I attended an Introduction to CILIP Mentoring course on Friday 27 February at Aston University. CILIP is the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, and it offers a Professional Registration Scheme, whereby members can be recognised as Certified, Chartered or Fellows. (I am a Chartered Member (MCLIP), having achieved my professional recognition in 2002, under very different chartership regulations). All candidates on CILIP’s new professional registration scheme are required to have a Mentor.
The course was organised CILIP’s West Midlands Member Network – although a similar one is now being hosted by the East Midlands Member Network on Thursday 23 April at De Montfort University. It was run by Carol Brooks and Gill Colbourne, who are CILIP’s Mentor Support Officers for the East and West Midlands respectively. The course was attended by delegates from academic (higher and further education), public and government library sectors. The course was delivered in two halves: the morning session was an introduction to mentoring skills, and the afternoon session covered CILIP’s professional registration scheme requirements.
The morning session aimed to define mentoring, and how it differed from managing and coaching. It also examined ‘effective listening’ and ‘powerful questioning’ skills. We had an opportunity to try out our new skills in role plays (a personal horror), which highlighted how hard it is to resist the urge to ‘parent’ your mentee, and tell them what to do. We also looked at how to establish a good mentor/mentee relationships, and focussed on initial meetings, shared expectations and confidentiality.
The afternoon session focused more on CILIP’s professional registration process including the how to find a mentor, the mentoring agreement, the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB), and a personal development plan. We also looked at the portfolio, evaluative statement and assessment criteria, and had an opportunity to review a weak evaluative statement.
The course was enjoyable and thought provoking, and it made me question my own professional development, as much as my desire to help others develop their own. At the course, I learned that CILIP are propsing to make revalidation obligatory, and this has since been reported in CILIP’s Update. I have been considering revalidation for many years – it was part of my annual appraisal way back in 2008, but got sidelined by a baby (who is now 6 years old). I have since submitted my revalidation (a log of my continuing professional development and a 250 reflective statement), which was a fairly quick and painless procedure.
So where do I go from here? Well I plan to register as a CILIP mentor in the Summer, once my workload has eased a little. I’m also considering starting on my own path to Fellowship …