Meet Jim – He’s excited about the new continuing competency program

Jim gathered his continuing education credits together in late December. He filled out his MCE summary form, as usual, and decided to package everything in a PDF to send to the College’s email address. 
A couple weeks later Jim received a confirmation email from the College, congratulating him on successfully completing his MCE cycle. He noticed that the email mentioned he would be starting the new continuing competency program in April 2018. Jim missed all the previous workshops that the College held on the new program, so he is unsure of where to get information and he’s unsure how the program will work. 
So Jim decides to get more information by going to the College website first as a resource. He learns that the new program would be broken into 4 steps:
4) Reflection on whether the activities helped him achieve his goal
Jim starts to feel energized at the possibility of aligning his own professional goals with his quality assurance requirements to maintain his optician license. One of the things he has started working on is improving his communication with patients – especially difficult patients. He has always found it a challenge to effectively resolve conflict with patients and that has caused some strained relationships – including some lost patients. 
Despite not taking the continuing competency assessment yet, Jim knows that he wants to focus one of his learning goals on building more effective conflict resolution skills with patients since this is something he has starting working on. 
Jim begins brainstorming ideas for his first SMART goal. He decides to write down his general goal – improve his conflict resolution skills. He writes down each SMART category and begins outlining specific details about his goal. 

S- Specific

M- Measurable

A- Action Oriented

R- Realistic

T- Time bound

Improve conflict resolution skills in order to resolve conflict with patients. 

And retain at least 5 patients who I had conflict with

Will I be able to create an attainable action plan to fulfill this goal?

Will I be able to improve conflict resolution skills and retain at least 5 patients by the end of December 2018?

By December 2018

Jim determines that his first SMART goal is to “Improve his conflict resolution skills in order to resolve conflict with patients. He will retain at least 5 patients who he experienced conflict with by December 2018.”
Jim is ready to begin creating his first learning plan. He starts by asking himself questions such as “what will it really take to achieve my goal?” and “what kinds of activities will I need to attain my goal?” He decides to start by thinking about his goal, and the very last step it will take for him to achieve that goal. He knows that in order to achieve this goal he needs to change his behaviour and attitudes around conflict and conflict management. He begins making a list of activities he believes he will need in order to change his attitudes and mindset. He also needs to learn about conflict management and interpersonal communication. These are important skills that contribute to overall conflict management. Jim begins to make lists of action items he can complete. 
Jim creates these action items that will help his development and he can implement changes in his practice.

Step 1 –  Learn about interpersonal communication

Step 2 –  Learn about conflict management

Step 3 – Changing attitudes and mindset

·      Take a course on interpersonal communications on February 17, 2018 that I found online.

·      Listen to one podcast on interpersonal communication every two weeks until March 30, 2018

·      Review notes every week until March 30, 2018

·      Practice changing communication methods with a colleague every two weeks until March 30, 2018

·      Practice changing communication with patients.

·      Take a course on conflict management on April 2, 2018 that I found online.

·      Listen to podcasts on conflict management every two weeks until May 30, 2018.

·      Talk to colleagues about how they manage conflict with patients, write down their ideas and review them later.

·      Seek a mentor – start by connecting with peers from the course I took or the professor.

·      Practice managing conflict with difficult patients

·      Complete three mindfulness exercises a week starting on June 10, 2018 and ending on August 1, 2018

·      Listen to self reflection podcasts once every two weeks until September 1, 2018

·      Practice conflict resolution skills in personal life

·      Practice new skills with a colleague once a month until December 2018.

·      Practice new skills with patients.



Jim is excited to begin his new development plan. He can’t wait to complete his action items and reflect on whether or not they helped him attain his goal. 
Jim created this SMART goal and learning plan that is specific and unique to his learning. There are many ways to create a SMART goal and a learning plan! Jim decides that during the reflection process he will meet up with other opticians who also had conflict management goals in order to compare each learning plan and see how they differ.