New CPD initiative launched by IoIC

Would you like to work towards being an Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC) Professional Practitioner?

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the professionalisation of PR and the role of qualifications for internal communicators.

I spotted a new initiative from the Institute of Internal Communication, @IoICnews, that has just been launched and thought I’d share it with you.

The IoIC has introduced a new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme which has been designed to “help busy professionals stay on top of their game.”

I welcome this move and think it has been long overdue. Well done IoIC.

So what is it, how does it work and how can you get involved?

CPDAccording to the IoIC website: “Your internal comms career is like any other part of your life – it needs constant attention or it may drift into a complacent rut. We all aim to keep up with current trends and hone our knowledge with debate, but all too often those pressing deadlines or simply ‘doing the job’ get in the way. IoIC’s new CPD programme may be just what you need.”

CPD enables professionals to be recognised for their efforts in maintaining standards. I spoke at the #ICExcellence event a couple of weeks ago and heard how Government communicators are also looking at CPD.

I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and have achieved Accredited Practitioner status as a result of completing two years of Continuing Professional Development.

I continue to log activities like speaking, judging awards, reading books and attending courses and webinars in my CPD section of the CIPR website. I find it a good way to ensure I am constantly developing and improving my skills. As a result of looking through the system, I always discover lots of good resources and enjoy trying something new.

This IoIC scheme works in the same way – points will be awarded for activities like attending training courses and seminars, involvement with Institute events, reading and reflecting on comms books, or even taking part in online debates.

Participants will be able to plan their path through CPD and, by gaining 40 points each year, they will get an annual certification and the right to use the designation ‘IoIC professional Practitioner’ after their name.

Advantages of CPD system:

All qualifications in the IoIC framework are fully integrated into the CPD system. Each fulfils your annual points target – all you need to add is the thinking about how you will apply what you have learned. Options for further IoIC-approved training are here and details of the IoIC Accreditation scheme are here.

The programme costs just £30+VAT a year and has been tested by IoIC Board members.  To be eligible to join the programme, you need to be an IoIC member.

IoIC“We’ve made it a living exercise – not a tick-box one where you simply go on enough paid-for courses,” says Phil Weare (pictured) the Institute’s professional development manager, who has devised the scheme.

“We’ve set out to expand people’s horizons, their participation and thinking. I wanted it to be something with the flexibility to fit in with their budget and their particular comms interests.”

CPD will also involve a mentoring system, where participants can gain points for mentoring or being mentored. It means they can discuss issues with a trusted colleague, and Phil adds: “As well as being good for the individual, it’s good for the profession because it adds to that interest in training and development, forums and an exchange of ideas.”

IoIC chief executive Steve Doswell says it will raise standards and play a huge part in ensuring that internal communication is seen across industry as a valuable profession.

“In any sphere of work processes change, technology changes, expectations change and the nature of work changes,” says Steve. “So the skills and knowledge you need to remain effective evolve over time.

“It’s essential for practitioners to keep their skills and knowledge up to date and the Institute’s CPD programme is now there to give everybody encouragement, along with specific pointers on how to go about it.”

Although the programme is structured as an annual assessment, it works as an ongoing process rather than a one-off qualification. So, participants who sustain their skills and knowledge will get their certificate renewed each year.

To achieve ‘IoIC Professional Practitioner’ status, you need three years’ experience* in internal communication and to use the CPD process to get credit for the investment you probably already make each year in your own development (*or have achieved a relevant qualification). This process is subject to an audit, to ensure high quality standards.

Want to find out more? See the new IoIC CPD website.

Post author: Rachel Miller.

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