CILIP membership: what are you missing out on?

This post has been lurking in my drafts for quite a while now. I recently renewed my CILIP membership. In the past I’ve always paid my membership fee myself, but having recently started a new job I had the opportunity to request my membership fee be paid by my employer. Like everyone else our budget is tight and I had to put forward a strong case for the benefits of my CILIP membership. While putting together my case I’ve reacquainted myself with all the benefits CILIP membership offers, some of which I had either entirely forgotten about or never realised existed before!

This is not intended as an explanation of why I am a member of CILIP (see After the Storm: Thoughts on CILIP for that), but to help everyone who is a CILIP member make the most of their membership. Here’s a one page summary of what’s on offer.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Professional registration: This is one pretty much everyone knows about and it includes Certification, Chartership and Fellowship. It’s something I feel is an extremely important aspect of CILIP. I’m currently working towards Chartership and finding it a brilliant framework for my CPD, at a time in my career when I need to do a huge amount of CPD in a fairly short space of time, while juggling some big projects (moving a library, merging libraries, implementing a new library management system, RFID project …). You have to pay both to enrol for and to submit your portfolio for professional registration – £25 for Certification, £50 for Chartership and £65 for Fellowship. There is no charge for revalidation.

Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB): For me this kind of comes under Professional Registration, but even if you decide Certification/Chartership/Fellowship aren’t for you it could be a useful tool for mapping out your CPD. I’ve found it a bit woolly and confusing in places, but it has also opened up my eyes to areas of the profession I’ve not worked in and know very little about. It may not be perfect, but it’s a brilliant addition to CILIPs offering which just wasn’t there when I joined 4 years ago. When planning what to focus on for Chartership I found the gap analysis spreadsheet far easier to use than the PDF. I’ve also added various columns and will be using the spreadsheet to track my progress.

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): I will admit I wasn’t exactly impressed with the VLE when it was launched, and the navigation still drives me nuts, but the range of resources on there is definitely growing and I’ve found some useful stuff recently.

E-learning from Maguire Training: One FREE module and further modules at a discounted price. A collection of over 100 short online CPD modules on a wide variety of topics from marketing and finance to leadership, time management and interviewing. Intended to support the generic skills section of the PKSB. I wish I’d discovered this one sooner, as I would definitely have made use of it.

LIBEX – international job exchange: Fancy travelling and experiencing the LIS sector elsewhere in the world? Exchange jobs with someone from the other side of the world!


Qualification credit points: This is one I didn’t know about and I don’t think I will be using any time soon, but if you’re doing a relevant academic or vocational qualification it might be useful. For Certification you can get up to 20 Level 8 credit points with the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA). You can get Open University general credit points for Chartership (30) and Fellowship (75).

Support in your professional role

Career coaching: This was another one that was new to me and one I might actually take advantage of this year. You get two free one-to-one email or phone sessions a year.

Employment law advice: Access to a helpline for advice and support with a range of personnel and employment law issues. As someone not responsible for HR matters, I hopefully won’t need to use this service any time soon, but it’s good to know it’s there.


There are all sorts of grants and bursaries available to CILIP members. Regional Member Networks and Special Interest Groups also offer grants and bursaries.  This list just contains those available to me as a CILIP East member and a member of MmIT and ILG in 2015, and only what I could find/remember. Sponsored places at conferences come up throughout the year, so keep an eye on mailing lists and check out what your regional member network and special interest groups offer.

  • Aspire Award: A full delegate place, with travel expenses and 3* hotel accomodation, for the CILIP conference for people who have joined the profession in the past 5 years.
  • IFLA conference grant: full and partial grants to enable CILIP members to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Congress. It seems how many people get a grant depends on where the conference is (and therefore how expensive it is to go).
  • The Travelling Librarian Award: £3000 to spend 2-3 weeks visiting and building relationships with libraries in the USA or a commonwealth country. This looks like an amazing opportunity you would be unlikely to be able to fund without the award and is something I hope to be in a position to apply to in the future.
CILIP East member network

Small Grants Fund: Up to £200 available (total of £1200 available in 2015, so several people can get a grant in one year) to allow you to undertake CPD activities you would otherwise be unable to undertake. Without this I wouldn’t have been able to attend Internet Librarian International 2015.

Multimedia and Information Technology Group (MmIT)
  • Bursary place at CILIP conference (now closed for 2016)
  • Bursary place at MmIT conference (awaiting details for 2016)
  • Bursary place at Internet Librarian International Conference (awaiting details for 2016)
Information Literacy Group (ILG)

CILIP Benevolent Fund: A bit different to all the other grants, the Benevolent Fund exists to help colleagues and their families who have fallen on hard times or have been faced with unexpected financial difficulties.


CILIP Update: I don’t often find CILIP’s member magazine particularly relevant to me, but it is quite useful for keeping up to date with news beyond my sector. You can read it online or via an app, but I prefer to take the hard copy to a tea break and give myself a screen break at the same time.

E-journals: This has been the most useful benefit of my CILIP membership to me in the past couple of years. As an information professional keen on evidence-based practice, not working in a university with e-resource access, I frequently hit paywalls when trying to keep up with recent LIS research. The access CILIP provides to SAGE journals, LISA and Proquest Library Science goes a reasonable way to solving this issue for me. Though I certainly wouldn’t object to a few more LIS researchers publishing open access!

MmIT Journal: Via my MmIT membership I have access to the quarterly journal of the MmIT group, with full-length features, news and technology updates, product reviews, dvd listings, moving image news, and book reviews.

Deals & Discounts



Club membership

  • 25% discount on joining fee of the Royal Over-Seas League
  • Temporary honorary membership of the Union Jack Club

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