Reflective Practice Guidance

12 September 2018

Following calls from doctors, responsible officers and appraisers, for clearer information on what is meant by 'reflection' as part of practice; the Academy, the Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMeD), the General Medical Council (GMC) and the Medical Schools Council (MSC) have produce a  three part publication providing guidance on reflective practice.

The guidance was created with input from all four nations and is intended for use across the UK. This guidance supersedes the interim guidance produced by the Academy and COPMED in March 2018

The guidance outlines the importance of reflection for personal development and learning; it highlights how reflection can help doctors and medical students to maintain and improve their professional practice, and drive improvements in patient safety. It emphasises ten key elements of being a reflective practitioner, including how reflection is personal; that there is no one way to reflect; and that reflective notes don’t need to capture the full details of an experience, but should focus on learning outcomes and future plans.

This work has been a joint effort by all four organisations to provide clearer advice in this area and as part of a wider commitment to drive an open and honest learning culture.


Full guidance document


Helpful 2 page summary of the The Reflective Practitioner Guidance 


Reflective Practice Toolkit

The Toolkit produced by the Academy and COPMED, provides templates and examples of reflective styles and aims to facilitate best practice in the documentation of reflection on a variety of activities and events. The toolkit is intended to provide practical help and documentation to help doctors with reflective practice. It complements the general guidance.


Further Reading

Please click here to read a joint statement from Chief Executives of statuory regualtors of health and care professionals supporting the benefits of becoming a reflective practitioner