Have You Incorporated the Core Competency Domains into Your ePortfolio?


Carolynn Jones, DNP, MSPH, RN

In a wide-ranging ACRP 2016 Meeting & Expo presentation on the value of developing and sharing electronic portfolios (ePortfolios) devoted to demonstrating your clinical research skills and accomplishments to current and potential employers, several experts today raised the utility of using the ePortfolio format for documenting and explicitly tying your experiences to the eight core competency domains for clinical research professionals.

As developed by the Joint Task Force for Clinical Trial Competency and described by Sonstein, et al. in the June 2014 issue of the ACRP Clinical Researcher journal, the Core Competency Framework covers the realms of Scientific Concepts and Research Design; Ethical and Participant Safety Considerations; Medicines Development and Regulation; Clinical Trials Operations (Good Clinical Practices); Study and Site Management; Data Management and Informatics; Leadership and Professionalism; and Communication and Teamwork.

ACRP Meeting & Expo speaker Carolynn Jones, DNP, MSPH, RN, assistant professor of clinical nursing for the Master of Clinical and Preclinical Research program at the Ohio State University, suggested ePortfolio users should sort their professional experiences according to the core competency domains and provide personal reflections on how they have applied their strengths in each domain to their day-to-day responsibilities. Structuring an ePortfolio in this way is not only useful to employees, but also to their managers, who can provide more targeted feedback to their staff based on each competency domain.

“Eighty-five years of research indicate that work samples are the best indicator of on-the-job performance…[and that] people want to see what you know,” Jones added. “Ninety-three percent of employers say demonstrated skills are more important than a degree. Eighty percent of employers will remember your portfolio versus only 30 percent who will remember your CV.”

Other session speakers who explained various aspects of “Using Personalized ePortfolios to Demonstrate Professional Competency in Clinical Research” were Barbara Pennington, MS, RN, a clinical research program coordinator and instructor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus; Barbara Gladson, PhD, director of the Rutgers Biopharma Initiative and the MS Degree in Clinical Trial Sciences; and Al Pacino, president of HealthCarePoint.

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