Are you engaged?
When we think of our own growth and development, it can be easy to gravitate towards uncovering and addressing our specific knowledge gaps. Most commonly, we turn to educational experiences such as webinars, courses, etc. to help us fill those gaps.
While the focus on knowledge acquisition is important, there is an area that can often be missed in our professional growth. It is the monitoring of our engagement in our work and profession. Engagement can be defined as a “positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption.” (Schaufeli et al, 2002)
Our engagement fuels our efforts to improve. Perhaps more importantly a lack of engagement can be a signal of increased risk of future incompetent practice. Professional regulation researcher Zubin Austin explored the concept of psychological disengagement and the maintenance of competence. From his research, he suggests that we as professionals can drift into a place of psychological disengagement which decreases our ability to maintain competence. As he states, “disengagement appears to be both a toxic outcome, and a significant accelerator of the process, of competence drift.”
It can be helpful to take stock of how engaged you are in your work and in your profession. If you find that you are less emotionally connected to your work, it may be more beneficial to identify ways to improve your work engagement, rather than focusing on a particular body of knowledge. From a place of better engagement, learning and development becomes easier and more impactful.
The Quality Practice Framework shows how the College aims to help support competent practice through supporting healthy professionals. The framework highlights that a competent PT is one who is healthy, does regular professional development and works in a supportive practice environment. Engagement is something that influences and permeates this definition of a competent PT.
Our goal at the College is to create tools and supports that help registrants maintain and increase their professional engagement and competency. As a result of looking through the lens of engagement and its impact on competence, we’ve looked at the Annual Self Report (ASR) differently. The risks and supports described in the ASR can be viewed as:
- factors that reflect one’s professional engagement
- factors that negatively impact one’s ability to stay psychologically connected to work
The professional development component we are currently working on will help registrants identify and improve on areas that impact their continued growth and development.
Later this fall, we will be running a second pilot of our professional development program and we hope you will participate to provide your valuable input.
The Quality Practice Team at CPTBC
Schaufeli WB, Salanova M, Gonzalez-Roma V, Bakker AB (2002). ‘The measurement of engagement and burnout: a two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach’. Journal of Happiness Studies, vol 3, pp 71–92.
Austin, Z., Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy (2018), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sapharm.2018.02.011