missrachelsmith

Posts Tagged ‘Mentoring

CPD23: Talkin’ about Things

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I’ll admit it before I even start –  this is sort of a cheaty post. Before I sail off into the sunset (well, before I spend most of August messing around in boats, at any rate!) I thought it might be good to reflect on how I’m doing with my CILIP Chartership work and professional development activities. And coincidentally, Thing 7 of the 23 Things for Professional Development programme is about professional organisations. It’s nice when things work out like that, isn’t it?

Last week, I had a meeting with Jackie, my CILIP mentor. We discussed my progress on my Chartership work – I’m not tackling everything on my Personal Professional Development Plan (PPDP), but I have added lots of things I hadn’t thought about at the start of the process, of which CPD23 is one! And the way I see it, your initial PPDP is a guide, rather than a definitive structure. I’ve got lots of things planned over the next 6 months as well – I’m attempting to keep up with the CPD23 programme, I’m tackling an Institute of Leadership and Management Award in Team Leading in November (another professional organisation!), organising possible work experience placements in public libraries, there’s a module of a Masters in Librarianship course in January… so I’m keeping myself occupied!

I just need to make sure that I remember to record and reflect on all the things I’m doing. Taking part in CPD23, I’m finding it tricky to keep up with everything Chartership-wise alongside work and general life. Jackie suggested that when I don’t have time to write an in-depth reflective piece, it’s ok to make notes – then, if I want to use that piece of evidence for my final portfolio, I can go back and write something more formal at a later date. As I go along, I’m creating an updated version of my PPDP and noting down actions and evidence, so I’m going to add a new column on this document to record my initial thoughts about training sessions and development work.

We also talked about organisational structure and how to reference aspects of the library’s strategy when I’m putting together my portfolio next year. Linking your training and development to the overall aims of your organisation was something I picked up on when I recently attended a Building Your Portfolio course. Having ploughed through the 20+ page library objective document for the next year, I was struggling to see how I could effectively include this in my submission. Jackie and I decided that I should include first two pages, which outline the library’s mission and five main goals, and then drill down into individual objectives as appropriate to each piece of evidence, so I’m feeling happier about this.

The other thing I’ve been a little bit concerned about is the level of reading required of Chartership candidates, which Jackie’s going to look into. I haven’t done a Library MA, so I haven’t read a huge amount of academic texts about librarianship and information management. It’s not that I don’t read, but I generally read CILIP Update, the odd journal article, lots of blogs, newspaper articles… is that enough?

And at some point, I’m going to have to draw a line in the sand, pause on the development activities, and start working on my portfolio. I think I’m going to aim for June 2012, after the exam term tails off. Almost a year away. Or less than a year away, depending on how you look at it…

Written by missrachelsmith

July 25, 2011 at 21:30

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

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