Update 16/10/2012 – LIANZA have developed a new and improved journal template which really does away with the need for point #3 – a great improvement! The rest of the advice is still valid I think 🙂
Many of my colleagues have heard plenty of my thoughts and complaints about the complexity of the revalidation process for professional registration via LIANZA 😉 When my time came I just decided that rather than have it sitting around for months I was going to get onto it and get it sent off. I did this just before the recent conference, and was rather pleased to get my revalidation certificate in the mail yesterday!
There have been several forums offering advice about keeping and submitting your journal, so I thought I would just add mine to the mix. The whole process is a damn sight easier if you do record what you have done, and include a sentence or two reflecting on what you did. Brenda Chawner offers some good advice about that in this column. I had managed to record quite a few things I had done in a blog set up for that purpose so that probably saved me hours of stuffing around. And as my boss Jane Brooker reminded me, you can check out what you have done on your peformance reviews. This whole process of recording and recall is going to be different for all of us. I hear that LIANZA are working on some other sort of blog like (?) recording tool rather than the excel spreadsheet, hip hip hooray for that.
So apart from the obivious (make sure you keep notes about what you do) here are my tips:
1. Get in the cloud. Join up to a site where you can store your journal in the cloud and access it from work and home. I kept mine in Dropbox. This made life so much easier as I wasn’t having to bother about flash drives, emailing documents or the like. It meant I could work on it when I had a few minutes to spare wherever I was. Which leads me to ..
2. Find what works for you when you are putting your journal together. I made a decision (or maybe it was a plan!) to do a little and often. So I actually decided to work on one entry every night. As I got into the swing of things I would end up doing several entries a night. Horribly girly swot huh? Well it got it done. Of course (so a lesson for me) if I had been using the original excel template to start with then I would haven’t had much to do at all really – but that just didn’t work for me. I think I had to go through the process once just to get familiar with it.
3. Keep a table that maps what you have done to what Bok. I set one up with the BOKs along the top, and then what I had done under each of the 3 years down the left – then marked in the cell where the activity fell. This allowed me to tally things nice and quickly and to see where I was missing activities in a Bok. I did change my mind about which things went into which Bok to get it looking more even. This is what it looks like:
Which leads me to ..
4. Next time I will try not to stress out about the BOKs too much. I find them rather complicated – I think we all do – and I have endless notes and scribblings on a printout of them to try and sort it. Good news is that LIANZA is working on clarifying the Boks – hooray to that too.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff (and it’s all small stuff) – the Board are after your best entries – I think they are now saying no more than 10 a year. So if you have more than 10 be sure to cull some of them out. Having said that I didn’t bust a gut trying to recall and polish every last thing I have done. There may have even better examples I could have included, but I got to the number required and that was it.
6. Check out the completed journal examples at the bottom of the page here. In particular have a look at the way the reflections are written – I found this quite useful.
Ok so that’s it. Hopefully some of these tips will be useful for you! I still have reservations about the whole process but am heartened by the fact I know that LIANZA are looking to make changes. And I’m especially heartened that I survived my first revalidation experience 🙂
Now what BOK can this blog post fit in 😉