Professional registration: The next step

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So after doing some initial planning, which I discussed in my first post on this topic, I went to have lunch with my mentor to finalize my Professional Training Plan for the next 12 months.

I’ve just realized that maybe not everyone is familiar with this idea of Professional Registration and what it involves here in New Zealand so just allow me to digress for a few minutes…

LIANZA Professional Registration

So I started the process with applying for LIANZA Professional Registration. Some of the benefits listed include:

  • increased professional status
  • one-on-one mentoring to guide your professional development in your first year
  • a framework and focus for ongoing training and development goals
  • an assurance for future employers, that a registered member meets professional standards of competency in the body of knowledge and ethics required for professional library and information work
  • proof of your commitment to professional growth and development
  • the right to use the letters “RLIANZA” after your name
  • International benchmarking and recognition of professional library qualifications for New Zealanders wishing to work overseas

I went Route A as I  finished my BA (Library & Information Studies & The Humanities) in June 2013. Because I had completed an accepted qualification, this step is fairly simple – basically gaining approval from the Board to go ahead. I am required to undertake a mentoring period of twelve months during which time I have to meet certain obligations. At the end of this 12 month period, once the Board has approved my record of completed training, then I will be a Registered LIANZA member (RLIANZA). This lasts for three years, at which point you are required to submit your revalidation journal.

Anyway…

So I got through the planning stage, and went to chat with my mentor about my Professional Training Plan which outlines the scope of my professional development activities over the next 12 months.

It was really useful to discuss my plan with her and see which BOKs (Body of Knowledge) components my plan met – as it needs to cover all 11 BOKs with at least one activity in each over this next year.

The key thing we talked about was keeping the plan as a loose framework. It’s challenging – particularly when starting a new job in about a month – to tie down everything I’m going to need to learn, or even which areas will be the most important. We ended up using my three role purposes from my new job description to guide the bulk of our planning:

  1. Manage, facilitate, and administer all aspects of the Library’s web presence and provide leadership in its enhancement
  2. Take primary responsibility for aspects of the digital research repository and services relating to the management of information
  3. Research, evaluate, develop and communicate new technologies likely to affect information provision and teaching and learning in higher education and provide training.

As I’ll be working in a small team, my role will also involve covering the reference desk and some aspects of circulation work. Because of this variety, I don’t need to worry too much as most of my work will naturally cover the bulk of the BOKs. There’s a few – BOK 1 (Information Environment, Policy & Ethics) and BOK 11 (Awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in the NZ context refers to Maori) – that I’ve needed to plan to cover more.

Another thing we talked about was making sure the plan included words like “investigate” and “explore” before we drilled right down to specific actions, because it’s important to assess the situation before you start coming up with solutions.

So I guess you could say my Professional Training Plan could boil down to “Learn my new job” – but broken down into the right categories against the BOKs, and thinking broadly about covering all aspects.

So we’ve finished my plan and sent it off for approval – yay! Once it’s been approved, I might post it up on my blog.

So over the course of this year, I’ll be required to:

  • Submit draft Training Plan for approval – done
  • Record my learning against the relevant Professional Practice Domain and Bodies of Knowledge (BOK) in an excel journal template called my Portfolio of Learning
  • Provide a copy of the Training Plan & Portfolio of Learning quarterly to my mentor for her to sign off
  • Meet with mentor as required to discuss progress & seek guidance
  • At the end of the 12 months, complete the plan and portfolio and submit to mentor for sign-off
  • Write a statement of self-reflection on learning undertaken and indication of continuing professional development over the next three years (as part of re validation process)
  • Complete the application for professional registration and submit these completed documents (plan & portfolio) to the Board for sign-off

I’m really excited to kick-start this process, and am really looking forward to starting my new job in February as I’m sure things will start to fall into place more naturally. There’s a lot to learn, but I plan on taking it one step at a time – and trying not to expect too much from myself right away; new jobs can be pretty draining!

So here’s to a year full of new professional learning & discoveries!

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5 thoughts on “Professional registration: The next step

  1. Great work Abby – I am really looking forward to seeing how you progress with it this year.

  2. A big year for you! Hope all goes well. You know my email address for whenever you need to another to bounce ideas 🙂 Go you!

  3. Pingback: The Octopus Librarian | Professional Registration: Round the First Bend in the Road!

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