PPDPPDPPPDPPDPPPDPP (Or: thoughts before my first mentor meeting)

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CILIP Chartership checklist:

1: Ensure you are eligible to register as a Chartership candidate. Register for Chartership by sending in registration form and appropriate fee – tick.

2. Find a Chartership mentor – tick.

The next task, according to CILIP’s handy 5 steps to Chartership webpage, isn’t quite so straightforward. Writing a Personal Professional Development Plan (often abbreviated to PPDP, which, like the words “anemone” and ‘Ivanišević’, I find a bit of a tongue-twister) is proving more challenging than I thought it might be. And with my first meeting with my Chartership mentor swiftly approaching, I thought I’d take the time to think about what exactly I’m finding difficult.

To put this in context – I’m quite proactive about my professional development, and having decided to work towards CILIP Chartership, I have sort of thrown myself into it. I’ve already started this blog, for example, to document my progress; I’ve also almost finalised a work experience placement at a local FE/sixth form college for March. So in my usual style, I have actually already put together a full first draft of my PPDP, which I’ve sent to my mentor in advance of our meeting later this week.

But if I’ve already completed a draft of my PPDP, before having even met my mentor – it must be a walk in the park?

Not really. Firstly, and I’m guessing this might be an issue for other Chartership candidates, there isn’t a huge amount of guidance out there about what exactly should be included in a Personal Professional Development Plan, how it should be structured or how long it should be. This makes it more difficult for Chartership candidates, but is probably intentional on the part of CILIP – by keeping it open-ended, candidates and mentors are asked to interpret the guidance given, and I would assume that the completed PPDP might indicate to the Chartership panel the kind of candidate they are assessing.

I’ve seen a couple of other Chartership portfolios already, and I’ve looked through the examples on the CILIP webpages, so this gave me an idea of the length of your typical PPDP and the amount of development activities I should try to identify. Next though, there’s the question of what development activities to include and in what areas. This, from what I can gather, seems to involve a complicated combination of identifying activities that will meet the criteria that all Chartership applications are assessed against, unfamiliar areas of the CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge and areas of weakness that you personally would like to improve on.

So far, so tricky. Then I have a couple of added difficulties; firstly, I don’t have a taught Librarianship masters (as explained in my last blog post), which is not in itself a problem, but it does mean that I have a bit of a gaping hole in terms of my theoretical knowledge of most areas of librarianship. Secondly, there’s the problem that my current post is not, on paper, a “professional” one. I am a Library Assistant – that is my job title. However, to apply for CILIP Chartership, you have to be working at a “professional” level. Obviously, I would argue that a lot of the time, the work I do meets this standard. But it means that I have more restrictions than most Chartership candidates, in that certain tasks and activities are seen to be “beyond my grade” or inappropriate due to my position.

To sum up, as I composed the PPDP draft I’ve sent to my Chartership mentor, I therefore had to consider five key factors when outlining my proposed training and development activities:

–          Does this help me to meet the Chartership criteria?

–          Have I covered all areas of the CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge?

–          Have I made sure I’ve covered all of the areas I would like to develop in?

–          What can I do to make sure I know about the theory behind this area?

–          Will my managers see this as an appropriate activity for me to be engaged in?

I’m also not sure whether there are other factors involved that I’ve overlooked, that I haven’t thought about. And conversely, there are other questions I’d like to know the answers to, such as, ‘to what extent can non-librarianship things be included?’ And, ‘what if I give my PPDP to my managers for their comments and they veto all the things I have proposed?’

Maybe I’m over-thinking it a bit.

But whilst I’m really very prepared for our first meeting, my mentor and I will definitely have a lot to talk about…


Written by missrachelsmith

January 24, 2011 at 09:19

Posted in Chartership

Tagged with , ,

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