolio should be a dialogue and record not only your voice, but also the voices of your clients, colleagues, peers, the community or key stakeholders.

Showcase portfolio: This is your ‘front of house’ portfolio where you demonstrate your career and achievements to a chosen audience(s). Who might these audiences be?

Developmental Portfolios This is your “back room”, where work that is not ready for publication is stored. This aspect of your portfolio captures your reflections as you develop as a practitioner. Treat this more as a professional development space where you prepare material for showcase portfolios.

Indepth reflective dialogue: You will need this to create a developmental portfolio. Here is a nice introduction to reflection. We also recommend this video to you on reflective practice.
Self managing professional: The aim of a teaching portfolio is to make you a self managing professional. For a quick intro and path to a career plan, read more here.

You may like to use portfolio as part of your annual performance management self evaluation. Here is a simple guide to self evaluation for performance management purposes. How to Perform Self Evaluation for a Positive Performance Review.

An Example Portfolio.

This example portfolio was created using Posterous The portfolio has both a blog and pages (or tabs) function. Click the side tabs to find out what each page could contain.
This portfolio was created using Blogger and can be found at
The portfolio has no pages, and uses only blog posts to showcase the work of the teachers.
Now to work and constructing your portfolio!


We are great believers in e-portfolios. We have created a Moodle site with loads of information. So check it out here.
e-Portfolios are not a new concept. In various guises, digital presentations of skills and competences, online records of achievement and action plans with opportunities for reflection have been in use in education for nearly a decade. Tools and systems built for these purposes are now numerous. So what is new about e-portfolios? Click Here for JISC Effective Practice with E-Portfolios.

Helen Barrett is the world expert on e-Portfolios. You can check out her website for tools and tricks.

Helen Barrett’s website includes a list of useful online web 2.0 portfolio tools.

E-portfolios (for managers, academics and others) are becoming increasingly popular around the world as a tool to enhance learning and assist with personal career development. Click HERE to access the lastest developments from the Flexible Learning Network in Australia.

Here are some online examples of e-portfolios from our e-portfolio Moodle course:

Some options for where to host your e-Portfolio

Jump on Google and search for options for hosting your e-portfolio. There are loads of options, some paid services (like this Ning), others free with advertisements.

  • Ning, which is where this site is hosted. Currently it’s US$2.95 per month for a basic ad-free plan.
  • LinkedIn. Originally for business professionals, it now has a number of ways you can create a portfolio of practice.
  • Facebook is ubiquitous but not only for teens! It’s increasingly used by businesses and organisations to profile their activities. You can have more than one online profile here if that suits your needs, e.g. one for your friends and another for your professional profile.
  • tumblr. is a blogging platform – “share anything, customize everything”. tumblr. allows you to post from your email and mobile phone.
  • Postess is a very simple form of online portfolio. You will have a few easily manageable pages. So for the beginner this could be a manageable platform. Students may also benefit from this platform.
  • Pebblepad is a paid service specialising in reflective e-portfolios.
  • webs provides free websites.
  • Posterous – “the easiest way to post and share anything”. Easy to customise and apply templates. Send your posts from email or mobile phone, then share them with your followers. Nice crisp finish.
  • Blogger A Google application. You can use your gmail address to login. A simple blogging platform, used by the best of blogging professionals, and allows pages as well.
  • WordPress: For the experienced only. A fabulous tool but quite technical.
  • Flavorsme One webpage, limited but simple, can draw all you online presence together.

Polishing your Portfolio

Your portfolio needs some input from others, your peers, and external stakeholders. Feel free to add documents, photos, videos, Powerpoints etc.

Printing your portfolio

There is software applications to help you print from a blog. See

Posterous Great Portfolios.

For some examples of education blogs built with posterous go to
and just to show that this is real and not faked
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