Building Your Portfolio: the CILIP Guide notes

Margaret Watson, Building your portfolio: the CILIP guide, Facet Publishing (2008)

Stick to the assessment criteria – print it out, keep referring back to it

Set a target date for submission, helps to focus you

See CILIP for examples of portfolios

Reflective writing – art of reflecting on work-related events, assessing how they apply to your job, actioning them

  • keep a daily diary of any developments/meetings
  • reflect on it weekly
  • discuss things with colleagues and jot them down
  • try to apply things learnt to job
  • different styles – mind dump (write three sides every morning), focused writing (write something up, come back to it and give feedback a few days later), what? (the event) so what? (how it impacts your job) now what? (how it will change your job in future)

Writing your CV

  • two to four pages long, at least 12pt, store electronically and keep up-to-date,
  • good starting point for chartership, helps assess your career to date, what you have learned and done
  • cover personal information (name, address, contact details);
  • personal profile (optional) – write 3 or 4 key things about you (what good at – people skills, IT, experience), ask someone else then write it into a para, write after rest of CV so can reflect;
  •  knowledge and skills – list skills and qualities in draft (including technical, professional, interpersonal, work in/lead team, teaching, management, finance), look at job description, look at body of professional knowledge; then quantify each point, give examples, and reflect them elsewhere in CV;
  • work experience – summarise key responsiblities, don’t repeat skills section, concentrate on experience and achievements, include voluntary and part-time roles if relevant skills learned;
  • education and training – concise, minimum annotation, dissertation topic, all training courses;
  • professional activities – membership of professional orgs, active participation (attending meetings, conferences, presentations, editing a website, on committee);
  • research and publications – full bibliographical details of articles for mags and journals, include copies in evidence;
  • logical, clear and precise, most recent first
  • can include career development that occurred prior to period covered by personal statement (2-3 yrs) – show how this impacted you and your job, colleagues (reflective)

Personal professional development plan (PPDP)

Records your career development, to track what you have done and what you plan to do, where you want your role to go and how you will get there, which skills you want to develop to benefit you and your employer.

  • skills and knowledge audit – look at job description and record the necessary skills and knowledge you have, record other duties you do beyond that and skills you have beyond your job, look at the body of professional knowledge and spot anything you want to work on, then highlight any gaps you can focus on
  • check TFPL’s skills toolkit
  • think about the next yr and what will change in your role, what you want to change, then set goals to achieve  – S pecific M easuarable A ttainable R elevant T imed – you are much more likely to achieve five or six clearly defined goals you can achieve within a year than setting unrealistic goals
  • development activity – how you will achieve your goals – courses but could also be meetings, shadowing, reading, coaching others, projects, writing reports, professional activities (think about how you will know you have met your goals) – record these BUT ALSO reflect on the success/otherwise – reflect initially and also six months later so you really learn from activities
  • use your PPDP as the basis of your first mentor meeting, and revisit it several times – it will change over the yr
  • Review it regularly, update it as necessary
  • could submit a record of CPD prior to the yr of registration, to show where CPD has got you so far
  • Join the Chartership discussion list
  • See book for  example of a PPDP (pp. 54-57)

Personal statement – like an executive summary of your portfolio, reflective writing on everything covered by portfolio

  • write several drafts then have them checked by your mentor
  • build it around the assessment criteria, outcome of development activities
  • make it focused but make sure the rest of the portfolio supports what you say (cross-reference to evidence)
  • max 1000 words
  • assess each development activity against the individual criteria, then highlight evidence – gives a framework or pattern for the statement (see book for diagram, p. 62)
  • divide the statement into an intro and a section for each of the criteria, showing how your evidence supports the criteria
  • like an annotated contents list explaining why each bit of evidence was included
  • work through every document, against the criteria, discard if it doesn’t fit; then write a para for each of the criteria, referencing every document, so can see what else to trim down

Supporting evidence – reflects elements of the criteria, supports the personal statement

  • use the criteria matrix to assess each development activity, then can decide what to keep as you go along and spot any gaps
  • don’t include everything – only need one example of a presentation, flyer etc
  • quality is more inportant than quantity – select only the relevant pieces
  • common evidence includes training evaluation, info created for users, reports, published articles, presentations, appraisal records, notes from conferences or visits, certificate of training, minutes of meetings, web pages, blogs, diaries, letters… – anything you do in your job can be used as long as it shows development
  • show you understand the objectives of your organisation and the info services it provides – evaluate how they are being met (survey?) and reflect on them
  • can annotate evidence to explain their relevance
  • make sure the evidence explains your role (if you co-wrote say what you did)
  • organise your documents by theme, makes it easier at the end
  • reflect on your evidence before you file it, make notes eg evaluate how you will use training, how can use anything you learned on a visit, keep a copy of conference reports
  • focus on last two or three years, include a list of courses and conferences attended with notes and reflective comments, map development activities
  • produce a contents list of evidence for your mentor – helps show what you need, where you’re lacking, what is repeated
  • present it logically and in same order as statement – so assessor can understand easily
  • need evidence of participation in mentor scheme – letter from mentor, diary of meetings
  • see book for example (pp. 83-87)

Final checks

  1. have you got all the required elements?
  • CV
  • PPDP
  • Personal statement
  • evidence of mentor programme
  • supporting evidence

2. is the structure and layout clear, presented well?

  • include cover page with name, membership number and qualification applying for
  • contents page
  • divide the portfolio into sections, with sub-sections where necessary (effectively chapters – 4… 4.1, 4.2…) eg. 1 statement, 2 CV, 3 diary, 4 letter, 5 examples of training, 6 examples of articles, 7 examples of info services written…10 other documentation – see CILIP site for examples
  • need to submit 3 copies, keep 1 for yourself – copy everything

3. final check against assessment criteria, make sure properly cross-referenced – revise if necessary

4. proofread, get someone to check it – make any amendments

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