As our industry grows and is increasingly regulated, it is important that as practitioners we maintain good records of our qualifications and experience. This is true for all types of practitioners: Facilitators, Guides, Trainer/Testers, and Installer/Inspectors. The way that the community would like to see these records is in a Practitioner Portfolio.
The ACCT has developed a sample portfolio as an excel spreadsheet, if you choose to use it. The spreadsheet has a number of worksheets, each relating to a different kind of experience and/or education. To download the portfolio, click here. You don't have to use this format, however it's a good starting point to see how some people are logging this information.
Getting started with your portfolio can be a daunting task - especially if you have years of undocumented experience! The best time to start your portfolio is as soon as possible. Here are some tips to get you started:
Start with your most recent experience. This information is more likely to be accessible and you will have less roadblocks to begin your documentation.
Work in manageable chunks of time. Trying to document large lengths of time can be overwhelming! Pick a year or season then proceed with your documentation chronologically.
Use all of your resources. Time sheets, program reports, training logs, maintenance logs and other course documentation will be a great help in this! Other records such as pay stubs, personal calendars, and conference programs can all be helpful.
Have a target. There's no rule saying that you MUST log every hour in order to use your portfolio. If you're looking to document hours for a certification exam, know how many hours you need and make that your first goal. After that, set a new goal!
Know when to differentiate between in-house and outside clients. Especially for vended services like training, testing, maintenance, installation, and inspection, it's helpful to know whether you were performing work specifically for a client.
Log course management hours. Hours spent off of a course are important to record, too! Program planning and other management duties are very relevant and you'll need to have records of these hours if you progress into other roles within the industry.
Once you start - don't stop! Remember that the easiest way to keep your portfolio up to date is by making regular entries. Try setting up a habit of entering your hours every week, every month, or every paycheck.
Creating and maintaining your portfolio is a critical piece to being a professional in this field, and it's getting more important every day. Buckle down and get it done - you'll be happy you did!