Thursday, 22 November 2012

Portfolio Building Feedback

I was lucky enough to get to the portfolio building day in Aberdeen at the start of the month, due to many factors including a cold and unexpected work problems/issues I didn't get the write up finished until now :-).
I wont put it all up as the finished document with references is eight pages long! but I shall share what I got out of it the most. I also have copies of some of the power points which has helped me keep on track when writing my notes :-).

First Thing that came across was that the whole exercise is a measurement of your professional ability, and how it compares and contrasts to others at the same level. This means that it is less about your particular job than your own skills and abilities, you can see that a solo school librarian in the wilds of Scotland is using the same processes and ideas as an assistant librarian in a large research library in a major city. This was a relief as I worried that some bit we don't have up here may make us less likely to get our chartership but no as long as you meet the criteria your fine.

That's is my second thing, the criteria are all they can measure you against. As long as you meet them and show you have met them your fine, allot of recommendations was to use the 4 criteria as your organisation layout for the portfolio. I found myself looking at the Criteria again with fresh eyes and am happy to say I don't feel half as inadequate as I used to.

1, An ability to reflect on personal performance and to evaluate service performance. Reflect critically on personal and service. Needs to be made as an ‘I’ statement and opinionated.
2, Active commitment to continuing professional development. Active commitment to CPD, follow blogs, twitter and networking.
3, An Ability to analyse personal and professional development and progression with reference to experiential and developmental activities. Learning on the job, what worked and what didn’t.
4, Breadth of professional Knowledge and understanding of the wider professional context. Not just good at your own job but part of the profession, go to AGM’s etc.
See also
The CPD23 actually helps with so many areas and helps to get you thinking why and what next so much better.

The biggest area that could cause problems is being a reflective practitioner, this is one of the things that CPD23 covers in great detail by making you do a little of it at a time and then by the end your doing all of it, and in detail. best help for this is Thing #5 which gets you all the links to teach you more and how to get going. Librarians are very good at knowing that something needs doing, sorting, weeding or changing something which needs it but we don't go through the process of what we have done and why and what needs doing next. Most of us 'know' that something needs doing this just makes a more rigorous case for our own work. I did apply this to my Day to day things and it showed up a few things I like that should have been much lower in priority than I had them but there was nothing extra or missing just different order.

Most other problems seem to stem from either not following the criteria or not being ruthless with evidence, again its a 'what' and 'why' and 'what next' all the time. Why do I need two pieces showing the same thing, why do I have nothing showing this area. The nice gentleman from Cilip Michael Martin came and gave us a fab overview of what is needed and showed us some online tools that help, and audit sheet and PPDP which can be great start points and also end points. You need to start with a PPDP and then do one as you finish which will show development and change, also you can use the audit on the 4 criteria to work out if you have the right info in as your evidence.

They also spoke of the support of a mentor and I realised I haven't been as good as I could be, I have done some but I need to do more and soon. According to the wonderful Val Walker who is the Scottish Mentor Support Officer we are there to - Enable - Encourage - Enthuse which is quite a challenge! I after a wonderful session with some fabulous people full of enthusiasm and positive views, I came away determined to do as much as I can to to enjoy it too.

I hope my thoughts have helped, if you want more feel free to ask :-) I do have a many page feedback as well, but I must also mention Celia Jenkins Scottish Candidate Support Officer who organised it and spoke, David Main from Aberdeen Libraries who set up the venue. Jan Dawson and Julie McCue who gave us thoughts on their recent chartership. Ian Stringer from lots of different committees who encouraged us to keep on going after we pass and to stay involved as Cilip is us and we make it what we want. and Finally my favourite speaker of the day was Anna Herron, an assessor who has made me sit up and think 'I could do that', and given me a whole new idea of things to do.

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