Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cilip Event: Chartership and Beyond

Yesterday, I attended an afternoon seminar/workshop that looked at Chartership and specifically, at the portfolio element. Basically, there were two parts to the afternoon.

Part 1
The first was a presentation from a Cilip representative (his presentation slides are available on the Cilip website – http://www.cilip.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/337A6104-A074-4A13-B4E7-433C36F5DCE4/0/charter05i.ppt. He looked at portfolios from three perspectives:
  • Why do we need them?
  • What should they contain?
  • How should they be organised?
Why do we need them?

The long and the short of this section was that it was a means of presenting evidence from the individual's potentially multiple jobs against the assessment criteria. He went on to present additional situations where it could be useful to have this portfolio (e.g. appraisals at work and job interviews).

What should they contain?
I was reassured to see that what we were told our application should contain matched very closely my diagram below in my entry from 16 March. Rather than list those components again, here are the additional remarks that I felt were worth capturing:
  • The contents table is really important and must be easily navigable
  • Your CV can be up to 4 sides of A4 and is a good opportunity to present those things that have had to be culled from the portfolio
  • The PPDP is submitted both early on in the process and as part of the application as it is a living document and things may have changed; it can be backdated and it might be worth carrying out a lifeline exercise to help highlight the key events and themes
  • The evaluative statement discusses the criteria and directs the evaluator to the relevant pieces of evidence in the portfolio; it should be evaluative and NOT descriptive
We then looked at what goes into the portfolio itself:
  • Certificates
  • Staff reviews
  • Articles you've written / published
  • Project briefs / reports (include your contribution only if it‘s a particularly large document)
  • Personal reports on contribution (e.g. meetings, events, visits)
  • Training (and evaluation of it's effectiveness)
  • Evidence of work-based learning (e.g. enquiry replies, publicity done, letters/memos, guidance notes, testimonies)
  • Relevant our of work experiences
  • Webpages
  • A/V materials
  • Skills audit
How should it be organised?

This section didn't take long to cover and was really a reminder of how they would like it to be presented. The key points that I picked out were:
  • Divided into clearly marked sections
  • Comb binding is preferred
  • Write in 12pt font
  • Submission must be in triplicate but one copy can be electronic (I'm not too sure how that would work without scanning in quite a few things and even then, sorting out the pagination would be quite a challenge)
The presentation concluded with a few "words to the wise", the most useful of which I felt was to "think evidence" and be ruthless keeping it in relation to the criteria.

Part 2
The second part of the session was a more interactive session where we were asked to think about a few different questions, discuss them with our colleagues and then share them with the rest of the group (your good old "think / pair / share" format). I won't record my responses because it was just meant to be a session to get you thinking about the process and how you would proceed in the short, medium and long terms:
  • What do I need to do right now to progress my application?
  • List 3 or 4 items to be used as evidence and how they meet the assessment criteria.
  • Consider the gaps in your skills and outline the plan for addressing them.
  • What areas does your work fall into? Consider whether these could be used as a structure for your application that could be x-referred to the criteria.

So that is about it. I had a mixed response to the session. Much of what was discussed in the first part covered aspects of the process that would apply to someone just starting out and as I'm 6 months into it and have submitted my PPDP already, those bits weren't very helpful (e.g. how to register and how to get a mentor). I attended a Starting out on Chartership event about 2 or 3 years ago when I originally registered for Chartership but then had to put it to one side for a while. It is recommended (in fact, I think it used to be required) that candidates attend one of these sessions and that one 2 or 3 years ago counted so I didn't look for another one. I wish that I had gone to a session like this when I picked it back up again, though, as a reminder – it would have saved me quite a lot of stress.

On the other hand, some of the sections made me feel a better about what I was doing (e.g. the contents of the application, as I mentioned above) but more importantly, when it came to discussing what goes into the portfolio, two things really sank in as being important and relevant to me:
  1. It's a lot of work and I need to get on with some of the aspects, like library visits.
  2. I need to focus on being more reflective in my different documents and less descriptive.
So on the whole, I guess those two lessons being pretty valuable ones made it a good use of my time and I now need to show that I have learned from them.


Katharine said...

Welcome to the world of public blogging!
I will add a link to your blog on my page if that's ok.
I am going to a Chartership workshop next week in Wolverhampton and will come back to read your entry in more detail soon. I want to prepare myself in case there are any questions I really should ask on the day.

I'll check back soon.

djlb said...

Hi Katherine - yes please do feel free to add a link to my blog...I shall reciprocate!