Getting chartered – what to expect from the CIPR Chartership Assessment

by Sally Ellson |

Why get chartered?

Around 6 months ago I took part in the CIPR Chartered Assessment Day.  This wasn’t an easy decision and with the next CIPR Assessment Day just around the corner, I thought there may well be some fellow PRs out there wondering whether taking the plunge to #getchartered is worthwhile?

Well, whatever your occupation might be, gaining chartered status is a quality mark of your experience, skills and your technical expertise. For me becoming a Chartered PR Practitioner sends a message to our clients, my industry peers and my colleagues that I have reached a high level of professionalism and knowledge in my career.

Don’t be a scaredy cat!

You would think after almost 20 years in PR and Comms I would be confident in my own abilities, however to go up against my fellow PR professionals and be judged, and potentially fail, was nerve-wracking.  Plus, I had the added pressure that two other members of the spotty pack, Lisa and Rachel had already gained chartered status!

It’s all about the prep

They say it’s all about the preparation, but getting chartered isn’t about reading books and staying up all night cramming (thank goodness!).  Around two weeks before the assessment day you will receive the pre-read documents for you to digest and research.  I made notes and thought about some examples I could share on the day.

The day of the assessment arrived.  On meeting the other delegates, all like me mad enough to be taking part, I was immediately put at ease.  We were all feeling as apprehensive as each other, all questioning why we were there and dreaming of the celebratory (fingers crossed) glass of wine we were visualising at the end of the day!

The assessment day is tough.  It’s an intense set of debates across three different subject areas –  which are all equally thought provoking and challenging.  Each debate is lead by a different CIPR assessor.  We were lucky enough to have both Ella Minty and Emma Leech be our honorary judges on the day.

You can prepare (to ease the nerves) but my one piece of advice would be the day is about drawing on your work life experience and trusting in your knowledge.  Plus, the bonus is you are not in this alone, your assessment group work together to bring the discussion alive and as a result showcase all your skills to the assessors.

The results are in!

After a full day of assessment there’s a tense wait for the results (worthy of the X-Factor final!) and a chance to complete your two-year CPD plan. Luckily for me, I can now officially say I am a Chartered PR Practitioner. Don’t get me wrong the #getchartered day was a rigorous test, but rightly so, as it gives you a real sense of achievement and a paw-some PR badge of honour!