Monday, 4 June 2012

Structuring my portfolio

Well it's the long Jubilee weekend, I am off work for four days, how better to spend a gloomy Monday than building up my Chartership portfolio? The path to Chartership has been rather rocky so far - there always seems to be something else I need (or want) to do...but if I don't get cracking the whole year will have slipped away and my Chartership portfolio will remain nothing more than a blank white page!

I have at least written my PPDP, attended a Chartership workshop at CILIP in February and had a meeting with my mentor at the end of April. I find now I need some kind of structure, something tangible which I can populate with evidence. Unlike some Chartership candidates I have no shortage of evidence - it's just choosing what areas to focus on and selecting the most appropriate evidence to demonstrate my competence. My mentor had the excellent idea of looking at the new CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge and Skills (currently still in draft) and choosing a few of these competences to provide some structure to my portfolio but I have to admit I'm struggling...

I have two excellent example portfolios to hand which my mentor lent me but they are both structured very differently. Both start out with the usual CV, PPDP and Personal Statement but then Portfolio 1 has chosen the section headers "Context of post and service" where she outlines the various organisations relating to her job from the top down, "Service performance and CPD" where she discusses various aspects of her job role and finally "Broader professional activities and interests" listing a number of groups in which she actively participates. Portfolio 1 puts all her supporting evidence at the end of the document and refers to them throughout the sections above.

Portfolio 2 also has a section where he discusses the organisational structures, but this is followed by the headings "Intellectual property and professional ethics", "Information services", "Website development", "Library management system: scoping and implementation" and "Staff training I have developed". The supporting evidence is displayed within these sections. The only other obvious difference is that Portfolio 1 has her mentorship evidence at the beginning while Portfolio 2 has his at the end.

I think I prefer the structure of P1 but would worry about being too descriptive. The structure of P2 is closer to my mentor's BPKS idea but I wouldn't want to feel I had to force various activities into certain 'slots'. Perhaps what I need to do now is gather together all the evidence I want to use and see what categories emerge - if it fits into the BPKS competences all well and good but if not I could maybe refer to the BKPS when reflecting on it. In any case I want to get the structure right from the beginning as it will make the portfolio more 'real' to me, which hopefully should encourage me to keep cracking on!

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