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Information Scotland

The Journal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

ISSN 1743-5471

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December 2005 Volume 3 (6)

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland


Delivering a quality product

Cathy Kearney explores how the redeveloped Continuing Professional Development Programme (CPD) is meeting the needs of CILIPS members.

In 2004, a sub group of the Membership Services Committee of CILIPS Council was tasked to review CILIPS’ CPD programme and make recommendations on its relaunch. In August of that year, the Education Review Group, as it was called, reported its findings to Council.

Readers may recall that the fact-finding consultation process carried out by the Group took a detailed look at CILIPS’ product, customers and market place. We asked members:
>>What were they looking for in a CPD product?
>>Did they like the current product?
>>What improvements would they suggest?
>>What were they prepared to pay for attendance at training events?

Our investigation revealed that CILIPS members need and expect CPD to be provided by their professional association. Moreover, our members articulated very clearly the view that CILIPS CPD can best serve them by providing training for ‘core’ subjects and leaving specialist training to CILIP groups, employers and specialist providers.

Members had clear ideas about what a restyled CPD programme should be striving to achieve. It should:
>>Be reasonably priced
>>Help members develop new skills where required
>>Help members gain evidence for promotion, chartership or revalidation
>>Provide certificates of attendance
>>Offer networking opportunities

CILIPS studied all the consultation feedback and worked hard to develop a new kind of product for members in line with their needs and expectations. During a training needs analysis across the sectors we asked members to identify which ‘core’ skills we should concentrate on and translated this information into an annual programme which includes topics ranging from ‘An introduction to metadata’ to ‘Bidding for funds and resources’.

So how does the new CPD programme differ from what went before? Previously CILIPS offered a mix of specialised and general skills training in a one-day workshop setting (usually limited to around 16 places) with a single trainer. Our new programme offers training in a one-day conference or seminar format and is delivered by up to four renowned professional experts and specialists. As well as expert presentations each event includes panel discussions, question and answer forums, certificates of attendance and networking opportunities. Groups have offered their enthusiastic support for the new programme and have helped with promoting events, chairing events and inputting into the curriculum.

Each event in the CILIPS CPD Programme is designed to:
>>Appeal to all sectors
>>Encourage discussion, debate and participation
>>Offer value added benefits such as further reading, specialist handouts
>>Have clear associations with the profession from corporate design to conference pack inserts and choice of speaker
>>Adhere to a regular time pattern so members know what to expect

Our ‘one-day event’ format is proving very popular with members and non-members alike since we’ve done our best to keep attendance costs as low as possible without compromising on quality. In order to do this we run each event to a 50 delegate capacity and charge non-members a little more for their attendance (although we do offer attendees the opportunity to join the professional association!).

How can you find out more about the CPD programme? Again we’ve listened to member feedback and used this as the basis for our promotional mix. A key element in our marketing strategy was to keep costs down so we had to ensure we could make potential delegates aware of our CPD programme in the most cost-effective and cost-efficient manner.

All our events are publicised on SLAINTE. Details are sent to a variety of JISCMAIL lists (you might recall being encouraged a few issues ago to join the LIS-Scotland mailing list for library news across Scotland). Flyers for forthcoming events are placed in CILIP Conference packs and also in conference packs for events organised by partners such as SLIC. We contact previous attendees, place notices in Gazette and Information Scotland and rely also on word of mouth.

In conclusion, we want to ensure a high quality of service to our members so we are proactively measuring customer satisfaction levels and using ongoing research to keep us in touch with changing needs. Continuous monitoring and review means we can respond quickly to tweak and tune our product in line with customer demands and preferences and retain confidence in a member determined quality product. IS

Cathey Kearney, Assistant Director, CILIPS.

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Information Scotland Vol. 3 (6) December 2005

© Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland

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Last updated: 01-Feb-2006