On Tuesday 21st February I attended a Chartership and Certification event, which was run by Karen Poole from CDG and CILIP’s Michael Martin. You can see a live recording of a previous version of this event via the CILIP Bambuser channel, and there is a copy of the presentation linked from the right hand side of the portfolio-building courses page.I was quite pleased to discover that I’m actually a good way along the Chartership process – I have a mentor, a PPDP, a good range of evidence from things I’m backdating, and am well on track with my plan to complete the rest of it before the end of this year. The event was well-structured and enjoyable, I felt that Michael and Karen put everyone at ease and they answered all questions as they arose. The audience was composed of a wide range of people, from those of us already registered for Chartership or Certification through to others who wanted to know more about the process before taking the plunge. In addition to a step-by-step presentation from Michael, Karen led a more practical workshop and discussion session in which we were encouraged to put some of our new knowledge into practice.
I took quite a few notes during the afternoon, but I’m not going to recount them all here – if you’re interested to know more please drop me a line via the comments. What follows are some thoughts about things which are most relevant to me at this stage of my Chartership journey.
I think it was Karen who mentioned that some people choose to structure their personal statement using the assessment criteria as sub-headings, and this gave me a real lightbulb moment. I’ve rather been avoiding thinking about how to organise my evidence (of which more below), and didn’t even consider the assessment criteria when I put my PPDP together. How I end up structuring my statement is still tbc, but what I intend to do now is revisit my PPDP and break it up according to the criteria, so I can see which elements I’ve covered and what I need to work on.
Evidence was a topic which came up a number of times, and this is something I haven’t really begun to address properly. I’ve got a file of paper certificates from courses I’ve attended, an email folder with some stuff in, and a folder on my work computer too. I’ve made some attempt to duplicate the content of these folders, but nothing systematic as yet. Michael recommended an online portfolio builder mahara.me, which looks interesting, but I’m not keen to acquire yet another digital produce to maintain! What I really need to do is get everything together into the same place, which will probably be either Google docs or Evernote as I already have accounts and can access them from anywhere.
I’ve been saying I need to do a skills audit for some time, but haven’t got around to doing anything about it other than downloading a copy of the CPD audit template from the CILIP website. Michael recommended taking a look at the OU’s Safari or the Higher Education Academy skills audit and seeing if either was helpful – on a very brief glance I think I prefer the latter but I need to look into this further, and will certainly give one of them a go. I think this will be useful as it should identify areas which I need to work on, and help direct some of my learning and development activity over the next few months.
The most strongly-emphasised point of the whole event was to be sure that the portfolio matches all the criteria. The fact that the Chartership process is such a personal thing, and that portfolios can vary widely, is quite daunting as it implies a lack of hard-and-fast rules, and judging by some of the questions a number of other people in the room were also struggling with this a bit. Being reminded that there is a set of defined criteria to address has certainly helped me to focus my thinking about my portfolio, and has made me feel more confident about the whole process generally.
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