It’s only been a few weeks since I submitted my chartership portfolio and there is no way of knowing whether it was good enough to be accepted. I am already bored with waiting, so here are some further thoughts on the process…
Was it worth it?
Yes. I learned a lot about myself during the process.
Actually, I didn’t find the actual doing of things as useful as the process of writing and compiling the portfolio, and thinking about my career, skills and knowledge so far. This might have been partly because I backdated a lot of evidence, and partly because I am a few years into my career – my current PPDP didn’t have HUGE learning needs in it (which might have been there earlier in my career) and my dissertation writing is a while back.
The most stressful thing about the process was probably the formatting at the end (I submitted electronically). The other very stressful time was about a quarter in when I wasn’t sure I was doing it right and losing heart a bit. Fortunately someone was there to read the documents I had written up to then and to encourage me to carry on.
I found the assessment criteria difficult as they are pretty vague but I can see why they can’t be much clearer – they need to fit so many different people and situations – and timescales. This added to my stress levels as I prefer hard facts if I want to achieve a goal but that was just something else I learned about myself. I chose to set myself a deadline, which helped.
Would I suggest that you do it?
I’m not sure, to be honest. If your employer operates an annual review and development scheme you might not need the chartership process as such and chartership will be a nice bonus (in form of MCLIP behind your name – and it might be useful to have when you look to move to a new position). This said, if you want to charter and you can link your work development needs to your chartership PPDP – great! I did my chartership as part of my probation period at work. This helped me focus and also made my new employer immediately aware of my commitment to CPD.
If you need someone to appreciate what you do and you don’t get that in work – get a good mentor and start the chartership process as soon as possible. You will learn a lot and you’ll feel better for someone recognising this. You will also become part of a wider library community and build relationships that will carry on after chartership.
Another reason why you might want to consider chartership is to prove value to your employer (you get MCLIP status after all) or to get your qualifications an/or abilities recognised in (CILIP) Libraryland. As a discussion on Twitter highlighted today chartership is by no means a replacement for an MA but works in a complimentary way by letting you show how you can apply theoretical knowledge gained during the degree process. (And, did you know that chartership earns you some Open University credits?) Let’s not get into the discussion who needs an MA and who doesn’t.
When I looked into getting chartered I found it quite irritating that people kept saying you only see the value once you’ve done it yourself. Unfortunately that is really the case! I would say the main benefits are that you get recognition for the work you’ve put in and that you get new contacts.