Abstract: The Involvement Portfolio has been developed by the NHS R&D Forum Service User and Carer Working Group. It is a tool for those using health and social care services who are involved in voluntary or involvement activities such as consultation, committee membership, research and development, to record and provide evidence of their activities.
Many people using health and social care services are involved in a range of involvement and voluntary activities such as research, teaching and training. Much of this involvement goes unrecognised although the participants are gaining valuable skills and experience as well as contributing their experience and expertise. This tool allows people to record the skills and experience gained through involvement and voluntary activity as this can help with applications to undertake new activity, for educational or vocational courses, or to find employment.
In the portfolio, the portfolio holder has the opportunity to record their employment or other experiences including those gained through voluntary activity, or life experience such as being a carer or a parent, training events and experience of leading or facilitating training, ‘involvement activity’ and experience including taking part in committees, in consultation events, in NHS or social care research and development, or in curriculum development for educational courses. The portfolio holder has the opportunity to record the involvement activity they have taken part in, the type and level of involvement, the skills learnt, and any qualifications gained.
The portfolio was successfully launched some years ago and has now been refreshed and re-launched taking into account the lessons learnt and experience of its use.