Sunday, 10 March 2013

Revalidation on target

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Having pondered it long and hard, I finally decided to plump for a mentor to help through my chartership revalidation. Unlike with first-time chartership, it isn’t a necessary part of the process, and I blogged my musings about it here.

Last time, my mentor worked in a secondary school (just as I did then) and this time, my mentor works in a further education college (just as I do now). I know there are things to be learnt from working with a mentor from a different library sector, but personally I prefer them to have a direct feel for the role I am in and the challenges it may/may not include. Also, locality is an issue to consider; in my appraisal at the end of last year, my line manager agreed to allow me one afternoon per half term to meet with my mentor. Luckily, my mentor works in a college less than ten miles from the college in which I work. Although this is not a huge distance, the majority of our communications will be conducted via email, which suits us both. I am keen not to infringe too much upon my mentor’s working week, as I know she is based in a very busy library environment.

In February half term my mentor and I met for the first time. I took along my CPD records and we discussed how this fits into CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base. As is to be expected, in some areas I seem to score quite reasonably and in other areas not at all.

I feel a little uncertain about the structure of a revalidation portfolio. There are three examples on the CILIP website, but two of these are only partial examples. I had hoped to see some other examples at the chartership day course I attended in November, but only first-time chartership and certification examples were provided. I had informed the local CDG Candidate Support Officer in advance of the session that I was hoping to see a revalidation portfolio, and have emailed to ask again since, but it appears he may be having difficulty gaining access as none have been forthcoming. My mentor and I have a friend in common and she suggested asking to look at her portfolio. I have done this, and whilst it has helped, I have decided not to get too hung up about how to structure it. As long as all the necessary forms are included, along with examples of evidence, I’m just going to let it flow and see how it develops.

My mentor suggested I already have enough evidence to show that I have operated at a professional level over the past three years, and that I ought to start thinking about a draft personal statement. I am hoping to pull together the portfolio within the next six months – a fairly ambitious timescale but I don’t want it dragging on like my chartership did (which took me 18 months). So there we have it, it’s nice to know I’m on target. I feel more positive about the experience now that I know which direction I am heading - wish me luck!

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