Michael began by explaining the difference between the two levels he would be talking about. Certification is for library assistants who have been in the profession some time, whereas chartership is for qualified librarians. Both are essentially different levels of membership to CILIP.
The first steps to either qualification is membership to CILIP, after which you register as a candidate, which costs £25 for certification or £50 for chartership. You then choose a mentor from a list provided by CILIP, and together you design a personal professional development plan (PPDP). The basis of the CILIP qualifications is building a portfolio. This allows you to demonstrate your learning, and how you have applied valuable knowledge and skills in your workplace. For a chartership application, it would include:
- Contents page
- CV (longer than for a job application)
- Personal evaluative statement (1000 words)
- aims & objectives of your organisation
- structure charts (where you are in your organisation)
- evidence of participation in the mentor scheme
It is similar for certification, but follows a different template, including a supporting letter.
Michael also listed the criteria that the applications must meet. The criteria for chartership are:
- to be able to reflect critically on personal performance and evaluate service performance
- an active commitment to continuing professional development
- to be able to analyse personal and professional development with reference to experiential and developmental activities
- a breadth of professional knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context
For certification, the criteria are similar:
- the ability to evaluate personal and service performance
- to show how your personal, technical and professional skills have developed through training and development activities
- an appreciation of the role and contribution of libraries and information services in the wider community
Michael then gave advice to those wanting to pursue a CILIP qualification: keep everything! Using a diary, a blog, or whatever suits you, try to keep a record of your evidence to support the criteria. He also advised completing a skills audit.
After the session, an attendee from Staff Development emailed round information about how they can support staff wishing to gain certification, chartership or fellowship from CILIP. Staff can apply to get funding for their submission fee, though not membership fees. They can also provide your training record which lists the courses you have attended, and the Staff Library has copies of ‘Building Your Portfolio’ by Margaret Watson, a book recommended by Michael during the questions and answers time.
It was an interesting session, as I didn’t know what chartership involved, and the other options for library assistants who maybe don’t want to go down the Library School route.