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Top Tips: Chartership

Chartership is one of CILIP’s Professional Registration levels. All 4 of the co-founders have completed the Chartership process, so we thought it was time that we shared our personal experience via some top tips! We strongly recommend attending a CILIP event before starting to work on Chartership and speaking to your mentor if you have any queries. That said here are our top tips on how to navigate the CPD seas whilst aboard that good ship, Charter.

"The Charter Ship" (Cutty Sark - Visit Greenwich )

“The Charter Ship” (Cutty Sark – Visit Greenwich )

The Chartership Portfolio:

Your Chartership portfolio will consist of the following (CILIP, 2014):

  • A CV – Your mentor will help you polish your CV but it is a good idea to update your CV and provide as much detail as possible before meeting your mentor. The CV will be quite detailed; focusing on your key skills and the skills you have gained throughout your work history.
  • A job description for your current role – You will need a copy of the most recent job description for your role.
  • PKSB assessment: First gap analysis– You complete this version at the beginning of your Chartership journey. The PKSB asks you to score your current self on a scale of 0—4 against different areas and then note your ideal score (of where you would like to be).
  • PKSB assessment; Second gap analysis– You complete this version at the end of the Chartership journey with the benefit of hindsight – so you will be able to identify what skills you have developed and any new skills you have gained during your Chartership journey. It is ok if you haven’t had chance to develop the skills you wanted to – the key thing here is to reflect.
  • Mentor/Mentee completion form – You complete this just before you are ready to submit your portfolio, it is you and your mentors opportunity to reflect on your Chartership journey. It’s similar to the reflection at the end of an annual review!
  • Evidence – your evidence demonstrates how you meet the assessment criteria.
  • Evaluative statement – this is a 1000 word statement that allows you to explain how you meet the assessment criteria. You can explain why you have selected your evidence. It is important to be reflective in your evaluative statement. CILIP share examples of evaluative statements, which are very helpful!


Once you have registered for Chartership and received your log in details, you will be able to access the CILIP resources you will need to complete Chartership:

  • The PKSB – The professional knowledge and skills base “outlines the broad range of skills that are required by workers across the library, information and knowledge profession” (CILIP, 2015)
  • VLE – you will have access to the Chartership course on CILIP’s VLE. This includes guidance on the Chartership process.
  • Mentor – you can download a list of potential mentors from the Chartership area on the VLE.

5 things to do to survive:

  • Manage your time – set yourself a deadline for completion. As there is no external deadline, it can be easy to allow the process to drag on (it took me [Siobhan] 14 months to complete my portfolio because life gets in the way! I started in October 2014 and wanted to finish by October 2015 but actually submitted in December 2015).
  • Collect your evidence – this can be blogposts, written reports, meeting minutes, email conversations, PowerPoint presentations, evidence of professional reading, Vines; anything that shows how you meet the assessment criteria! You can annotate your evidence, or just explain it as part of your evaluative statement. Remember there is a word limit on your evaluative statement, annotating evidence can help to ensure you don’t exceed the word limit.
  • Chase the positive feedback – I don’t know about you, but I (Amy) find it hard to take positive feedback or compliments, but that type of feedback is Chartership GOLD! So if a peer or colleague is praising you, leave your Britishness at the door and ask that person to email you with this praise so that you have a written record!
  • Ask permission – Don’t forget to ask permission from your work, colleagues and peers that they are happy for you to include information that they have sent to you in your portfolio e.g. check your boss is happy for you to include the email where they liken you to a genius.
  • Get it proof read by everyone – Your mentor will have helped to proof read your portfolio, but it is also a good idea to you ask your peers and colleagues to proof read your work. It could be that your work will need you to redact some information or mark it as confidential, so it always best to check!

You’re not alone!

Similar to a dissertation (see our Top Tips on dissertations), Chartership can feel isolating as you need to complete it by yourself and you might be the only person at your place of work who is working towards Chartership at that time. However, there is plenty of support out there:

  • #Chartership – The #Chartership chat on Twitter is an opportunity to voice any worries, queries or offer to support to people who are also completing Chartership at the same time.
  • Message board on the VLE – post your queries to the message board and fellow Chartership candidates and CILIP staff can respond.
  • Mentor – Your mentor is there to support to you through the process, they are a great sounding board!
  • Certification, Chartership Candidate Network Event – These events are held in different CILIP network areas throughout the year, you can find one in your local area via the CILIP events page.
  • Team up – If you are lucky enough to know someone who is starting Chartership at the same time as you, even if they work in a different library sector, it can be good to talk through your experiences.


  • Cost – currently the cost for Chartership is £100 (£50 to enrol and then £50 to submit).
  • Addendum – Once your submitted portfolio has been reviewed, you might be required to provide a short statement (500 approx.) expanding on one or two areas that the board feel you need to expand on. If you are asked to do this, don’t panic -you are not the only person to be asked to do this, you haven’t failed! Just contact your mentor and start work on your draft addendum!
  • Is it worth it? – Well, that’s subjective. There are benefits to Chartership such as reflecting on your skills and having a reason to be proactive in developing your skills throughout the years.
  • Revalidation – Chartered librarians are encouraged to revalidate annually. In order to revalidate you must record 20 hours of CPD and write a 250 word statement.  I find it useful to record my CPD on a spreadsheet using tabs to separate years (Helen). However there is also functionality on the VLE (which you can access once you register) for you to keep track of your CPD. Either way, recording your CPD will help when you come to revalidate as your evidence will be kept in one place.


CILIP, 2014. Chartership: A guide for members. [accessed online 11 10 2016]

CILIP, 2015. My professional knowledge and skills base. [accessed online 11 10 2016]


3 comments on “Top Tips: Chartership

  1. Pingback: The argument in favour of Chartership by Daniel Livesey | NLPN

  2. Pingback: What happens when a New Qualified (NQ) Health Librarian visits a biomedical research centre for a day? | NLPN

  3. Pingback: Top Tips: Continued professional development | NLPN

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2016 by in Top Tips and tagged , , , .

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