Home > Chartership, CPD > Chartership and the KISS Principle

Chartership and the KISS Principle

Over the last year or so, as more of my professional peers have started the Chartership process, I have noticed that it has developed a mystique that I don’t think existed when I did mine in 2007. I think that Chartership candidates are making a much bigger deal of it than they really need to. Granted, compiling the portfolio at the end is a bit time-consuming and it’s hard to get the tone of the Personal Evaluative Statement right initially, but actually it’s no more difficult intellectually than writing up your thoughts for an annual appraisal.

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions about the Chartership process and in my role as mentor and as a concerned fellow professional I’d like to dispel some of the myths here*:

  1. 1.       “I don’t currently do enough to put into a Chartership portfolio”

Putting aside the fact that the people that have said that to me are practically running one aspect of the profession or another, everyone will have done enough development (either at work or externally) since they completed their qualification to make a decent attempt at a portfolio. I recently wrote my pre-appraisal review at work and was concerned that I hadn’t achieved as much as I had done the previous year. Six pages of bullet points later… My point is that unless you sit in a pit of your own filth day after day baiting celebrities on Twitter, you will have done things that you can put into a portfolio.

  1. 2.       “I’m not involved in enough committees”

Want to know how many committees I was involved in when I did my Chartership? None. Zero. Zilch. Well, I was on the Library Student Journal committee editorial board but that was online and I didn’t actually have to go and meet anyone. (Back then I was in denial about the whole librarian thing and didn’t want to fraternise with my peers). If you’re on a committee already – great! Put it in your portfolio. Don’t join something you don’t want to, or don’t feel comfortable with just to put it in your portfolio. You’ll end up resenting it.

  1. 3.       “Everyone does more CPD than me and I don’t measure up”

When pressed, these people admit to comparing themselves unfavourably to the Gods and Goddesses of library CPD. It’s a bit like taking up jogging and getting depressed a week later because you’re not matching Mo Farah’s PB for 5,000 metres. The average Joe (and in my case the very average Jo) cannot hope to emulate the great CPD feats of the few, but you can carve out your own niche. As long as your CPD methods work for you, who cares what everyone else is doing?

  1. 4.       “It’s all really woolly”.

Unlike everything you’ve done before, there isn’t a winning formula that will get you an A-Level or a degree. There isn’t a curriculum or a checklist. As someone that craves order and rules I found this a bit hard to get my head around to start with. However, I soon realised that within the parameters of the portfolio structure, I actually had a great deal of freedom to tailor my Chartership to what I actually needed to do to do my job better. So many people start a course and moan that it’s too generic, it doesn’t cater to their needs or it’s not applicable to their job. The beauty of Chartership is that it is what you make of it. It’s an opportunity for you to play teacher and set your own curriculum and who doesn’t have ambitions to be the master of their own universe?

  1. 5.        “I’m rubbish at reflective writing”

This whole reflective writing thing has a mythology all of its own. You aren’t aiming to become the next Aristotle here. I’m sure your philosophical meditations on the state of information seeking among the great unwashed are beautifully constructed nuggets of wisdom that will live on long after you’ve been reduced to a small pile of ashes but remember this: you’ve got 1,000 words to play with. If, for example, you have identified five development needs you’ve got 200 words for each section. You aren’t going to get much beyond a ‘When I did X I learnt Y and in future I would do Z’ approach and that’s perfectly fine. Save your meditations for a blog post.

This is all a very roundabout way of saying that people are making a much bigger deal of the Chartership process than they need to and once you’ve registered you just need to suck it up, stop whingeing and get on with it. Oh, and get someone to kick your arse occasionally, should you need it.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

I have added my Chartership portfolio to LwL (see the tabs at the top of the page) for your delectation and amusement…

*These views are my own and are not endorsed by CILIP

  1. January 31, 2012 at 11:39 | #1

    Thank you. :)

  2. Michael Cook
    January 31, 2012 at 11:55 | #2

    Fantastic post – thanks!

  3. January 31, 2012 at 12:07 | #3

    Exactly what I needed to read – thank you :-)

  4. January 31, 2012 at 13:46 | #4

    This is ace – and exactly what I needed to read! Thank you for writing it.

    P.S. Can I just say I was thrilled to see a new LWL blog post in my reader this lunchtime! Was just thinking the other day that I hadn’t seen a new post on this blog for a while – and it was a sad thought, because I think this blog is excellent. Not to put pressure on you to start churning out loads more posts – you are a Librarian with a Life, after all! Just wanted to let you know that your blogging is very much appreciated :)

    • February 1, 2012 at 10:41 | #5

      Thanks Laura. It’s nice to know that LwL is appreciated :) it’s quite hard to think of things to write about that don’t reinvent the wheel or haven’t been said much better by other people beforehand!

  5. January 31, 2012 at 16:05 | #6

    I’m so glad you decided to blog this! Thank you :) Now I’ll have something to point people (and myself!) to when they’re stressing about Chartership.

    Also echo Laura’s sentiment – LwL is one of my favourite blogs so it’s always good to see a new post :)

    • February 1, 2012 at 10:43 | #7

      Well, you and Tina (more Tina really) inspired me to write it after our chat on Monday night! I just need to take my own advice and get on with Revalidation!

  6. February 1, 2012 at 10:36 | #8

    Thank you for demystifying chartership. I’ve been thinking about chartership but all I see/hear about it makes it sound complicated, as if it is something I can’t possibly be in a position to attempt yet. This blog post is exactly what I’ve been looking for over these last few weeks.

    • February 1, 2012 at 10:46 | #9

      I’m really glad to hear that. It gets built up so much by people in the profession and actually it’s a straightforward process. Good luck with it!

  7. February 1, 2012 at 15:04 | #10

    Well said…I think! My Chartership portfolio has been at CILIP since July 2011…still no word!!!

  8. February 1, 2012 at 19:25 | #11

    This is a great article and just what I needed when the willpower was beginning to flag. Thank you!

    • February 7, 2012 at 17:42 | #12

      Glad to hear it and keep on going with it – it’s all worth the effort in the end :)

  9. Carole
    February 7, 2012 at 14:18 | #13

    Thank you so much for this Jo!!! I am about to submit and dispite my XXX years of library work am struggling to write the Personal Statement since I questioned my own ability to say anything of value!! I feel so near and yet feel so far away from getting it finished, yet it’s all there! Your article has made me smile and from the comments of others, it’s heartening to know that I am not alone!!

  10. Andrea dooley
    February 7, 2012 at 14:30 | #14

    love this post – thank you

  11. Kath Owen
    February 7, 2012 at 14:37 | #15

    Well said. As a mentor I find that it is difficult to convince people of this. I also chair the Qualifications Board and assure you that we do not want to create a mystique about the process. It really is quite straightforward. However I have made a mental note of the comments as I am also a member of the Project Board that is reviewing qualifications, the consultation has already started – do take part please.

    • February 7, 2012 at 17:45 | #16

      Kath – can I just clarify that I don’t necessarily think the Quals Board make the process sound onerous (although I think that the documentation could be simplified dramatically). I think that candidates create their own mythology around Chartership, which feeds down to other people thinking about Chartering and the myths are perpetuated. That’s the point I was trying to make here.

      I have already taken part in the Future Skills survey – is that what you’re referring to?

  12. February 7, 2012 at 15:38 | #17

    I totally agree – you can do it within a year if you’re relatively disciplined about it and have a look at some sample portfolios so you’ve an idea how you want to structure it. I’d say it took no more than 50 hours for my meagre effort to scrape past the finish line!

  13. Haifa
    February 7, 2012 at 16:13 | #18

    I am relief now with your post. it is an excellent post.. because I have overseas qualification and working for a part time, so I have to wait four years to get charter. I am confused what to do, and always feel that chater is a mystery thing. Thank you for make it clear for me.

  14. February 7, 2012 at 20:56 | #19

    Thank you for a timely post!! I literally just typed an email to my mentor describing how I feel that Chartership things have slipped off the radar since my third daughter was born in October, and that I’m worried about my zero-level collation of evidence material. Your post has reassured me that if I reflect on what I’ve done over the past year and a half I should have plenty to work with.
    Thanks again :)

  15. October 4, 2012 at 11:57 | #20

    Thanks!! Especially for point 4 :)

  1. February 4, 2012 at 16:31 | #1
  2. February 5, 2012 at 17:32 | #2
  3. September 10, 2012 at 09:05 | #3
  4. October 5, 2012 at 14:09 | #4

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