On the road to Chartership

Yesterday I attended a Chartership Group session run by Bodleian Libraries’ Staff Development.
The guest speaker was Michael Martin of CILIP  (contact details).  Here is a collection of points that I found useful and hope you will too if you are working towards Chartership.  I’ve included links to the fuller information on the CILIP website.

Starting out with Chartership (fuller details)

  1. Be a member of CILIP
  2. Register as a candidate
  3. Choose a mentor
  4. Design your Personal Professional Development Plan (PPDP). It’s not binding – you can change it as you go along

Finding a mentor

  • It’s good to have a mentor from outside your organisation as they will help ensure your portfolio is free from jargon and understandable to an external person
  • Make a formal agreement with your mentor to agree how often you will meet, over what period and for how long each time

Why do we need portfolios?

  • For gathering and presenting evidence
  • To aid evaluation and reflection
  • For appraisal, career change
  • To demonstrate professional judgement
  • Essential to Framework of Qualifications

What should a Chartership portfolio contain? (more in the Chartership Handbook )

  • Table of contents
  • CV – you can afford to make it longer than the standard 2 sides for a job application – can be up to 4 sides. Annotate your training and experience
  • PPDP
  • Personal evaluative statement – maximum 1000 words. Must be evaluative, NOT descriptive!
  • Aims and objectives of your organisation (if your organisation doesn’t have these, you can create them)
  • Structure chart to show the relationships in your team
  • Evidence of participation in mentor scheme

I asked if the “aims and objectives of your organisation” meant those of your individual library, college or the whole university? It was suggested that you start with your immediate context and then expand on how these feed into the aims and objectives of the broader institution.

How should the portfolio be organised?

  • Clearly marked sections
  • Securely bound – comb binding recommended
  • 12 point type (no font was specified, and I didn’t dare ask in case it was Comic Sans)
  • In triplicate, clearly identified (the master copy is kept at CILIP, and other two are sent out to two assessors)
  • Accompanied by application form and submission fee
  • If you are interested in taking part in a pilot e-submission scheme, contact Michael

What can go into a portfolio?

  • Certificates
  • Annual reviews, appraisals or evaluations
  • Contributions to professional press
  • Project briefs, reports, surveys
  • Evidence of active membership of professional networks
  • Evaluation forms from training you have delivered
  • Bibliography (and what you have learned from reading each item)
  • Lists of visits (and what you learned from each visit)

What else can go in?

  • Evidence of work-based learning e.g. responses to enquiries from users or colleagues; publicity you have created; letters or memos; guidance notes to staff or students; testimonies / observations
  • Relevant out of work experiences e.g. case studies
  • Web pages
  • Audio-visual material e.g. photos, multimedia

A skills audit can be a helpful starting point for identifying areas to develop.  Here are some examples:

  • Higher Education Academy
  • OU Safari (Skills in Accessing, Finding And Reviewing Information)
  • Make your own CPD audit sheet – date, activity, what you learned, how you applied it. Good to include as it demonstrates evaluation

The criteria for Chartership

  1. The ability to reflect critically on personal performance and to evaluate service performance
  2. Active commitment to continuing professional development – what do you do after you have learned something? What changes in your professional practice?
  3. The ability to analyse personal and professional development and progression with reference to experiential and developmental activities
  4. Breadth of professional knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context – candidates often fall down on this one. Easily addressed by reading or arranging visits outside your sector

Be sure to address each of these criteria. It might be helpful to consider this matrix in which you assess a number of activities against the criteria to be sure that you have demonstrated all of them at some point:

Chartership framework matrix
I found this diagram on the CILIP site – it’s a Word document and difficult to link to but you can search for it using some of the text in the document. It’s also available in Margaret Watson’s book, Building Your Portfolio: The CILIP Guide (ISBN 978-1-85604-714-2).

Some general tips

  • If you have written a blog post and generated some discussion by people commenting on it, you can include this in your portfolio and count it towards your “active commitment to continuing professional development (CPD)”
  • Take care to anonymise or omit personal details of other people that appear on documents you use in your portfolio, such as email addresses
  • If you want to include material that is in copyright, get permission and state this clearly on the document in your portfolio
  • Attention to detail is important – this is an assessment of an information professional by other info profs!
  • Attribute any collaborative work and indicate your own intellectual contribution
Now, I can’t claim I don’t know where to start.  I’d better just get on and write it…


  1. Pingback: Oxford, Cardiff, Birmingham - Michael's Quals Blog

  2. Pingback: Tips for reflective writing « Laura's Dark Archive

  3. Pingback: Enable, encourage and enthuse… or becoming a CILIP mentor. | Lisa's Training Blog

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