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Laurian Hubbard, Chart.PR, MCIPR

Head of Communications and Engagement in Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales.

With less than 100 people being Chartered Public Relations Practitioners in the UK with the CIPR, I was a little more than ecstatic to become one of them in March. The numbers alone tell you that becoming chartered is no walk in the park, but it was one of those experiences that I would highly recommend doing – invest in yourself.

The day itself was nerve wracking, but not as nerve wracking as the feeling of not being prepared whilst sat in CIPR HQ waiting to be called in. However, the one bit of advice I can give anyone is that even if you have the ‘not-prepared’ feeling, but you know you have worked hard leading up to the assessment day, you WILL be fine.

So, the prep… you will all know working full time whilst continually developing yourself is hard going, but by allowing yourself that time really does pay off in the long run. After being to university three times, doing countless short-courses, one day events, webinars, CIPR CPD every year, a secondment to Cabinet Office and various moves up the career ladder; I knew that I had it in me to dedicate the time to finally become Chartered and I prepped like I had never prepped before!

The whole day is based around three critical areas: leadership, strategy and ethics and you are sent, prior to the assessment day, a series of case studies and questions to study and take in ready for the ‘big’ day. And it is this preparation that will help you become part of the small elite of people who can have those very symbols ‘Chart.PR’ after your name. My advice at this point is to research into the case studies; don’t just take them at face value because the proof really is in the pudding.

When the ‘big’ day arrives you soon settle in over a coffee and meeting other like minded career people and then you’re divided into your groups for the day. Like I said, if you are prepared then you will soon fall into the swing of things and find your stride in the conversation and questioning throughout the three assessment sessions. Each session is chaired by an external assessor who will ask you questions and provide examples.

Once the three sessions are completed (and you have eaten the lovely lunch) you then spend time in the fourth session having your two year CPD plans reviewed by your peers – something else you need to prepare ahead of the day and so worthwhile. I have never had my CPD plan peer reviewed previously and it was an eye opener, I had some great recommendations and have since updated my CPD to reflect this.

After the CPD peer review, you reach ‘that time’, when everyone is called individually into a room to be told if you have passed or failed and I can tell you, the feeling of being told you have passed and are now a Chart.PR was one of the best feelings, and I was immensely proud. Proud that I had found the time to fit it into my busy schedule and proud to still be achieving great things to show that I am serious about my career and investing in myself, which above all remains at the top of my list – so #getchartered!