Having been in my Library Assistant post since 2016, I was keen to find a way in which I could develop myself professionally [outside of the various Library Assistant study days and general CPD activities]. A colleague told me about CILIP Certification and after doing some of my own research I knew this was the route I wanted to take.

The first step on my certification journey was to become a CILIP member. Once I was registered with CILIP I was then able to apply for professional registration [at Certification level]

Finding a mentor

This is usually the next step in the professional registration process. As I had already found a mentor before I’d formally started the Certification process for me this was a case of making a more formal agreement and having a first mentor-mentee meeting.

CILIP recommend that you choose a mentor that works in a different type of organisation to you. However, I did choose a mentor that works within the same organisation and I found this worked well for me [and hopefully my mentor too].
If you are looking into professional registration the CILIP website contains useful information on finding a mentor.

Assessing myself against the CILIP PKSB & identifying areas for improvement

I assessed my current skills against the CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base [PKSB] for Health and was able to identify five areas in which I wanted to improve my skills; customer service, collection promotion, reading literacy, social media and library information/knowledge technologies.

Gathering evidence and assembling my portfolio

Arguably the biggest part of my certification journey was collecting evidence to show how I had improved my skills against the areas identified within the PKSB.

On paper this sounded like it was going to be a mammoth task, however once I started looking through my CPD folder I was surprised at just how much evidence I had already gathered as a result of attending study days and even through carrying out my everyday job.

For me, writing reflectively about the evidence I had collected was the trickier part. There were times when I was worried that I wasn’t providing enough detail and would leave the assessors asking ‘and so what’ and then there were other times when I was worried that I was writing far too much. However, with the support of my mentor I was soon able to get into the swing of things and before I knew it I was able to start assembling my portfolio.

Submitting my portfolio

Once my portfolio was complete and signed off by my mentor I was ready to submit it to the CILIP Assessors. There is little point in writing about the submission process as CILIP are currently updating the Virtual Learning Environment [VLE] and so it’s likely to change.

I submitted my portfolio very recently and I’m now awaiting the outcome – wish me luck!

What have I learnt through completing Certification?

Completing the Certification process has boosted my confidence, helped me to network with colleagues across the library sector and given me the motivation to attend (and get involved with the planning of) conferences/events. The process has also given me the chance to improve and learn new skills.

Natasha Craigs
Library Assistant
The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust