What it means to be Chartered

All Things IC Communication Consultant Caroline Cubbon-King successfully completed the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Chartered Assessment last week.

All three Communication Consultants at All Things IC: Rachel, Dan and Caroline are now Chartered PR Practitioners, demonstrating their commitment to continual learning and professional development.

Caroline now joins over 400 other CIPR members as a Chartered PR Practitioner and she has shared her journey and reflections for the All Things IC blog. Congratulations Caroline and the five other comms professionals who all achieved their Chartered status.

Photo of Caroline Cubbon-King sitting on a bench with the CIPR Chartership branding promoting 'Proud to be Chartered'

At school I was a dedicated pupil, working logically from start to finish, covering every possible angle and ensuring that I gave myself the best chance of success.

In my professional life it’s fair to say that my learning has been more focussed on experimentation and experience. I love learning from others, exploring ideas and collaborating to get things done.

My professional learning journey reflects that. I’ve never had any great desire to study on top of the day job. I love to listen, absorb images that stick in my head and read opinions and case studies to learn. If you gave me a choice between a novel or a business book, I would pick fiction every day of the week.

Because of this, I always assumed becoming a Chartered Practitioner would be out of reach for me. I have tons of practical experience in corporate communications and chose the path of new projects or secondments when my learning needed a boost.

It took a brief exit from Comms to realise that I was doing myself a disservice.

I realised how important it was to professionalise and validate all the things I had learned over the years as an in-house practitioner.

Knowledge and skills I now draw from every day as a consultant.

That was when I joined the CIPR and dared to hope that sometime soon I could join the small but mighty group of Chartered Practitioners.

I set myself a goal of achieving Chartered Status by the end of 2022 and with six weeks to spare, I did it. For those considering the same journey, here are some thoughts you might find useful:

You will be put through your paces on ethics, leadership and strategy so a key part of your preparation is identifying some examples of when you have demonstrated the assessed competencies.

You don’t need to know everything to go for it. Assessors do expect you to share real life examples and talk about how you might approach situations. Yes, there are certain things they hope to hear but equally, they want to know how you join up the strategic dots and what your sense of right and wrong is. These things are less tangible and more difficult to prepare in advance.

You don’t need to have worked in comms for years. If you have the right skills and attitude, don’t let length of service hold you back. Equally if you have worked in comms for a long time, don’t be complacent. I embarked on my Chartership with over twenty years’ working in comms in the tank. But all that guaranteed was having lots of examples to draw from. It was down to me to demonstrate the right skills, approach and attitude.

You don’t need to be an expert in comms theory. Although knowing some common models is useful and other candidates are likely to quote these too.

What you do need is curiosity. I’m fascinated by ideas and can immerse myself in something and connect seemingly disparate things together. I was lucky enough to have three brilliant topics to review as part of my preparation – artificial intelligence, behavioural science and the world of influencers. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed diving into these topics. I loved researching alone then on the assessment day, hearing other people’s perspectives. It was a truly fascinating experience.

There’s lots of guidance out there. The CIPR provide many useful resources on their website, so you have everything you need to prepare for your Chartered Assessment.  I’ll let you into another little secret too. The assessors are as kind and supportive as they are wise. If you need additional support to participate fully, they will do what they can to help supported by the marvellous CIPR membership team.

If Chartership is starting to sound appealing and you want to know more, the CIPR have a dedicated area on their website where you will find a wealth of information and details of events where you can find out more about what it means to be Chartered and what the process entails.

Good luck!

First published on the All Things IC blog 15 November 2022

Post author: Caroline Cubbon-King

Caroline Cubbon King teaching in the All Things IC Hub

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  1. […] Chartered PR practitioners, we value the importance of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It’s something we talk […]

  2. Dan Holden says:

    Congratulations Caroline. Great to see another IC pro become Chartered.

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