Monday 28 February 2022

September Event - Assessing CILIP Level 3 LAIS Apprenticeships

Assessing CILIP Level 3 LAIS Apprenticeships

I always like hearing from people outside of the University (even though the speaker works for another Cambridge University!) as it provides a view into how other places do things.  This time the talk was about something that Sarah does in her own time and with her own equipment, but that obviously has a lot of benefits for many because of her work.  

The involvement from candidates and assessors that goes into the Apprenticeship assessment is something I knew nothing about but that was going to change, and with some always welcome interaction from the audience in the chat.

Sarah is a former NVQ Assessor so it's not a surprise that she was recruited by CILIP pathways to be in the first group of self-employed assessors.  The work involved by the apprentice’s is a great way of making the most of their current position whilst also increasing the value of their professional skills and behaviour for the future.


For each candidate it takes 12-18 months, working alongside their employer and the tutor building up portfolio evidence of their Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB's) including statements from colleagues who work alongside them. I especially liked the idea that the portfolio, isn't just dry boring pages of text but can include videos, presentations and photos. Things that I don't think are used enough to show what we are all actually capable of so it's really nice to know this is in there as part of the assessment.

There is off-job training as well.  When the tutor and the employer think the apprentice is ready and the "Gateway" is reached, a project approval form can be submitted.  This is when the assessment begins and everything they have done is matched against the expected set of 29 KSB's.

It sounds a really good way of integrating real world experiences to a structured level of assessment. I especially liked the KSB on "The nature and value of research"- “How did you assess user needs" as that is something we all do as default from experience so thinking about a response and then writing it down really shows the level of what you do know.

The timescale for completion after someone has reached Gateway is 9 weeks, so it's something it could be planned around an individual’s work and personal life.  The flexibility of choosing when to start, when you are ready rather than an arbitrary you have to do this now contrasts with a more traditional training environment.

Sarah introduced a couple of activities with us in the audience entering our answers in the chat. We had examples of a couple of the KSB's asking what questions we would ask to assess the candidate’s skills. And I think we did rather well at that which is always pleasing when you do participate ;)

Knowing that candidates get experience, training and a qualification is valuable on its own but using this to go towards CILIP certification and chartership should give a lot more people the route towards professional recognition anyone wanting to map out a career would be aiming for.

And without Sarah's talk I would guess that many of us would never have known about it.

There are future developments, allowing people in Information Manager/Chartered Librarian and Archives and Records Managers roles to follow the same routes and be assessed in their sphere is excellent progress.

Another great talk :)

More information can be found here:  

Kevin Symonds

Research Governance and Information Manager

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit