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!

Revalidation VIII – woah boy

Remember February 2020? When I last posted to this blog? I think we can safely say plans got a little disrupted after that. Accordingly I am not going to hold my feet to the flames for a lack of progress on the elusive FCLIP. Nor am I going to criticise myself for taking a year off the revalidation loop.

It was good to conduct some CPD archeology on my diary to look at what I got up to inbetween Teams meetings and washing my hands over the past two years. Like many people Covid was the hot date in my diary but this proved particularly the case as I was responsible for reopening the physical libraries after a closed period across the whoe university back at the start of time (March 2020). This was a huge challenge. In hindsite it had the benefit of requiring absolute focus on a single very clear aim which is something that can be hard to find in the regular hurly burly of work.

I did a lot of learning around questions of antiracism and inequality in the workplace with a LibraryJuice course an intense but rewarding option.

The barrage of Teams meetings left me reluctant to go to some of the conferences I might usually have enjoyed due to their revised online formats. I spoke at RLUK 2021 (delayed from March 2020 ahem) – a lightning talk on Working in partnership in Sierra Leone. This was a dispiriting experience with zero visual feedback leaving me feeling I might as well have been muttering to myself. I enjoyed some of the talks but without being there it was ultimately a disappointment – certainly no substitute for a trip to the Wellcome or Edinburgh.

I enjoyed writing an article of sorts for HILJ in memory of Shane Godbolt – “‘Moving Forward’: how health librarians can continue supporting the legacy of Shane Godbolt“. A reminder to us all of the power of networking, professional development and of how we all gain by helping others.

Hilj.club had a tough 2020 grinding to a halt under the pressure of Covid and only resuming a year later. For all that it picked up views and readers in 2020 and saw pleasing growth in 2021. I remain a little unsure if the format works. Perhaps people are just over commenting on blogs? In any case – I think it is a valuable little contribution and worth the URL fee / a bit of time.

Also on my plate has been the design of a new library for one of the hospital campuses – the enjoyment of laying things out and devising what promises to be a compact but desirable space somewhat under mined by the many meetings considering risks.

While I was looking the other way CILIP updated the Revalidation process with a new template to work to. It feels a shame to me that the previously required brief reflective statement has gone – there really is reason for people to not complete this annual review exercise now this slightly tricky element has been excised.

So what did I learn in the (ongoing) covid nightmare? We can achieve things we thought impossible – and quite quickly. That thing about self compassion and not being able to pour from an empty cup really is true. I like being mobile during my day. I love working in central London. People are more irrational than I want to acknowledge. Good bread is an investment worth making. Virtual meetings are less fun than real ones. You can reduce the extent to which Teams bugs you. I should have joined a running club years ago – AKA make time for the things you really want to do. That’ll do for today.

I normally add an MJ Hibbett and the Validators song on the end of these posts but in honour of it dominating my playlist you can have a bit of Nation of Language instead.

Revalidation VII – more stuff – still no FCLIP

Here we are again – another year older and still Revalidating rather than finishing my FCLIP off.

Efforts on that front were derailed by some fairly hefty restructuring at work (all be it with very positive outcomes that I will need to reflect on here sometime).  I probably spent rather too much time on new fun bits of development also which tends to get in the way of the formal reflecting / writing up side.

Despite the frustration caused by needing to haul the info from my previous Revalidations out of the old CILIP VLE I have to say the new submission process is an improvement.  The form was fine to use and will be handy for future reference.

Highlights of the year include

  • Setting up the new #HILJClub website and seeing participation pick up
  • Writing an editorial for HILJ on #HILJClub with Tom
  • Speaking at UHMLG on messing up
  • Hearing Prof Maria Musoke speak at the celebration of her honorary FCLIP (love a bit of Ranganathan)
  • Speaking up for public libraries at my District Council cabinet
  • Delivering a HINARI workshop with a Research4Life grant in Sierra Leone (badly need to blog this one – speaking on it next month at RLUK Conference!)

I have a new mentor for FCLIP and a new target.  I think this is going to be the year…

Mandatory MJ Hibbett and the Validators

Revalidation VI – making a push

A new record for making my MCLIP revalidation submission early in the year.  Why the haste to reflect on 2018?  My experience over the past few years is that the sooner it is done then the more straightforward it is to remember what happened.

The other driver is that last year I promised an FCLIP submission for 2018. This has not come to pass (yet) but has resulted in me being that bit more organised with my logging and reflecting throughout the year.  One last push this time so I can report on how Fellowship went rather than making excuses this time next year!

I have had lots of interesting experiences over the course of the past year including continuing to push the joy of metrics (and annual action plans) at EAHIL and UHMLG.  I got tangled up in the national procurement for NHS databases and conversations around a potential discovery tool.  There was more UX fun at work and some less fun organisational shenanigans.

Brilliant was managing to link my support for health libraries in Africa to the goals of my service which has seen me help organise a stakeholder day for the fantastic folks at African Hospital Libraries, raise a few quid for them (donations welcome till 8/3/2019) and make a bid for Research4life funds to run some HINARI training in Sierra Leone (bid result awaited!).

A good year as M J Hibbett & the Validators reflect on their classic “We Validate” album track “Mental Judo” – “I’m going to enjoy it for what it is – Not for what it isn’t”


Revalidation – V

Email from CILIP confirming that my revalidation for 2017 has gone through safely.  I was successful in my plan to get this done earlier in the year.  This reflects both being used to the system and the added pressure of working on a submission for Fellowship.

2017 was a hectic year professionally (though you would not know it from this blog where it has mostly been the Journal Club activity that got written up).  I was lucky enough to attend EAHIL for the first time and spoke there on my work on metrics. It was great to go to a wider conference and hear about some of the interesting developments in the use of text and data mining for search.  I have a stack of photos of the brutalist Berkeley Library at Trinity College to share at some point.

I learnt a lot about feedback delivering both LibQUAL+ and LibUX representing rather different approaches to hearing from library users.  Without wishing to completely dismiss LibQUAL+ I think LibUX is likely to offer a richer forward path.  It is so much more flexible, immediate and powerful.

I was lucky enough to learn from inspirational folk on an NHS LKS leadership programme. Not sure I have ever done quite so many tools looking at understanding my style, preferences and so on before.  I am not sure I feel very different for it but I do have some more tools and excellent contacts.

Fellowship submission this year!

This years celebratory Mj Hibbett and the [re] Validators number is “Do the indie kid”


Revalidation is the name of the game

As Depeche Mode didn’t say.

Another years CPD (2016) safely logged away and submitted to CILIP for the Revalidation Assessors.  Slightly worried that it is almost time to sort out the 2017 log.

Highlights? Talking Metrics at HLG2016 in Scarborough where I got to meet a number of colleagues previously known only from twitter and by their good work.  Hearing Sherry Turkle on Reclaiming Conversation with lots of food for thought on how we interact online and in person.  I also ended up getting involved with work around evaluation frameworks with Sharon Markless which was a real eye opener.

Definitely need to get the Revalidation done earlier next year as it really is a bit far away for some of it already. Given the lack of blogposts of late I will have some reflecting to do.

This years MJ Hibbett and the Validators tune is Lesson of the Smiths – enjoy!

Revalidation – going for the threepeat

Spookily almost a year to the day since I last submitted I have once again completed the documents to revalidate my MCLIP.

I hope the current discussions at CILIP will finally see the launch of the online register of practitioners the long overdue public face of revalidation.

It has been another packed year professionally with a host of new conferences, visits, LibUX, Metrics and more. Plenty to reflect on! If anyone wants to talk revalidation do give me a shout – happy to talk you through it.

This years mandatory revalidation celebratory tune from MJ Hibbett and the Validators is – Things will be different when I’m in charge from the Album “This is not a library”

Revalidation submission celebratory post

With only a slight hiccup due to my previous submission not having been marked as passed (rapidly rectified by Member Services) I have finally got round to submitting my CILIP Revalidation based on 2014 CPD activity.

It was great to take the time to reflect on a fairly hectic year. HLG conference was a highlight. I also felt the journal club I ran with colleagues at work was an excellent way to learn.

I was surprised quite how many libraries I visited in my travels.

I have not had a chance to join one of the seminars on obligatory revalidation but I am happy that it is a useful process for me.

This years celebratory tune from MJ Hibbett (minus the (re)validators) is a cover of Boom Shake the Room – enjoy!

Obligatory CILIP revalidation and the change to make it worthwhile

A really important change is being proposed by CILIP to revalidation.  2015 is going to see discussions culminating in a member ballot (October) proposing that Revalidation become obligatory for those with Certification, Chartership or Fellowship.  Read all about it and then come back.

I was confused at first skim as to what the point was – obligatory but non compulsory Revalidation would make little difference.  The new scheme for Revalidation is in my view a good thing (see We (re)validate for my take) but many have shrugged or not looked too closely expecting something highly onerous / pointless. I didn’t see how the change to obligatory Revalidation would alter this.

But then someone pointed out the inclusion of a public Register of Practitioners.  This makes it a useful change.

The Register will give people a way to have the professional body confirm to anyone that they are in membership and actively engaged in CPD.  It will definitely encourage people to have a closer look at Revalidation (and hopefully give it a try).  It has the knock on effect of stopping people claiming membership levels they do not hold when applying for things.

I have been proposing something like this in all the many CILIP consultations of recent years so it is great to see it potentially coming into place.  I would like something that went further – providing an online location for sharing professional roles and activity.  Sort of like a LinkedIn profile but without it the spam and being spotted doing “library” good (thanks to the 15 people who have endorsed me for this to date!).  But this is would be a great start.

I look forward to the debate!

Hello 2015

So I had grand plans to kick off 2015 at a fast pace cracking on with all sorts of plans.  Then I caught some sort of lurgy and basically conked out.  Now that I am recovered it is time to make a start. So plans…

I enjoyed popping things on this blog so that will continue.

I will carry on with the catch up on the ClLIP Update backlog (I have one in my bag that I read before Christmas still awaiting thoughts here).  I plan to expand on this by looking closely at an article from each issue of HILJ and hopefully getting some conversation going around this.

After the successful revalidation for my 2013 CPD I will repeat the process for 2014.  As part of this I want to complete the PKSB.

I am looking forward to running a couple of workshops at the UKSG Conference.

I will have my first written exam for some time for the AKC and need to get serious on the reading front for this.

I want to work out a potential writing project but not going to commit myself publicly on this at present.

That seems enough to be getting on with!