I’ve recently submitted my CILIP Chartership portfolio and thought it would be worthwhile to share my experiences – what I liked, what I disliked, what I plan to continue, and my advice to others.
First a brief overview of my process:
October 2011 – initial investigation into Chartership (discussions on Twitter and in person), found a mentor willing to mentor me virtually.
November 2011 – attended a one day Chartership course hosted by CILIP Career Development Group West Midlands.
December 2011 – registered for Chartership and set up wiki for progress reporting and mentor communication. Created first version of PPDP (Personal Professional Development Plan).
January-August 2012 – worked towards PPDP objectives, recording on wiki and in Google Docs.
April 2012 – meeting with mentor, revisited PPDP.
June 2012 – assessed overall progress and drafted evaluative statement in bullet point format.
July 2012 – focused on development areas that still needed additional activities and evidence.
August 2012 – produced final evidence list, evaluative statement, and portfolio. Submitted (in electronic format on CDs) on 28th August.
What I liked
- Ability to tailor to my own development needs
- Can be completed by anyone in LIS sector – don’t need to be working in a traditional librarian role
- Virtual mentor relationship – I really liked the regular checks and support/encouragement (plus my mentor sent gifts too!)
- Being able to share experiences and ideas via Twitter (particularly through #chartership chat)
- Support from others who have been through the Chartership process or are current mentors
- Ability to bring together different strands of professional development (work-based training, committee work, working groups etc.)
What I disliked
- Lack of clarity on expectations from CILIP, particularly with regards to paperwork required during the Chartership process
- Air of mystery around Chartership – so many people seem to think it’s far more complicated than it is and this put me off at first (but thankfully this great blog post helped immensely!)
- Lack of guidance in terms of whether you are eligible to apply and what requirements you must meet
What I plan to continue
A number of processes I adopted during Chartership would be useful to continue in order to keep an ongoing record of my professional development, so I have scheduled these into my task list.
- Using iDoneThis to add any achievements of the day (not every day, just when I think I have achieved something I may want to reflect on or use in future portfolios/CV)
- Using a PPDP in Google Docs for prioritising professional development – before Chartership my professional development activities weren’t very focused, and I found myself taking too much on. Having a PPDP helped me focus and I plan to continue using it
- Regularly updating record of professional development activities – during Chartership I did this fortnightly, going forward I plan to do it monthly including updating my list of events attended/organised, presentations, publications and CV
Advice to others
- Record everything you do as you go along – otherwise collating it at the end could be time consuming
- Spend time planning your PPDP as it will be a really useful tool if relevant to your skills, current role, and future opportunities (though don’t spend months on it, it’s a living document so doesn’t have to be perfect!)
- Draft your evaluative statement in bullet point format before writing narrative – this will give you an idea of whether you have enough scope in the word count to include everything you think you want to (1000 words isn’t much at all!)
- Remember it’s quality over quantity – my portfolio ended up longer than I’d hoped for (32 pieces of evidence), but that was after some major culls and taking out some evidence I was sure I would include
- Use hyperlinks within your document if you’re submitting electronically to make it easier for markers (though it’s probably best to add these at the end when you know the structure of the portfolio)
- Chartership is a very personal process – your mentor and other candidates can offer advice, but no two will be the same (so don’t worry if yours is seeming different to others)
- If you hit a hurdle, don’t be afraid to ask for help – ask your mentor, other candidates, or your professional network. The LIS-CILIP-REG mailing list is useful, as is the #chartership tag on Twitter (or of course there are face to face interactions too!)
I should get the outcome of my application in 2-6 months time. In the meantime I’m going to continue using the PPDP as a living document to guide my professional development activities. My main focus at the moment is committee work – I’m chairing CILIP West Midlands and ALA New Members Round Table Online Discussion Forum Committee. I also have a number of articles I’d like to write in the next year or so.
I’ve been inspired by my mentor, and if I am successful in my Chartership application I’d like to go on to become a mentor in future. I find it rewarding to offer support to new professionals and would like to continue doing so through mentoring. It’s a way of paying it forward really – I’m so thankful to both formal and informal mentors who have helped me, and would like to do the same for others. This blog post is another way of doing that – I hope that by recording reflections on my own process it may help others. I’ll still be keeping an eye on the #chartership tag on Twitter too so please feel free to ask any questions in the comments on this post or on Twitter (mention @joeyanne to make sure I spot it).