On Wednesday I attended a Chartership Portfolio Forum – one of the CPD25 ‘Professional Qualifications Support Workshops’.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from it – the information on the website wasn’t very descriptive of what this particular session would cover. It got off to a bad start as well – due to start at 4, it actually started at 10 past – frustrating when you have rushed to get there on time. One of the speakers hadn’t arrived, and there seemed to be a lot of umming and ahhing over what to do.
Finally they started the session with a talk from a recent successful chartership candidate. She had a few useful tips for us. The first thing she mentioned was that she had found the CPD25 courses useful (kind of preaching to the choir, but never mind). She then said that she was unusual as she had been qualified for 10 years before Chartering, and that ‘Chartership is aimed at people at the start of their career’, though I don’t agree with this – it is something I had considered briefly earlier in my career, but only recently have I felt it was a relevant use of my time. I would say it is aimed at people who want to affirm their commitment to the profession, who want to take an opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally, and who work in a place (company/sector) where chartership is valued (as opposed to some of my previous workplaces where it was seen as a waste of time).
She went on to say that she had struggled with the criteria and found them unclear – and I noticed lots of people nodding at this. It would be nicer if they were expressed in a more friendly style, with less management-speak, my brain tends to switch off at phrases like ‘ experiential and developmental activities’.
The most useful thing she said was related to putting the portfolio together – reminding us that it wasn’t an essay, and that the bits of evidence ARE your document.
Then the two CSOs spoke for a while – including a small marketing spiel for the CDG – but also more useful information – that you can send your portfolio to them for comments/help, and that 10-15 pieces of evidence is enough, that you don’t need to have everything – but choose the best bits that meet the criteria.
Some of this was aimed more at people just starting out with their chartership – as they talked a little about registering, and finding mentors (apparently Cilip have a very useful database – I assume they have fixed it since I last used it, as it wasn’t very useful then!).
There was a useful handout on how to do critical analysis – apparently this is where most people have a problem. They also gave us tips such as to cover the criteria fairly equally in the evaluative statement, and to have a look at the form the assessors use, which is available on the Cilip website.
After a short break there was an even shorter panel session where we could ask questions. There weren’t many. Someone asked about the layout, and how creative we could be, to which the answer was that the most important thing is clarity, and that creativity is fine if it helps with this. Another person asked if it was ok to include failures, which it was if you can reflect on them as learning opportunities.
To be honest, the amount of useful information I got out of the session could have been covered in about five minutes. A lot of it covered the same ground as the Chartership and Beyond courses the CDG run. It was definitely the least useful of the CPD25 courses I have attended.