CILIP rebrand part two – aka for the love of ‘qualifications’

I had not intended to follow up my previous post with another but the disaster* that has been the CILIP corporate rebranding exercise has perhaps allowed for just as big an issue to go seemingly unnoticed.
This elephant in the room is what is happening to CILIP Qualifications.  Firstly, I will admit it’s not all bad but this just seems to make it even more disconcerting, the PKSB is good (as I’ve already suggested) and the simplifications in process make sense.   So what’s bad then?  Well…
  1. Fixed time (20 hours) for CPD – many members will know the problems this causes in their industries.  Lawyers, accountants, teachers and many more have professions backed by timesheet driven box ticking – no focus on learning outcomes or application of learning in the workplace or other professional activity.  Building a portfolio of evidence can be a pain but if we genuinely want reflective practitioners, working from a strong research basis, then portfolios are far better than saying ‘yep I’ve attended a course for two hours’.  This time driven approach is also difficult in light of 70/20/10 and other models which recognize the fuzziness of informal learning.  Again a portfolio, which for many people will be based on a blog they are maintaining anyway, allows for better recognition, articulation and reflection of and on learning.  I presume this is a change to encourage members to re-validate chartered status rather than doing it once and then letting it lapse, I fear it will simply water down the status of the ‘chartered’ role.  Of course a name change, from CILIP, within the rebrand may do this anyway.
  2. “Registration” – from primary school to Ellis Island this implies, to me, something you have to do.  Something you are forced into to make sure a greater power is aware you exist.  This is not how I envision my professionalism.  It is a tricky one, granted, but why not ‘career path’, ‘development path’, etc?  Perhaps the logic is that new professionals can be told to ensure they are ‘professionally registered’.  However, it again implies something you are doing for the good of CILIP rather than yourself.
* I’m taking “disaster” as the correct term on the basis that:
  • it has split the membership (the General Meeting vote being roughly 50/50) and undoubtedly alienated many people (the c.90% of members who did not vote).
  • correctly singled out on JISCmail lists and elsewhere as how not to perform change or communication management.
  • seemingly led to CILIP HQ being on the defensive and even less representative of the members than normal; the decision to call on branches and groups to support the rebrand seemed particularly odd as branches should be the conduit for membership concerns, not the other way around.
  • it even led to a horribly tabloid piece in The Times.
What does this all mean – well it encourages me to become even more withdrawn from the organization.  Indeed I may well fall into the ‘paying my dues and revalidating for the sake of it’ group I hint at above.  Amazing that a group I had such enthusiasm for six or so years ago can sap it away from you quite so impressively.

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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