Last month I took the plunge to become Chartered. It was one of the most tiring, yet utterly rewarding days of professional development I have ever experienced.
So, what does it entail?
CIPR Chartership is the gold standard of professionalism in public relations practice. For me, it was the natural next step in demonstrating my commitment to my career, following on from being accredited for five years running.
To take part you need to meet the eligibility criteria, and you choose which Chartership Assessment Day you want to attend, where you will be rigorously assessed on your skills, knowledge and competency in strategy, leadership and ethics.
Ahead of the day you are provided with a case study for each assessment area, and a series of questions to get you thinking about the topic.
How should you prepare?
- Plot prep time in your diary – at least half a day, plus a weekend. I’ll echo here what others have said – you need to get enough time in your diary to prepare so you feel confident walking through the door and holding your own in all three conversations. But not too much that everything you speak about sounds rehearsed.
- Read the case studies and think around the questions.
- Don’t stop there though, read around the subject, draw on your own experiences
- Complete your 2-Year CPD plan after your prep, as you’ll better identify gaps in your knowledge base
My top tip (courtesy of Emily Osborne) is to prepare an A4 sheet of paper with 8 post-it notes for each session, which covered:
- My overall thoughts on the case study
- Headline answers to the questions
- My own examples, and if I haven’t experienced something in the case study, how would I handle?
- Other industry examples
You can take anything in with you into the room on the day – some take reams of prep, others take nothing. I found it helpful to have one of the below prepared for each conversation, which meant I had handy prompts to demonstrate my skills and competence.
How do you know you’re ready?
I’d been thinking about getting Chartered for almost two years and in April it became one of my developmental objectives as part of my appraisal. The reason I’d toyed around with the idea for so long was because I didn’t feel confident enough and the thought of failing, after being assessed by my peers, was quite frankly stomach churning.
I spoke to a number of people who had been through the process, read up as much as I could about what was expected from the day, and made a commitment to myself that I’d do it before Christmas.
This video with Sarah Pinch and Annette Spencer helped me gauge that it was the right time for me to do it:
Congratulations to the other people who passed the assessment to become Chartered practitioners:
• Caroline Black Chart.PR, FCIPR
• Stuart Bruce Chart.PR, FCIPR
• Matthew Davies Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Nicola Eyles Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Tom Howard Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Sara McCracken Chart.PR, MCIPR, DipCIPR
• Victoria Moffatt Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Sarah Roberts Chart.PR, MCIPR, DipCIPR
• Kathryn Robertson Ballotta Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Caroline Sharp Chart.PR, MCIPR
• Kevin Taylor Chart.PR, FCIPR
Jason MacKenzie FCIPR Found.Chart.PR, CIPR President said:
“Professional public relations is on the rise. We’re building a community of ethically competent, strategic professionals, with the judgement to positively influence organisations at the highest level.
I’d like to congratulate all of those who’ve passed today’s assessment. You are a credit to yourselves and the wider profession and collectively, you’ve taken us closer towards our ambition of becoming a predominantly chartered profession within 10 years.”
I am now incredibly proud to feature on the ever-growing list of PR pros who have become Chartered.