In a previous article, I evaluated the benefits of becoming professionally registered with LIANZA. Although the benefits weren’t overwhelming, I was curious to see what the registration process involved and whether I’d qualify.
The application process consists of two parts:
- Completing a pre-registration form
- Supplying evidence of relevant tertiary qualifications
1. Completing a pre-registration form
The pre-registration form is pretty straightforward. It consists of:
- personal details
- payment details (registration is only $57.50 incl GST)
- membership details of professional library associations and
- details of current employment with verification provided by employer
The form also contains a declaration which (among other things) says that you are “willing to undertake a period of mentored professional training and to prepare and complete a professional training plan.”
In the notes to assist with the application process I find the following about mentoring:
All professional registration applicants accepted by the Board will be required to complete a specified period (normally 12 months) of mentored professional training under the supervision of an approved mentor (with some exceptions outlined below). Following acceptance by the Board, applicants will find a mentor and prepare a professional training plan for the period of mentored professional training. The training plan is submitted to the Board for approval. At the end of the agreed period of mentored professional training, the applicant will complete the application for professional registration and submit their completed Professional Training Plan and Portfolio of Learning to the Professional Registration Board for approval. Once approved the applicant is invoiced for the annual registration fee and on receipt of payment is granted registration.
Yikes! I’m not sure I’m interested in a 12 month mentoring period before being accepted. This also immediately raised more questions than answers:
- how much time would this involve, over and above my daily work?
- how is the length of mentored professional training determined? Qualifications? Specific work experience?
- what if no-one wanted to be my mentor?
- are there guidelines for preparing a professional training plan?
It wasn’t until I was drafting this article that I noticed the extract also said “(with some exceptions below)”. So keep calm (wipe brow and cross fingers), perhaps there is a way to forego the mentoring process.
In the same notes, under Route C the Exceptional Circumstances are:
In special circumstances the Board may approve applications from candidates with New Zealand library qualifications awarded up to and including 2007, together with recognised seniority and experience in the profession. These candidates will be required to provide a CV and an assessment of learning that can be mapped against the body of knowledge; however they will not be required to complete mentored professional training. The Board reserves the right to instruct the applicant to pursue Route A and a period of mentored professional training (possibly less than 12 months) where this is deemed necessary to ensure knowledge and experience are of sufficient breadth and currency across the Body of Knowledge.
Do I qualify for exceptional circumstances?
- A New Zealand library qualification awarded up to and including 2007? Yes! I got the Diploma from Victoria University in 1993.
- Recognised seniority and experience in the profession? What does this mean? Arggh. Maybe?
- Am I willing to provide a CV and assessment of learning that can be mapped against the body of knowledge? Arggh. Nope. Too hard. I give up.
I could probably qualify for exceptional circumstances but given the benefits of professional registration to me personally were pretty slim to start with, and the time investment in providing an assessment of learning against the BoKs (with no guidelines on how this should be done) has just landed professional registration in the “too hard basket”.
The other option (Route A) is to go through the (as yet unknown) mentoring process while providing certified copies of my academic transcripts.
Finding my transcripts will be a challenge, but getting them certified by an authorised person such as a Justice of the Peace, Court Registrar, Solicitor or authorised University Staff Member has once again landed professional registration in the “too hard basket”.
It’s probably a smaller initial time investment to take Route A (mentoring and academic transcripts) but given the unknowns around mentoring it just seems too hard.
So what did I learn?
- I had to read the application process quite carefully to understand what was required. I found this frustrating and the FAQ section unhelpful regarding mentoring, training plans, and assessment of learning guidelines.
- Professional registration is cost-effective (a once-off cost less than $60, plus annual association membership).
- Professional registration is a serious endeavour, as it should be.
To be fair, I could contact Wendy Walker at registration@ lianza.org.nz for advice or clarification on the above matters, but I think I’ve learnt enough for now – professional registration has not made it to my “must do basket” just yet. It hasn’t been discarded entirely, but temporarily returned to the shelf for future reference.
I’d love to hear your views on professional registrations – add a comment below, or contact me via email.