It is just over a week since I went through the challenge of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) chartered day. In a week there will be a group of very nervous people on the next chartered day in London. Achieving chartered status is something that I have been focused on for the last couple of years. I was delighted that I achieved chartered status and wanted to share some thoughts for anyone else thinking about it or preparing for the day.
Chartered status is recognition of reaching a required standard and shows a commitment to development. I struggle to understand why people would not want to do continue to develop. It doesn’t matter what level you are in the organisation or team you should be looking to keep your skills up-to-date and to improve what you do. Undertaking some form of study or qualification is important for anyone employing or engaging public relations support.
If you have decided to go for the chartered day then I wish you good luck. It is a tough day, and I know it should be otherwise it would be devalued. Be prepared that you will be exhausted at the end of it. I found it to be a really draining day and quite emotionally challenging.
The key for me is to prepare. Ask people who have successfully been through the process for their hints and tips, and make sure you check out your CPD plan with a few people before taking it with you. Read through the scenarios you have been sent a few times and be clear about what they are saying and what you think about what they are saying. More than that you need to have examples from your career that are relevant to the scenario under discussion.
What you really need to do before the assessment is to have some thinking time. Time when you can consider what is important to you and why, and how it relates to the competencies being tested, is essential. Understanding the competencies and how they relate to your work will help in your preparation. Keep some key notes at hand that will help you if you suddenly have a mental block.
Remember that everyone on the assessment day is in the same position. I didn’t feel like it was a competition it was more about how we could bounce ideas off each other. Everyone was nervous, worried and concerned but you can support each other. I was in a lovely group and made some friends during the tough day.
Above all, try to keep calm and remain focused throughout the day. It is quite rightly a challenging day and if you aren’t successful then there will be a reason. The good thing is that you can get right back in and try again. It is worth it and I am still smiling when I look at the certificate.
Good luck to anyone taking part in the London chartered day in a week’s time.