header background

Reflective Journal Writing Guidelines

All Candidates are required to complete and submit the Reflective Journal Writing (two separate 500 word pieces) component of the Fellowship Training Program prior to sitting the Pre Fellowship Oral Examination.

1. What is Reflective Journal Writing?

Reflective journal writing is evidence of reflective thinking and involves a description of an issue or experience as well as an exploration or critical analysis and explanation of events. Reflective writing is a process where you can learn from your experiences and is often used to ‘reflect forward’ to the future as well as ‘reflect back’ on the past.

In her discussion of using journals in learning through reflection, Jenny Moon (1999a) identifies many purposes of writing journals. These include:

2. How reflective writing enhances reflective practice

The process of exploring how journals assist their writers learn is commonly described in terms of how they can enhance reflective practice. Reflection has been described as a process of turning experience into learning. That is, of exploring experience in order to learn new things from it. Reflection has been described as ‘those intellectual and affective activities in which individuals engage to explore their experiences in order to lead to new understandings and appreciations.’ (Boud, Keogh and Walker 1985:19)

3. How can Reflective Journal writing assist in developing leadership skills?

The task of submitting two reflective journal writing pieces is given to candidates because of the established link between reflection and deeper learning. As well as facilitating learning, the intention of the task of reflective journal writing is for candidates to acquire a habit of reflection, achieve high levels of self-awareness and grow in the profession of medical administration. The key role competencies of Medical Leader and Communicator are the focus for this requirement of the Fellowship Training Program and are more specifically described in RACMA’s Medical Leadership and Management Curriculum.

The Reflective Journal Writing will be:

4. Support and resources

Candidates may attend reflective writing workshops that are currently held as part of the annual Communications Workshop. There may also be other opportunities in the year to attend webinars on reflective writing and reflective practice. These opportunities will be made known to candidates when they become available.

The College also has a small faculty of Fellows who have expertise in reflective writing. These Fellows will be introduced to Candidates at such webinars and workshops.

5. Fellowship Training Program Requirements

5.1 Candidates are required to submit reflective journal writing pieces as part of their Leadership Program requirement in the Fellowship Training Program.

5.1.1 Candidates via standard pathway without advanced standing are required to submit two (2) separate reflective journal writing pieces

5.1.2 Candidates via the standard pathway with recognition of prior learning of 12 months (or more) are required to submit only one (1)) reflective journal writing piece

5.1.3Candidates via the clinical specialist pathway with recognition of prior learning of 18 months (or more) are required to submit only one (1) reflective journal writing piece

6. National Training Calendar

6.1 Candidates are required to submit either 1 or 2 separate pieces of writing (500 words a piece) which may/may not equate to an entry in a personal journal.

6.2 All candidates will submit these documents in Year 2 of their Candidacy and in accordance with the National Training Calendar submission dates.

Note: Candidates are not required to maintain a journal over the course of their training program. Candidates may choose to maintain a journal to assist their reflective and learning throughout their work practice period but this is not a RACMA requirement.

7. Assessment of Reflective Journal Writing 

7.1 Assessment will be undertaken by Censors for Reflective Journal Writing

7.2 The Reflective Journal writing is undertaken as part of the Leadership Role Competency development and is included as a mandatory requirement in the Fellowship Training Program. The Candidate will receive written feedback on the following points:

Context and Description

Analysis and Reflection

Clarification of Learning and Competency

7.3 It is expected that the candidate will discuss this feedback with their Preceptor

8. Submission Process

8.1 Candidates are required to submit their Reflective Journal writing piece(s) to their Preceptor who will discuss, read and sign off on the Fellowship Training Program Assessment Task Cover Sheet for Reflective Journal Writing and then the Candidate will submit it to the National Office via the online submission tool (eETP).

8.2 The Assessors will endeavour to mark these submissions and provide the written feedback to Candidates within 6 weeks of the submission date


On becoming a Critically Reflexive Practitioner. Ann L. Cunliffe. Journal of Management Education 2004; 28; 407 http://www.sagepublications.com

Reflective journals.

Boud.D. (2001). Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice. In English, L.M. and Gillen, M.A. (Eds.) Promoting Journal Writing in Adult Education. New Directions in Adult and Continuing Education No. 90. San Francisco; Jossey-Bass, 9-18

Never miss a RACMA moment