My CPD story - Kirsty Heimerl-Moggan
In another in our series of interviews with ITI members at different career stages, we talk to interpreter and lecturer Kirsty Heimerl-Moggan FITI.
What kinds of CPD are available for interpreters?
All the CPD I do adds value to my work, but the CPD I am most excited about is the large conferences I attend. After the ITI Conference 2019 in Sheffield I left with such a buzz after having networked with colleagues and having attended inspiring workshops that my business really benefited from the extra drive and enthusiasm that I returned with.
With two career strings to your bow (interpreting and teaching), do you undertake CPD in both areas?
I am very lucky in that I teach exactly what I do in my ‘other job’, so most of the time my CPD is as relevant for my work as an interpreter as it is for my role as a senior lecturer in conference interpreting. I often incorporate new skills I learn into my teaching, as I did with a recent note-taking workshop I attended in Paris.
What kinds of CPD have you done in the past which have added the most value to your work and skills?
Where do I start? I can honestly say that I have never done any CPD which has not had some ‘takeaway’ for me or where I have not learned something.
As an interpreter who may be called out to an assignment at short notice, how do you make time to incorporate CPD into your schedule?
A lot of my work involves being away from home, travelling and staying in hotels overnight. These are perfect times for working on my CPD. If I don’t have any last-minute job preparation for the assignment that I’m on, I make this my CPD time. The wonderful thing about CPD nowadays is that even if you can’t attend a webinar, you can listen to the recording at a time which is more convenient for you.
Do you have an active CPD plan, and if so, how do you plan what to do?
I do have an active plan, although it has to be somewhat fluid to work around my interpreting assignments. To start with, any face-to-face training is firmly scheduled in. However, I do select this very carefully, ensuring that it covers an area that I need to work on or have decided to focus on. Secondly, I also sign up for webinars as soon as I see them advertised, so that I can do them when I have some spare time. And the third category of CPD I undertake is one I arrange specifically when I am preparing for a technical conference. If I see that there is a good webinar on the particular topic of the conference – in either of my languages – I will ‘virtually attend’ it as part of my preparation for that particular job.
Do you log your CPD, and if so, why?
I do, and I use the ITI CPD log. As a freelancer any possibility you have to show clients that you are a true professional - and that is what doing CPD shows - is vital. I use this in my professional materials. It is also very helpful for my chartered interpreter status renewal, for which I must provide proof of my CPD.
And finally, do you have any advice for interpreters who would like to undertake CPD but are unsure where to start?
Allocate some of your CPD to webinars (offered by reputable providers such as the professional bodies); they are not too expensive, and they are very good value for money. With any funds you have left, start venturing into face-to-face events (never mind how daunting you might find the idea). They are great fun once you get over the initial shyness. There will be lots of others that feel just as apprehensive as you do, so just look for another person who appears a bit lost and start talking to them. And I promise you, you will leave such events having learned lots, filled with a great drive to improve your business, and most of all, with some new ‘colleague friends’. And if you are anything like me, you’ll definitely come back for more!
A version of this article was first published in the January-February 2020 issue of the ITI Bulletin.