There are very few jobs that you join and then never receive any additional training. If you are entering a profession then your development would be seen as an essential part of your work. So why in communication and PR roles do we see it differently?
My partner is a lifeguard and has to undergo regular training and testing to ensure he is fit for the job. I work alongside police officers who have their skills and knowledge tested in many ways on a regular basis. When I started my working life as a journalist I was indentured which meant 18 months of training, learning and testing.
But as a PR and communication professional I could spend the whole of my career doing nothing about my own training and development with no obvious affect.
We have to change views and perceptions of the work we do and show the professionalism. It can only be possible if we show continued learning and development. When people join the business they should understand that commitment to their own development is expected.
Companies and organisations should look at the professional development undertaken by candidates or agency staff and take it into account when hiring. Why would you want to employ someone who isn’t keeping up to date with developments and issues? Communication is a fast moving and fast paced business and if you want to be part of it you need to keep on top of changes.
I was delighted to be able to shadow the assessors undertaking the latest Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) chartered practitioner assessment day today. People taking part were keen to demonstrate their ability and their commitment to professional development. I am still proud of achieving chartered status even 16 months later. It is something people should be working towards wherever possible.
Finally, huge congratulations to all those who have now earned the right to call themselves chartered practitioners. Time to celebrate your achievement tonight.