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Putting together a portfolio of evidence

Your portfolio is your way to collect evidence systematically with support from your assessor. This page will outline what is meant by a portfolio and explain the different types of evidence.

Compiling your e-portfolio

As a VQ learner you will need to demonstrate, through the presentation of evidence, that you can meet the requirements of the units within the qualification that you are undertaking. To do this you need to organise your evidence into what is known as a portfolio.

This page is intended to provide useful guidance and support to you when you come to gather your evidence.

Your assessor will also advise you on putting your portfolio together.

When we have registered you with the awarding organisation, we will provide you with an initial information pack, containing a welcome letter, on-line access instructions, an introduction to your assessor and information about how to use the online support materials and your electronic portfolio.  

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio in this context is an online folder which holds the following:

  • the assessment plans that make up your qualification
  • the written evidence you develop
  • the attachments you upload
  • the assessment feedback

What sort of evidence is acceptable?

Suitable evidence can be divided into two main categories – direct and indirect.

Direct evidence can include a variety of the following:

  • Your performance being observed by your assessor
  • Projects or work based assignments
  • Personal reports
  • Minutes of meetings, action plans, progress reports
  • Internal and external correspondence
  • Prior qualifications which relate directly to the units
  • Product evidence e.g. examples, samples, photographs
  • Your responses to oral or written questions
  • Video or authenticated audio tapes

It is expected that you will provide a diversity of evidence types to support your demonstration of competence. The list above is not exhaustive and you may find other appropriate forms of evidence depending on which VQ you are undertaking.

Indirect evidence can include:

  • Witness testimonies from people within or outside the organisation
  • Achievement in related areas
  • Attendance on courses/training activities relevant to the learning outcomes of the VQ
  • Membership of related committees or outside organisations

Such indirect evidence will be used mainly to support or confirm direct evidence.

Each VQ comes with evidence requirements which are designed to help you plan what types of evidence are required. Your assessor will also help you to decide the most suitable evidence to include in your portfolio.

You must highlight your role when you are submitting evidence that has been carried out through group work activities, for example projects and assignments.

Uses for the portfolio

The portfolio is an important resource which many learners find useful to retain once they have achieved their VQ, particularly as part of their ongoing continuous professional development activities, appraisal systems and even when applying for future jobs.

Once you have completed your qualification and your certificate has been claimed, we will download your portfolio onto a disc and send this to you with your certificate.


Suitability of evidence

Your assessor will need to be satisfied that your evidence is:

  • sufficient
  • authentic
  • relevant
  • current

You need to ensure any evidence included in your portfolio meets these criteria.

What is sufficient?

Your evidence must cover all aspects of the assessment criteria for each unit you are seeking to achieve. Some qualifications require specific evidence and you should check your units to see what  is needed. Sufficient does not mean a mass of evidence. It simply means collecting enough evidence to demonstrate competence.

What is authentic?

You must be able to explain and substantiate the evidence you put forward. It is important, therefore, to ensure you only submit evidence relating to your own performance. There is also a declaration that is completed at the end of your qualification to confirm your evidence is authentic.

What is relevant?

Any evidence must relate clearly to the qualification you are seeking to achieve. Assessors are only interested in evidence directly related to the requirements set out in the units. That is, evidence which clearly links a learner’s performance with specific areas of their chosen qualification. You should avoid the inclusion of reference documents, training materials and other evidence that does not demonstrate competence.

What is current?

‘Current’ means evidence relating to skills, attitudes and knowledge you can currently demonstrate. Your assessor will be assessing your current level of competence so you must ensure that your evidence clearly relates to activities and areas of work you could still perform if required to do so.

Your assessor can help you to determine what is sufficient, authentic, relevant and current.

Summary of portfolio use

Whilst your portfolio will take effort and time to complete, it is also a means of focusing and demonstrating your particular strengths and achievements to others.

It should develop along with your achievements and take on a dynamic role as:

  • a full record of achievements to date
  • proof of your competence and knowledge
  • a full resource bank of your abilities
  • a reference tool for staff appraisal
  • a basis for career development
  • a record of your continuing professional development

In relation to VQs your portfolio provides:

  •  a clear demonstration of your competence  and knowledge against particular units
  • a focus for your assessment
  • a means to bring together evidence for more than one unit
  • a focus for the identification of training/learning needs


Your portfolio will not only help you as you work towards your current qualification…but will also provide you with a useful reference tool for your future career.



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