Keep on learning…

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to sit down and write a blog as I’ve been focusing on finishing off my assignment for my CIPR IC Diploma which is ran by The PR Academy. As CIPR #SummerOfCPD kicks off today (1 August) I thought it would be apt to give a quick overview on how the Diploma went and if it was worth it the effort.

The last time I did any serious studying was when I completed my masters 10 years ago, so I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge to dust off the cobwebs from the academic side of my brain and get stuck in.

Before I signed up I had a few people ask me why I bothering with this Diploma when I’ve worked in comms for such a long time. And to be honest this is something that did cross my mind before I did research into the course. I was self-funding so I wanted to be uber sure that the course was pitched at the right level and that I was definitely going to get some value out of it. As well as messaging PR Academy with a couple of questions, I also spoke to quite a few people who had undertaken it previously and their feedback reassured me that it was the right programme for me (check out Helen Deverell’s post where she answers some key questions)

I’m a huge advocate of CPD so I’ve spent many years keeping up with my learning and staying on top of trends etc but I really wanted to do something to challenge my thinking. I also wanted a qualification to help enhance my Trusted Adviser credentials further within the organisations I worked in. After looking at many courses and their benefits becoming #CIPRQualified seemed to be the next natural step for me.

One of the advantages about this CIPR IC Diploma was its flexibility, and the balance between it being challenging enough to keep my interest but not ridiculously overwhelming to the extent it kept me up until the early hours, cramming or completing coursework.

I chose to do the online version for convenience and I probably spent on average around 8-10 hours a week studying/reading/writing (approx an hour a day). It did worry me a little not having that face-to-face connection but it turned out that I didn’t have anything to worry about. It worked really well for me and a number of us who were close by met up over a coffee as a mini study group, which was fab as I still got to meet some new people face-to-face.

The course is based around a case study and various questions related to that study are asked, which you then have to answer in a forum on a weekly basis. At the end of the course you’re asked to write a 5000 word assignment on a topic of your choice – mine was focussed on storytelling and change.

I don’t know if I’ve passed or not yet but regardless of the mark it’s definitely not been a regret on my part. I learnt a huge amount in the six months, I read research papers I never would have come across, various books that were recommended and best of all Kevin Ruck was our tutor, so it was wonderful to hear first-hand from an expert I have totally admired in the world of IC.

If you’re sitting on the fence and you’re not quite sure if you should take the leap then I highly recommend you jump. It’s a wonderful course, giving you a solid foundation to the world of IC, with fabulous tutors and great content – you won’t regret it. Applications for the next cohort are now open: https://pracademy.co.uk

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