A few weeks ago I finally made myself stop talking about it and registered for Chartership. Of course, what followed was a return to my previous non-activity as life and work distracted me with ‘more important’ things!
When I saw my Member Network colleagues had set a date for the Professional Registration event they were organising I was quick to sign up. I’d already unofficially agreed a Mentor (I have since finalised this on the VLE!) and I knew that going to the workshop was a great chance to make sure I had things straight in my head and to give me a kick up the behind about getting started!
Having been involved in the CILIP West Midlands Member Network (and one of it’s predecessors, the Career Development Group) during the consultations and launches of the changes a few years ago to Professional Registration I felt familiar enough with the theory. Even my previous experience with Certification, although no longer the same process, gave me enough prior knowledge to feel comfortable with what lies ahead. Certainly I feel more confident going into the whole process than a lot of other candidates say they feel about it!
I didn’t really expect to learn a lot of new things – but I did! While the ‘what’ and ‘why’ were already settled in my brain the ‘how’ was a bit of a blind spot – I’d never done more than give the VLE a cursory glance, but the VLE and Portfolio demonstrations were very helpful and while I still need to have a go and test them out a little bit I’m confident enough to do that now, where before I wouldn’t have known where to look for them!
We also had a very interesting talk from Pam Martindale about the portfolios from the assessors viewpoint. This was surprisingly helpful – while it included the usual advice about not including too much evidence and making sure you cover ‘the Criteria’ (you, your library service or organisation, and the wider Library community) she also included things like ‘Keep it Legal’: such as regarding copyright and plagiarism, as well as making sure you have permission to name people mentioned in your portfolio for example if you include emails or conversation notes as your evidence. Pam also made a point of noting that you need to make it easy on the assessors, not only how it is presented and laid out in the portfolio, but also to remember that the assessors are often working from home in their own time and may not have the fast broadband connection that you do! Make sure your files aren’t too big to download or too long/difficult to read.
Overall it was a very useful day, even to someone like me who thought they knew it all anyway!
PS I wrote this in June and didn’t get around to publishing the post, but I have since had a look at the VLE and found the videos on the site very helpful – I’ve even had a play and made up a test portfolio (called Test so I don’t confuse myself later on!) and am definitely feeling better about to to approach Chartership – I just need to make time to actually do it!