Mapping the career path of the public relations practitioner, and the role of the CIPR and other training organisations, is key to modernising training and qualifications.
In the CIPR President-Elect hustings many questions centred around the Chartered status and how we encourage more professionals to attain this.
It’s a critical debate – Chartered status encourages Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and is a signal to employers and the business community that we are serious professionals operating at the highest level.
While I believe that the CIPR has now got the Chartered offer absolutely right (as demonstrated by the number of people signing up), there is still work to be done.
Practitioners need a clear career path to follow from entry-level to Chartered, and beyond.
This is an important piece of work. If public relations to be taken seriously as a management discipline we need to show we have the skills required in the Boardroom.
Training and qualifications is also a key revenue driver for the CIPR. According to the 2015 Finance Report, income dropped significantly in this area.
We need to revolutionise and fast, which includes recognising that the way in which individuals want to learn is changing rapidly.
In my manifesto I have pledged to define the member journey and modernise education so that it is clearly aligned with the Global Alliance competency framework.
The competency framework sets out the skills needed from entry level onwards and includes general business management and financial skills, which to date are currently lacking from the CIPR’s training and qualifications offer.
My plan would be to conduct a gap analysis between the two with the aim of strengthening the Institute’s provision, including working with external providers.
In this way we can drive interest and uptake in CPD, increase revenue and reinforce the value to practitioners of CIPR membership.
Chartered status is something that I was proud to receive and we need to ensure more public relations professionals achieve this. To increase its appeal, as President-Elect I’d make it a clear part of the career journey.
I’d also make it part of my campaign to educate employers and the business community about the value of PR, because hiring a CIPR member who is Chartered provides reassurance they are getting a strategic adviser they can trust to take their organisation forwards.
This is just one way in which I believe I can help make the CIPR more relevant, sustainable and forward-looking. I’d appreciate your support in doing this.