#GetChartered – Your Frequently Asked Questions!

On Wednesday we hosted an online chat about what it’s like to #GetChartered. Thanks to those who got involved in the conversation – here are some of the top questions and answers:

 

Why did you decide to go for chartership?

  • For me it was just a natural progression from getting the CIPR IC qualifications and then wanting to take my professionalism to the next level
  • I did it for me, to prove to myself I could do it 🙂 It was the next step for my professional development, a demonstration of my knowledge and a challenge
  • I did it because I’m extremely ambitious & constantly push my limits. I also wanted to do it for the credibility it lends, and because I realised that the word “Chartered” would make someone think twice before they look at #PR as “easy peasy”
  • After being in the industry a while, I felt it was great to have the opportunity to get accredited further. It’s about increasing my credibility and demonstrating my commitment for professionalism
  • I consider myself a professional and this is the highest achievement you can get – so a natural step

Do you feel it’s made a difference to how your peers/clients/employers view you or is it more personal for your own sense of professionalism?

  • It gives me confidence in giving advice but feedback from clients has been fantastic – they definitely see it as a mark of someone who is an expert in their field
  • I think it has – I have supported comms in the construction industry – loads of engineers etc, all of which understand what it means to be chartered. I think some people take me more seriously as a result
  • Without a doubt. It gives you the confidence in your knowledge, and your professional opinion, it’s been tested by senior professionals. Clients, peers and employers see that confidence
  • Peers definitely and also people who are chartered in other professions such as marketing. Employers and recruiters need to wake up to the value a #GetChartered PR can bring to their organisations. We have a lot of educating to do, but I’m confident that we can do that.

What did you find were the biggest challenges when going through the process to get Chartered?

  • Getting over my own self-doubt and the feeling that my experience was too narrow to get Chartered. Once you put that sort of thing aside and commit to the process I think you’re halfway there.

What was the most helpful piece of advice you were given, when you were preparing to  get Chartered?

  • Best advice was from Lindsey Collumbell who emphasised bringing your own experiences to the assessment – thinking them through before, alongside the case studies – see where there’s connections / similarities etc
  • Prepare and have confidence in your skills and what you already know
  • It was from Hayley James who ran an excellent Chartered information session in Leeds. She said ‘if you’ve turned up here to do this, then you’ve got the knowledge to go for it, so what’s stopping you. Just prepare and do it!
  • I think it’s easy to feel it’s too daunting to go for it, but once you start to articulate what you do then it becomes the focus and easier
  • Have faith in yourself. I’ve been doing this for over 14 years so getting chartered was a rubber stamp for me – it’s easy to doubt your abilities so this was solid advice

As an assessor, what do you look for?

  • Demonstrable and deeply embedded traits of ethics, knowledge of strategy and drive to leadership.
  • I’m not looking for fluff, nor “content/digital/tools” – during the assessment, I’m the CEO/Chairman of the organisation who brings you in to advise/support. Prove it.
  • One more cue from me: don’t look at the assessor’s face, trying to “read” whether what you said was “approved” or not. That can be very misleading. At the level we expect you to work, very few executives’ faces can be “read”.
  • When you get in the assessment room, don’t let the other candidates’ job titles, seniority or posture make you feel like you don’t belong. The assessors provide each candidate with ample opportunities to shine through. It’s your assessment, too

Do you think there’s ever a ‘right time’ to #GetChartered?

  • I think there’s a lot to be said for going for it, if you’ve got the experience then do it. You could put it off for ever, so don’t. Be bold, rise above the small voice in your ear, book it and do it
  • I left it too long. But now am Chartered, it has given me renewed vigour for the job & profession & you feel/realise you are speaking & practicing with even more authority-that’s a good feeling -as your skills & knowledge have been independently verified!

As this chat is from @ciprinside, do you need to have had experience of all elements of PR (internal, external, crisis) or settings (agency, in-house) to have an advantage to getting Chartered?

  • Think about your specialist experience in a broader PR context. I found comparing my experience against the CIPR competence framework and then working out how I might pitch that within the assessment areas of Leadership, Strategy and Ethics was helpful
  • Absolutely – the assessment is comprehensive and covers the entirety of #PR spectrum, not its specialisms. But, the number of IC specialists who’ve shone during the assessment is evidence that it can be done

What three things would you advise someone who is booked onto an assessment day?

  • Seek advice from those who have been there, know how you learn so give yourself the time you need, focus on the day – don’t think you can dip in and out of work
  • Work through the material. Prepare, but do it based on how best you get ready for a presentation or assessment. You will get advice and that’s great, but your own approach will allow you to relax
  • Look forward to enjoy the day – it’s full on but fun
  • Brush up on a bit of PR and communications theory, identify what specific competence examples you can take to the table. Use the case studies you get two weeks before to think broadly about the PR issues raised and how YOU would respond
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare, gather your evidence, be bold & be you
  • Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to challenge the “group think” – it’s an individual assessment in a group setting, not a group assessment! Always look at the bigger picture – tactics won’t get you far. Think of the ripples of your advice

How did you feel on the day?

  • This was a big worry for me before the assessment. I’m a natural reflector in meetings, so I prepared well to help me overcome this on the day, and my assessors were very good at drawing you in and ensuring everyone had a chance to speak
  • It’s a fantastic experience and the assessors do put you at ease. I found once you get started, you really get into it. And everyone in the room wants it just as badly, which spurs you on
  • It’s very easy to fall into the wolf “syndrome”, ie follow the lead of the most vocal/composed person at the table. That certainly will get you nowhere and might see you fail very quickly. Remember, speaking truth to power is what we do, not “falling in line”

How did you feel when you arrived at the assessment and how did you feel when you left?

  • I arrived feeling apprehensive and scared….I left feeling hugely confident and that I’d become part of something much bigger than I could have ever have anticipated beforehand
  • Arrived apprehensive and left feeling accomplished
  • I was nervous – chocolate helped – it was really kind of like going into the unknown. I knew what I was bringing and felt ready but wasn’t sure how the day would go. After I felt tired but really happy, excited and motivated
  • Nervous at the start of the day, unsure of what to expect. On cloud nine as I left, feeling proud and excited to have achieved chartered status and the credibility that lends

Aside from the success of becoming Chartered, what did you gain from the experience? What did you learn about yourself?

  • I think it helped my confidence. We get so involved in our work and sometimes forget to enjoy or acknowledge what we’re doing. The experience did that for me
  • Probably just something I’ve known for a long time….the only thing that stops me from achieving stuff is me!!
  • I learned that I can do it. That if I managed to get Chartered, then the sky is my limit. It was then when I decided to volunteer with CIPR and make sure that fewer & fewer of us get told “what you do is not PR”, ie PR doesn’t require the knowledge & brains that you possess

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