Beginning Chartership

I have embarked on Chartership, CILIP’s professional qualification. Although I had originally intended to wait before starting Chartership, a number of others at my workplace are also starting it. My Library runs a structured programme of seminar style discussion and support, so it made sense to take advantage of this and the peer support of those colleagues also embarking on Chartership, rather than waiting and doing it on my own.

Chartership involves setting yourself professional development goals, and compiling evidence to support that you are working towards them. This all comes together into a portfolio, tied together with an evaluative statement.

So where am I currently at in this process? I have registered, and have a mentor. I have a few rough ideas for my Personal Professional Development Plan (PPDP), which will soon become actual training and development needs and proposed actions. I’ve attended a Chartership event with CILIP, which was really helpful (and compulsory for Chartership). It helped get the process straight in my head and showed me what I need to include. I recommend attending one of these sessions early on, as it answered a lot of my questions.

In order to audit my skills, to show my strengths and potential areas for development, I filled out the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB). I was surprised that I had a large number of areas where I scored myself 0:

1.4 Ontologies
1.7 Subject indexing
1.8 Information architecture
1.9 Database design and management
2.3 Data management
2.6 Organisational information/knowledge assets
3.4 Data analytics
5.1 Information governance
5.5 Information ownership and accountability
5.6 Information risk management
5.7 Information assurance
6.2 Retention and disposal
6.6 Curation
6.8 Web information continuity
8.4 Writing, numeracy and creativity
9.5 Partnership development
9.6 Influencing key stakeholders
10.2 Business planning and asset management
12.3 System design and development of systems
12.8 Language skills

Some of these are quite technical or specific, but it still came as a shock. Nevertheless, with so many areas it gives me a lot of scope for developing my skills, knowledge and expertise. Points in my PPDP will involve reading around areas to bring some 0s up to 1s, and things I can do to bring 1s and 2s up to 3s. Worth bearing in mind, too, is how developing some of these areas will help me in future, by broadening my skill set and therefore broadening my job-hunting ‘net’ (my contract is fixed-term, so this will become more pertinent for me in a couple of years).

When filling out the PKSB, it would have been useful to have concrete examples. It was sometimes hard to know what a section was actually about. I may have scored myself 0 on some points, when in actuality I may know a little about it but don’t realise I do!

So what now? Once I have firmed up my PPDP I will inform CILIP. Then, it’s just a case of actually doing those actions to meet my training and development needs, and collecting the evidence to support it. I am lucky that my employer is extremely supportive of those doing Chartership, and offers a great deal of opportunities and flexibility for attending training and events.


  1. Congratulations on embarking on the process and well done for getting so far with it already. You’re very fortunate that there’s a system in place where you work to support it and that others are doing it at the same time – I’m sure you’ll find this invaluable. If you need some ideas for events to attend look out for the @ARLGLondonandSE twitter account and the CILIP events calendar (apologies if you already knew about these).

    I found the Chartership process to be very rewarding – good luck with it.

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