CPD - it's about give and take
There's more to your professional development than simply taking knowledge on board. There can also be an important element of giving back.
In this blog, ITI Networks Coordinator Nicki Bone explains more about what is also known as "Contribution to the profession", and how you can get involved in this giving side of CPD.
CPD can come in all shapes and sizes, but the category of professional contribution is often hard to quantify or acknowledge, especially by those who practise it. Basically all it means though is the CPD where you are giving something to the profession or a colleague, rather than taking knowledge or learning on board.
So, for example, it might be committee work in ITI or one of its ITI Networks, or in another professional body; outreach work, such as talking to schools about careers in languages, etc.; or mentoring another translator or interpreter.
This kind of CPD often consists of “a bit here and a bit there”, so it can tend to get forgotten, but it certainly counts as part of your CPD so it’s worth logging the time you spend. You can always track it as you go, then log it in the ITI logging tool in hourly chunks. You may be surprised by how it all adds up.
If this is an area of CPD you haven't yet explored, one good place to start is with the ITI Networks. Last summer, I took on the role of ITI Networks Coordinator and although I was already a member of several ITI Networks, this was a new experience for me, so I was keen to learn and contribute. It soon became obvious that there is an incredibly vibrant, active and dedicated community of volunteers in the UK and beyond.
So what might prompt you to get involved in the life of the ITI Networks?
Well, the ITI Networks community is supportive and generous; everyone is happy to share knowledge and information, and people can ask for advice on administrative or organisational matters.
It’s also a resourceful and creative community, and this was particularly evident when everything had to move online last year. This new situation brought several benefits: events were suddenly accessible to people who would have been unable to attend in person; wider audiences meant that paid events were more financially viable; and networks pooled their skills and resources to help each other successfully deliver their events.
Another benefit of volunteering is that it will raise your profile and allow you to make new connections. You may not want to become the main Coordinator, but every network will need help in other ways, such as managing its finances, membership, organising events or managing social media content. These roles may be less visible but they are just as important.
I would encourage anyone thinking of stepping up to a role within any of the ITI Networks to do so, not just as a “box-ticking” exercise but for the enjoyment you will get from it. Although, of course, don’t forget to log it as CPD as well!