Post written by Sheila Compton, who is on the SLG National Committee
When looking on the CILIP Directory of Registered Practitioners to see if my Revalidation had been updated I noticed that coincidentally the Revalidation was registered exactly 41 years after I originally registered as a Chartered Librarian. This led me to reflect on what had driven me to undertake revalidation at this stage in my career, when I am clearly not on an upward trajectory in the job market! Soon after I became a Chartered member, ALA, the profession became all graduate entry. Although the status of those who had achieved Chartership under the old system was preserved I later decided to update my qualifications by obtaining a degree. I felt that this would enhance my skills to the level of younger professional colleagues; and would also put me academically on a par with teachers, as I had eventually settled on a career in school librarianship.
My degree involved a lot of reflection on my own practice through action research, which gave me many opportunities to develop my skills. Over the years I had attend training events and conferences to keep myself up to date so I could just have left it there; quite frankly at this stage in my career why bother with revalidation? Looking at the profession with its dwindling numbers of professional school librarians, and having no desire to change jobs, there did not seem a lot to motivate me to revalidate. After all, surely it would take ages to evidence and require extra work?
Like many people I started in a half-hearted way to keep a record of my CPD and thinking it would have to be evidenced through formal conferences and training sessions, with certificates of attendance to validate my presence. Months later I had not really got very far with it, and almost gave up until a flash of inspiration made me put down revalidating as my performance management personal target at school. This I felt would achieve two aims as I would have evidence of professional development for school, and it would actually make me finish my revalidation. There was also a slight hidden agenda as in my capacity as SLG Vice Chair I wanted to show librarian colleagues that revalidation is achievable at any age and stage in your career, and perhaps to encourage others to do the same. I think that it is important to be able to evidence our continuing professional development both from the point of view both of our own integrity and to ensure our viability in the job market.
The SLG 2016 Conference “Read all about it” spurred me on to actually get on with the whole revalidation process as I attended the seminar, led by Matthew Wheeler of CILIP, on Professional Registration which included Revalidation. In his presentation Matthew explained the process and showed that for Revalidation the key elements were the logging of CPD and a reflective statement. It soon became evident that the tasks were less onerous that I had thought. Professional reading counted as an activity, as did attendance at courses and even participation in committee meetings. By the end of the year I realized that I had well exceeded the minimum requirement of 20 hours without any excessive financial cost, or demands upon my time.
The final task was the reflective statement, the hardest part of which was encapsulating my reflection on all of the CPD in 250 words. With the CPD log and the reflective statement uploaded to the CILIP VLE the process was finished in December, and in January I was thrilled to receive confirmation from CILIP that my Revalidation had been accepted.
So why had I done it? I wanted to prove that it was an achievable target, and to be able to show my line manager and the Head that I was still keeping up with professional development. I had achieved my personal targets, developed my professional practice, and realized how much CPD can be done in a multitude of different ways. I hope that maybe I will be able to encourage my fellow librarians to revalidate too; it is not difficult, and there is a real feeling of achievement when you get the congratulatory email from CILIP.
Sheila Compton BA (Hons) MCLIP Revalidated 2016