Date and time: 29 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm BST
Topic: the evaluative statement
Tweets: about 160
I tuned in to the first #chartership chat on Twitter last month but I missed the last two so it was great to get involved again. Tonight’s theme was the evaluative statement, and while there weren’t as many of us present this week (@joeyanne was missing and we were competing with the hottest day of the year, as @cjclib pointed out!), @tinamreynolds did a great job keeping the conversation going and the discussion was just as fast-flowing and crammed with useful tips.
@joeyanne will be archiving the tweets as usual and you can still read write-ups of the previous #chartership chats. The next chat is on 12 April at 6.30pm BST, and the theme will be the mentor/mentee relationship.
16 February, #Chartership chat on Twitter blogpost by @joeyanne
Storify on #chartership chat by @ellyob
1 March, Chatting about Chartership blogpost by @el399
17 March, collecting and reporting evidence blogpost by @Library_Quine
I’ve taken the approach of previous bloggers and tried to pull out the main areas we discussed, as well as the best practical tips for writing your statement.
Planning and drafting the evaluative statement
There was some debate over when to start thinking about the evaluative statement. @Misteemog collected a mass of evidence first, drew it together in the statement, writing about each item, then “pruned the best bits”. @Readyourbook suggested arranging your evidence into a coherent order first, then writing a sentence about each piece of evidence as a first draft:
Some said they’d been thinking about the evaluative statement while they were collecting evidence – @ellyob jots down ideas for the statement under each of her chartership objectives, alongside possible evidence. @tinamreynolds and @Readyourbook both wished they’d started thinking about the statement at an earlier stage. Whether or not you draft your statement as you’re going along, we all agreed it was advisable to think about the criteria as well as your PPDP goals while you’re gathering evidence.
@Readyourbook pointed out that drafting the statement can help you to focus on reflection, and to weed out evidence that doesn’t add anything to your portfolio.
What to focus on
I’ve reached the point where I want to draft my evaluative statement, but I’m struggling to set out a framework, so it was great to get some input from other chartershippers (charterers? Hmm).
@AnabelMarsh “parachuted in” to pass on some advice from a recent chartership meeting she attended. The assessors she met prefer the statement to be based on the criteria, because it makes their job easier, though they’re not opposed to other approaches. @annetteearl followed this framework, writing 250 words on each of the four criteria.
We agreed it didn’t matter if your evidence applied to more than one of the criteria – they’re bound to cross over (most activities, as @tinamreynolds pointed out, will count as commitment to CPD), and applying to multiple criteria can strengthen your evidence – although it may make writing the statement harder!
If there isn’t room for in-depth reflection in the statement, where else can you put it?
The statement is limited to 1,000 words, so there isn’t much room for proper reflection – @Schopflin repeated the mantra, “Make every word count”, and pointed out that “your statement should be supported by evidence, not contain it”. @Misteemog was advised to think of the statement as an executive summary of your application.
@tinamreynolds posed a question:
@johnmcmahon31 writes a reflective report on each event he attends. The portfolio I currently have on loan from CILIP (by Simon Ward) makes very good use of this – every training day and course is written up in a report, including aims and achievements, so the author is reflecting on lessons he’s learned and applied in the workplace as well as just describing the experience. The statement can then be limited to one or two lines for each objective.
The CV is another place to add reflection:
By describing your key achievements in each job role and how you applied what you learned on training courses to the workplace, you can save space in your statement. Four pages is a lot to play with; even if you’re as prolific as @tinamreynolds and have reems of training to draw on, you can add a line or two of reflection on the most useful courses if you’re selective.
@Readyourbook suggested adding some reflection to an explanatory note at the top of each piece of evidence, to make it absolutely clear to the assessors why the evidence is included.
Other issues covered
- @ellyob wondered how many objectives you should identify in the PPDP – most people had four or five development areas but could bundle different objectives together under each one
- How much evidence do you put in the portfolio?
- Ways of organising evidence – whiteboards, physical piles of evidence, post-it notes in a matrix
- The benefits of including an explanatory statement at the top of each piece of evidence, making it clear why it is included
- Reassurance that any changes to the chartership process following the Future Skills consultation won’t apply to anyone who is already registered for chartership
- What to include in the CV
Top tips on writing the evaluative statement
- It’s never too early to think about the evaluative statement – if you have it in mind while you’re gathering evidence it’ll be much easier to write
- Think of your statement as an executive summary
- Assessors prefer it if you base your statement on the criteria (though it’s not the only way) – the clearer you make it the easier their job is
- It’s all about reflection not description – the place to describe activities is in the evidence…
- …and if you go over the word limit try to fit more reflective writing into your evidence
- Ensure everything in the portfolio is referred to in the statement – don’t let evidence sit alone
- Arrange the statement with headings, bullet points etc to break up the text – it’s easier for the assessors to read and navigate (although long headings might eat up the word count!)