Image: Jantze Holmes, University of Lincoln.
Jantze Holmes, a technician at the University of Lincoln, shares her story on how she became a registered practitioner from the creative industries.
In June I gave a short presentation at our Techlinc event at the University of Lincoln where I work. My talk was about my experience of applying to become a Creative Industries Registered Practitioner.
Earlier this year we were given the opportunity to apply for membership of the Institiute of Science and Technology (IST) and to become a Creative Industries Registered Practitioner.
In all honesty, although I knew it looked a fantastic initiative – a pilot scheme to promote and improve the opportunities of technicians in the creative industries – self-doubt crept in and a little voice in my head whispered maybe I’m not good enough, mine aren’t the type of skills that count, maybe I haven’t done enough as I’ve been so busy helping students, do I even have time to do this…?
These nagging thoughts soon disappeared after I read through the application process and saw an example of a recently approved application (names redacted of course). The examples of personal and professional development (PPD) were so similar and relatable to my own, that I decided right away that I could and should do this!
It was a busy time of year (with students’ end of year deadlines and our Festival of Creativity preparation which is the culmination of the undergraduate students’ three years hard work) so I had to make time to do the application. I decided to head to the University library so that I could work without interruption.
After filling out the initial information on the various forms, my main task was to write a list of all the personal and professional development that I had done over the past year which would be included on my application. At first I found this difficult as I had not been very methodical in the way that I kept track of everything (something that I have learnt is to keep a clear record of everything in my online calendar and take photos of everything I do). However, I persevered and many scribbled lists later, I found that I had indeed done a lot more than I at first realised.
Here are some examples of the activities that I included:
- Self-directed online learning with Lynda.com and other websites
- Short courses at Nottingham Trent University, London Centre for Book Arts and the Lincoln Heritage Skills Centre
- Staff development at the University of Lincoln, for example Disability Awareness
- Unison learning such as British Sign Language and Autism Awareness
- Self-directed learning through making (from books, websites and other practitioners)
- Industry links including visits to GF Smith (paper) RA Smart (digital fabric printing)
- Networking with technicians in other institutions such as University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University and Edinburgh College of Art
- Showcasing student work in displays in the departments and the University library
- Assisting on research projects with academic colleagues
- Devising and delivering a series of masterclasses (technician led) in book arts skills
It took me around two days to complete the application (I’m hoping next time it will be quicker as I will have kept a record of everything throughout the year). Once submitted, my application was in the hands of the panel and I kept my fingers crossed. I was very pleased when I heard that I had been successful and am proud to say that I am now a member of the Institute of Science and Technology as well as being a Creative Industries Registered Practitioner (and I can put MIScT (Reg) after my name!).
I would really recommend applying as it has helped me value all the different things I do outside of my main job (supporting students) and have more confidence in how these make me a better technician, and hopefully more recognised professionally, which can only be a good thing.