Upping the value of CILIP Revalidation

A mere month ago I blogged about my latest CILIP revalidation after a covid induced hiatus.

My experience was that revalidation submissions normally disappear into the ether for a while before you get something back saying “well done” and offering a few ideas of things to consider doing in the coming year. My 2020 submission I just got “well done and let us know if you want feedback”. Why would I not want the feedback? So I duly asked and got some interesting pointers in return.

This year I quickly received a reponse “delighted” with my submission and confirming all was well. I thought I would ask again if there was any feedback. Sadly this time there is not – not least because it had not been reviewed. Eh? Not reviewed? The position now (and for a little while) has been that only 5% of submissions will be reviewed. This is down to a rising number of submissions (good news) and the time it would take to review them all (bad news). The challenge this presents for me is that on a 5% basis I might only expect to have my submissions reviewed every 20 years. So that could be once a career even for folk less ancient than myself!

Recognising the capacity challenge of having them reviewed by a, doubtless, small group (and, if I am honest, the low impact of the feedback I received) what could we imagine that would make better use of this opportunity? To clarify first – the process of completing revalidation is a worthwhile one regardless. Looking back across a period, having a record of some of the stuff you got up to and considering how you went on and used things is “good stuff”. But how to improve?

The idea I put forward to CILIP was for them to facilitate a Randomised Coffee Trial type arrangement. It might look a little like this:

  • Revalidators agree to be paired with someone submitting from another sector (same sector might be a bit too close to home)
  • Submissions are exchanged and read over (CILIP can still sample 5% for whatever the full review looks like)
  • Participants meet – likely online but in person if handy / agreeable – and have a discussion about what the other person made of their CPD and plans

There could be real benefits in getting some fresh external input, meeting people outside your network and hearing more about how they work / consider their development. It would not cost very much at all and would increase the personal value people would already have achieved through their submission. I would be surprised if anyone is revealing any state secrets in their submissions but light redaction could take place before exchange.

Curious as to whether this would appeal to anyone else? Or if others have bright ideas in this area?

Obligatory MJ Hibbett & the Validators song – only one I found that mentions coffee!