CILIP NW Portfolio Building Workshop

Another Friday, another CILIP workshop! This time last week I went to Manchester for a portfolio building workshop organised by CILIP North West. I’m keen to continue to make progress on my Fellowship; ideally I’d like to submit my portfolio by June. I’ve done lots of development activities, applied what I’ve learnt, reflected (some of which has been recorded, some which needs to be recorded, some which has fed into future activities), and now it’s time to start thinking about pulling it all together and seeing if I have any further gaps or if I think I’ve met the assessment criteria.

The workshop was a really useful event. There was a good variety of attendees (in terms of type of organisation, role, location, and level of Professional Registration they are working towards). We had presentations from Dan Livesey (CILIP North West Candidate Support Officer), Matthew Wheeler (CILIP Development Officer), and Lisa Jeskins (CILIP mentor and Fellowship Candidate). It was a useful mix of formal guidance and practical tips and advice, largely thanks to the fact all three speakers have successfully chartered and revalidated.

I found a seat next to Julie Griffiths, who I worked with on the CILIP Future Skills Project. Seeing as we both worked on developing the new Professional Registration process, you’d think we’d know what we need to do really. In some respects we do; we know how many words need to be written and what other materials need to be included and various other factors relating to the process because we helped design and embed the new process. We even wrote the guidance materials and provided training for the assessors, mentor support officers, and candidate support officers. But can we put it into practice without extra support? It seems not. Both of us would have liked to have submitted our Fellowship portfolios by now but for some reason keep stalling. So we found ourselves on the portfolio building workshop.

Having a reminder of some of the things I knew but had forgotten, or not prioritised, was really useful. I realised through the exercises that recently I’ve been so focused on the PKSB areas I want to develop that I’ve not really considered how this will support the criteria. I have in general terms (i.e. I know certain areas fit into certain criteria), but some of the things I want to share in my portfolio which I feel show I’ve met the assessment criteria don’t fit nicely into one area of the PKSB (and that’s totally fine!). Other areas of the PKSB I want to develop, but probably won’t include in my evaluative statement or as evidence because they’re not as strong as some of the other things I already have or am working on.

I’m now revisiting where I’m at but focusing more on the criteria and thinking carefully about the evidence I want to include and what I want to focus on for my evaluative statement. I really want to focus on quality rather than quantity and to do this I need to stop for a moment and think carefully before I get stuck into collecting and writing up evidence that I’ll then want to include even though it’s not necessary.

Thanks so much to CILIP NW for facilitating the workshop and giving us time and space to consider where we are currently at and where we want to go with our portfolios. There were a few of us there working towards Fellowship and we’ve agreed to work together to help each other out and meet on a more regular basis to help us make progress. The first one of these will be next week and I’m really looking forward to it.

If you’re working towards a level of CILIP Professional Registration and have the opportunity to attend a portfolio building workshop I highly recommend it. The content was useful as a reminder, but even more valuable was the time to think about my portfolio in a positive, supportive environment and to discuss my plans with others.