With the CIPR CPD deadline fast approaching, we’ve been reflecting on all the learning activities our team have been involved with over the last year on their journeys to becoming Accredited and Chartered PR Practitioners. From attending meetings, webinars, reading whitepapers to listening to podcasts, completing our CPD cycles helps us to make sure we are always learning about the ever-evolving world of PR.
Working in the PR industry, it’s highly likely you will already be aware that The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK. However, you may not be as familiar with the CIPR chartership, what it means, the benefits of it, how you will be assessed and what you can expect from the assessment day.
After passing all three ‘Assessed Competencies’ to achieve her chartership last month, our Head of Press Office, Humairaa Tedds, shares her insight to help you on your professional development journey.
What is a chartership?
A chartership is a formal qualification that is awarded to someone in recognition of a particular level of competence in their professional field. It is awarded by the individual’s relevant professional body or learned society.
Achieving chartership with the CIPR demonstrates your PR and communications experience, your strategic and leadership capabilities, and your commitment to ethical practice through the CIPR Code of Conduct.
Once you pass the assessment, the CIPR encourages you to use the ‘Chart.PR’ post nominal designation as it is aimed to provide a badge of professionalism that your colleagues, clients and the public understand and trust.
You can find out here if you’re eligible to apply.
What are the benefits?
- Recognition of Professionalism: CIPR chartership demonstrates to peers and the wider industry that you have met a high standard of knowledge and experience in the field of PR. This recognition can enhance your reputation and your consultancy to in-house or external clients and help you stand out in a competitive job market.
- Career Development: CIPR chartership is a valuable tool for career development, demonstrating a commitment to advancing knowledge and skills in the PR industry. Employers often look for candidates with chartership status when hiring for senior PR roles, increasing chances of selection for promotions within an organisation. It can also help employers attract and retain the best talent, showcasing a commitment and investment to learning and development.
- Continuing Professional Development: The CIPR requires its chartered members to engage in ongoing professional development to maintain their status. This ensures that members stay up to date with the latest industry trends and best practices and continue to develop their knowledge and skills.
- Networking Opportunities: The CIPR offers a range of networking opportunities for its members, including events, conferences, and online forums. Chartership can help build connections with other PR professionals and relationships valuable for career development and knowledge-sharing.
How will I be assessed?
After signing up to a Chartership Assessment day, you will be sent through joining instructions, a handbook, assessment questions, case studies/articles and any other sources to help you prepare around two weeks before the day.
- Joining instructions: If, like me, you always have lots of questions and want to know the plan for an assessment day in advance, the joining instructions document is perfect. It details how to join on to the online assessment (covering all the IT/logistics), as well as the timetable for the day detailing the order of the sessions on Ethics, Strategy and Leadership.
- The Chartered Handbook: This was my go-to guide during my preparation. It explains the detail you need to know about becoming a Chartered PR Practitioner and most importantly, what the assessors are looking for, how you can be awarded positive points or be marked down and the assessed skills and competencies for each session.
- The case studies: You will be provided with three case studies/articles to read in the context of the assessed competencies with a list of questions intended to get you thinking about the discussion on the day.
What can I expect on the assessment day?
- Start and finish: My assessment day started at 9:30am and finished at 4:30pm, with two half an hour breaks and a one hour lunch break.
- Groups: The capacity for online assessments is 10 people. On my assessment day, we were separated into two groups, with my group of five together the whole day for our joint discussions, lead by one of two assessors on the day.
- Sessions: The sessions are insightful and interesting, but also intense. Everything in the process is assessed against a range of skills and competencies, so you need to ensure your responses articulate these to ensure you can proceed to the next session.
- Feedback: We were given individual feedback in alphabetical order, by surname, so I had a little wait before I was invited to a breakout room and told I had successfully passed all three sessions by the lead assessor and was now a Chartered PR practitioner!
Any other tips?
- Preparation is key: Read the articles thoroughly, read related material and revisit any experiences you have linked to the sessions/topics. The assessors will be looking for you to draw on specific examples to demonstrate your knowledge and experience so make notes of these to help you remember relevant information.
- Use the breaks well: After a quick 5-10 minutes to freshen up and grab a snack, I used the remainder of my two half an hour breaks and one-hour lunch break to go over my revision notes and prepare for the next session.
- Quality, not quantity: be clear and concise in your responses. In my experience, candidates who responded concisely and in line with the assessed competencies came across the strongest.
- PR it! Shortly after passing, the CIPR will email you a congratulatory note with social assets to share your good news. Add Chart.PR to your name on your professional channels and post about your success to strengthen your reputation and get the recognition you deserve!
All in all, I enjoyed the whole process and would definitely recommend it to eligible PRs. It was an intense but rewarding day and it feels great to know the skills I use every day are to the CIPR standard for Chartered Practitioners. It was interesting to hear from peers in different industries, expand my professional network and join an esteemed community of over 500 Chartered PR Practitioners!