Many of our #OTalk Research chats have focussed on the challenges of engaging with research and development (R&D) as a clinical practitioner when there is no explicit research component within our roles or titles, and no dedicated time, resources or support made available. The barriers to research engagement for occupational therapy clinicians are well documented. Yet the HCPC requires that all registered practitioners are able to demonstrate the safe delivery of evidence based practice. With the increasing requirement for occupational therapists to deliver safe and effective care along with unprecedented demands on our resources this arguably presents an even greater need for occupational therapists to be able to demonstrate confidence and competence in their research skills as part of their core business alongside clinical practice. Occupational therapists have shown no end of innovation during the last two years but how are we acknowledging, sharing and disseminating this new knowledge?
So how do we demonstrate that we use a wide range of research skills within clinical practice? I was recently invited to address a group of clinical occupational therapists about their role in research, development and innovation within practice. This initially felt like quite a daunting task as I fully appreciate the demands of clinical practice and the apparent lack of time to fit anything else into your working week. So I began to think about research, development and innovation within the context of the four pillars of practice, nothing unusual there you might say, and rightly so!
However as I began to explore the specific HCPC criteria within the context of the four pillars of practice it quickly became apparent to me that as clinical practitioners we are accessing evidence and developing knowledge routinely throughout our work. I was very positively encouraged by this concept as I started to build on it. I subsequently chose to apply the HCPC requirements within the following framework:
• 12.1 be able to engage in evidence-based practice, evaluate practice systematically and participate in audit procedures
• 12.6 be able to evaluate intervention plans using recognised outcome measures and revise the plans as necessary in conjunction with the service user
• 14.22 recognise the value of research to the critical evaluation of practice • E2.1 know the importance of evidence and research to deliver safe and effective services
• 14.13 be able to use research, reasoning and problem solving skills to determine appropriate actions
• 14.24 be able to evaluate research and other evidence to inform their own practice
• E2.2 constructively question own and others’ practice to create opportunities to generate new knowledge
• 12.2 be able to gather information, including qualitative and quantitative data, that helps to evaluate the responses of service users to their care
• 12.3 be aware of the role of audit and review in quality management, including quality control, quality assurance and the use of appropriate outcome measures
• 12.4 be able to maintain an effective audit trail and work towards continual improvement
• 12.5 be aware of, and be able to participate in, quality assurance programmes, where appropriate
Evidence, Research and Development
• 14.11 be able to analyse and critically evaluate the information collected
• 13.7 be aware of the principles and applications of scientific enquiry, including the evaluation of treatment efficacy and the research process
• 14.23 be aware of a range of research methodologies
Feedback from the presentation about the use of this approach was very encouraging and I’m keen to explore this further within the chat. I would be interested in understanding if this is something that would be helpful for you in your own situation. Have you considered research, development and innovation within this context in relation to your own role? Are you like me and didn’t even realise that we do most of these things without even noticing that this level of thinking and critical reflection is taking place? And how many of you are contributing to the development of new knowledge without any sharing or dissemination?
Lots of questions as always for our discussion. However in order to keep it focussed on the night here are some questions that you may wish to consider in advance of the chat:
1. Do you consider research, development and innovation to be part of your core business within your current role?
2. When considering this framework, does it impact on how you think about research, development and innovation in relation to your role?
3. Is this there anything that you might find helpful about this framework within the context of your own practice?
4. If you were required to submit your evidence to the HCPC, how would you evidence your contribution to the evidence, research and development pillar?
5. What would enable you to feel that research, development and innovation is core business?
6. Are there any topics that we could discuss in future #OTalk Research chats that might help with these challenges?
Support on OTalk Account: @NikkiDanielsOT
Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt. So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?
HCPC Standards for CPD.
- Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
- Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
- Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
- Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
- Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.