19 Aug CILIP Revalidation Hints & Tips – Recording your CPD
This post is part of a series of blog posts I’m writing about CILIP Revalidation. Last year I worked with CILIP as a Future Skills Project Worker on a part-time secondment basis helping develop CILIP’s Professional Registration (Certification, Chartership, Fellowship and Revalidation). I went on to use the new process to successfully revalidate my CILIP Chartership earlier this year, and am sharing my experience through a series of blog posts. For other posts in the series, see the Revalidation Hints & Tips series.
The first part of Revalidation is completing 20 hours of professional development, or CPD (Continuing Professional Development) as it’s commonly referred to. The guidelines suggest that this would be on a roughly annual basis, though it may take slightly longer (or a lot less!).
Any activity related to professional development is relevant here, so this includes:
- Attending conferences, workshops, training events, seminars, briefings, debates
- Volunteering for a professional committee
- Organising events
- Speaking at events
- Professional reading (e.g. Journal articles, CILIP Update, books)
- Completing (or working towards) a professional qualification
This list is by no means exhaustive, but is just a sample of some of the activities I’ve recorded for my CPD. I record this very briefly on a daily basis, in more depth on a monthly basis, and as an annual review just before my performance review at work. The majority of my updates are monthly, but I thought it might be useful to outline the tools and processes I use on a daily, monthly, and annual basis.
I use iDoneThis, which I’ve recommended before, to record my CPD on a daily basis (the free version is fine for my needs). The interface is really simple – it just displays your ‘done’ items on a calendar. You can select a day to view, or a series of days, and export it if you wish (as a PDF file, plain text, or email).
The feature I love is being able to submit my ‘done’ items (in my case my CPD activities) by email. You can choose the frequency and timing of the emails, and iDoneThis will then email you at those times. You can also tailor the question the email asks, so I have multiple calendars for different purposes, each emailing me at different times. You simply reply to the email and it adds whatever you listed to the relevant iDoneThis calendar. Of course I don’t do CPD every day, so many days I simply delete the email reminders. I do find it useful to have them there as an easy way to capture what I’ve done though, and to regularly remind me to record my CPD activities.
On a monthly basis I have a few tasks, though each is usually a very quick update. I have scheduled reminders set up in my to-do list (I use Omnifocus currently, but most to-do or calendar apps will enable you to schedule reminders). Each month, I update any of the following that are relevant:
Update iDoneThis to make sure all activities are included
I like to check I’ve added all my CPD activities to iDoneThis by going through my calendar and ensuring everything is added. This isn’t totally necessary to be honest (especially if you’re recording everything in CILIP’s VLE), but I like iDoneThis to be a complete record of all CPD I do and I don’t add every single thing to the CILIP VLE.
Add activities to CILIP Portfolio in my CPD log
Once iDoneThis is up-to-date, I visit the CILIP VLE, go to my CPD log in the CILIP Portfolio (it’s in the Content tab), and add any relevant items to that. This tends to be things which were major CPD activities, or things I think I may want to reflect on in my Revalidation statement (e.g. things which relate well to the assessment criteria). I do quite a lot of professional development activities, so getting to 20 hours isn’t too difficult for me. I therefore choose to be quite selective about what I include in the VLE, partly to save my time (I add more detail to these entries), and partly to save the assessors time when they come to review my Revalidation. Because I have the full record in iDoneThis, it means that if I come to write up my statement and want to add other activities I initially didn’t include, I can go back to find when I did them. For each item I include the activity, date(s), time involved, a brief description and, where relevant, personal reflection, and tags.
I find including some descriptive (and sometimes reflective) information in the CPD log means I can include more information than the statement which is helpful for me to remember what I did and why, and also might help the assessors understand more too. One assessor recently tweeted this as a recommendation:
@joeyanne Great stuff Jo. Also worth mentioning folk can use the CPD log for in depth reflection. That unhelpfully named “description” box!
— Pam Martindale (@MartindalePam) September 28, 2015
Update development plan
One of the things I started during Chartership and have continued to update since is my development plan. It’s kept in a spreadsheet in Google Drive so accessible and editable from anywhere, and I update it each month to help me stay focused on the right sort of CPD activities. My plan includes my identified training/development needs, activities I intend to do, the anticipated outcome, and an idea of timescale. Once an activity is completed I mark it as such (I use italics, grey text, and hide the row), if it’s no longer relevant I remove it, and I add in any additional ideas. Reviewing it on a monthly basis gives me the opportunity to review what I’m currently focusing on and make any necessary amendments. I’ve found this really useful for helping me plan and prioritise my CPD activities.
If there have been any major changes (e.g. a new qualification, finished project, or presentations/publications), I make sure to update my profiles and documents. This includes:
- My CV (in Word/PDF form, and on my website)
- My LinkedIn profile (and, where relevant, other social media profiles)
- My presentations and workshops page on my website
- My publications page on my website
- My ‘events attended’ document – a list of all the events I’ve attended, presented at, or organised (this is incredibly useful when you need examples for things like applications and interviews)
It may seem quite a lot to do when it’s all written out like this, but my monthly updates usually take around an hour, and it’s well worth it as it’s much easier to do whilst it’s relatively fresh, and means things are always kept up-to-date so I don’t have to do much to it if I’m applying for funding or a voluntary position.
Each year I do a larger review, though to be honest it doesn’t take long (perhaps a couple of hours) because my monthly updates keep me up-to-date. The annual review is more reflective, and allows me to think about where I’m at now, what I’ve achieved over the last year, and what I’d like to achieve over the next year. I use this to feed into my annual review at work. I review my priorities for areas to develop, and once I’ve agreed my areas to develop with my manager, I update my development plan. This review of priorities is where I find the PKSB (CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base) useful; at present I don’t complete it every year (I just use it to help me consider areas for development), but I’m considering adding this to my process as I think annual snapshots may be good. I plan to submit my Revalidation for the previous year after my annual review at work.
If you’re interested in more information about planning your professional development, please check out my workshop slides for The Professional Development Cycle which has more detailed information about the processes I use and some hints and tips.
How do you record your CPD activities? Do you have any tips to share? Please share in the comments if so.