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Here-to-help: Verification guidance

Here are a few hints and tips compiled by Jocelyn Pryce and Hugh Baillie-Lane of the IBMS Education Department.

Our move to virtual verifications has been well received and the feedback has been very positive. We have collated feedback from verifiers and laboratories and we thought it would be useful to share what others have found has worked well – and not so well!

We have kept our guidance purposely vague to allow you to apply it in your own context. However, the assessment needs to be of a comparable standard to the “old” ways. The goalposts have not moved – each candidate must meet the HCPC standards of proficiency.

The new approach is greener and faster as there are no geographical or time barriers. The new virtual verification means that portfolios can be reviewed thoroughly before the tour. The certification date is the day when the final part takes place.

Many have embraced the idea of using our e-workbook, or a similar version, as a way of sending the portfolio to the verifier, avoiding the need for sending the portfolio by post. We leave the decision around the electronic format of the portfolio up to negotiation between the candidate, verifier and trainer.

However, it must be easy to navigate, with the justification of how the evidence meets the standard clear and concise – please ensure all scans are legible! In time, and with the possible adoption of an e-learning platform, we will devise a template taking into account the feedback we receive from 
this period.

We have received some suggestions with regards to the evidence provided; candidates may need to explain the context of their evidence in more detail as this will not now be apparent as part of the tour. Additionally, it would be nice to include photographs of the candidates undertaking tasks and these lend themselves perfectly to the competency sections.

The tour

As everyone is new to this way of verification, good communication is essential. As the external verifier, you might want to have a short conversation with the candidate before the assessment day itself, to put them at ease on the day. You can introduce yourself and run through what the assessment will entail, but don’t fall into the trap of turning that into the assessment itself! Avoid commenting on the portfolio and keep the content of the conversation informal.

As you will not have visual prompts during the virtual tour you may want to develop a style that suits you. Candidates could provide you with photos for reference during the tour.

Throughout the tour, allow time for the candidate to describe their surroundings in more detail. The candidate may decide that they would like to describe the laboratory while walking around, or they may wish to sit somewhere quiet and describe it via any video-calling software all parties are comfortable with. The use of phones has been preferred over iPads and tablets, as these tend to pick up too much background noise.

Finally, make sure you exchange contact details before beginning the assessment, just in case you get cut off!   

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Picture Credit | Shutterstock

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