What is a Portfolio of Evidence which Supports a Competence Assessment?
In one a recent Insight article, I talked about what we meant by the term ‘evidence’ which, as far as MTCS (UK) Ltd is concerned, refers to the information personnel provide in support of their professional competence, and ensuring this is both true and correct.
Following-on from that piece brings us nicely on to where to collate all that crucial evidence – a ‘Portfolio,’ or ‘Portfolio of Evidence.’
The examples of work (and working practices) which demonstrate a person’s ability to a potential or current employer.
Having a Portfolio may sound rather grand but, in the simplest context, it is a repository for examples of work (and working practices) which demonstrate a person’s ability to a potential or current employer; where personnel – employed or freelance contractors – compile and securely store the vital information and ‘evidence’ to support competence assessment and verification.
Just to refresh everyone’s memory on the types of evidence highlighted in the previous article, this may include any or all of the following:
- Assessment Plans;
- Observation Records;
- Evidence of Questioning (assessment of knowledge);
- Supporting Written Evidence;
- Feedback from an Assessor;
- Witness Statements; Appraisals;
- Log Book pages, Survival and Medical Certificates.
All of this evidence should be collected in your Portfolio and be used to create a better case for your skills, experience and competencies and, therefore, your overall MTCS (UK) Ltd certification.
Rather than expecting you to create all these documents from scratch, we provide a number of documentation resources with templates of essential documents. Registered users with MTCS (UK) Ltd have full access to these documents allowing them to complete and include in their personal Portfolio.
By creating these standardised documents, MTCS (UK) Ltd are able to speed up assessing and verifying Portfolios, a benefit for individuals when making applications and for organisations seeking information.
Historically, Portfolios were a physical collection of documents but as one might expect, this is now more commonly in an electronic format, as is the case within the MTCS Competence Scheme.
We appreciate many paper documents are still being used in the workplace, with hand-written information and signatures; we also appreciate that this isn’t going to change to completely digital alternatives in the immediate future. Ideally, copies of these documents should be scanned at high resolution (for legibility) and saved to your Portfolio. If a scanner isn’t available, taking a photo with a smartphone is a good alternative.
Whichever you choose, we also recommend saving the physical paper document and storing safely when you return on-shore.
Personnel who hold an MTCS Certificate will have an account on MTCS Online, so personal Portfolios can be stored securely on our server and which can be continually add to and updated as users work through their competencies.
Working around being offline, offshore?
You may be concerned on how to go about completing documentation when you’re offshore and there’s no access to the internet.
It’s true, you do need access to the internet to access your MTCS Online account for downloading document packs and upload new evidence.
The solution is simply to ensure you have downloaded copies of the various templates in advance, which can be completed offline and saved ‘locally’ to your computer before simply uploading to your MTCS Online account next time you have access to the internet.
All evidence included in your Portfolio must be authentic, timely and include signatures and dates. Completing these documents as close to the activity in question is crucial and helps support their authenticity; it can also help when seeking supporting information from colleagues, managers and assessors.
Collating Evidence for Assessment and Certification
The MTCS Online system also facilitates the safe storage of (and access to) all evidence for use by personnel working towards their certification and will contain all the evidence MTCS require for final Grade Assessment and Certification.
MTCS verify all evidence collected in your Portfolio which has been assessed over a range of offshore projects. If the evidence and assessment process is satisfactory, we will award an MTCS Certificate of Competence.
Clarifying the IMCA e-Portfolio
Many of you will be aware that the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) also have a generic E-Portfolio, designed by the IMCA Competence & Training Committee, whose purpose is to support freelance personnel in collecting evidence to support their competence.
MTCS are pleased to confirm the IMCA E-Portfolio can be used towards your final verification by MTCS, both for new Certificate of Competence Applications and Certificate Renewals.
We’re here to support you.
Whatever stage you are at – whether a new user starting to compile your Portfolio, experienced user in need of a refresher or you’re just a bit unsure and could do with a little support and guidance – you can be assured to know MTCS have a dedicated team who will respond to your questions either by email or phone.
We are happy to accept phone calls to our UK Head Office, where you will speak directly with a member of our friendly and knowledgeable certification support team.
Should you have any specific questions relating to this article, please contact me, Richard Warburton, MD at MTCS (UK) Ltd, at firstname.lastname@example.org