In late January, LRG members gathered for a special CPD-focused event led by LRG member and ITI CPD Chair Kari Koonin.
Traditionally, LRG starts its year with a CPD related event. Kari
Koonin, Chair of ITI’s Professional Development Committee, had kindly agreed to lead an informal discussion about the kinds of CPD that can help to boost your career, improve your productivity, and extend and enhance your specialist areas.
We were pleased to be back at The Devereux pub, which had been our rendez-vous of choice before COVID struck, and everyone enjoyed another opportunity to meet in person, enjoy drinks provided by LRG, and savour some panettone, from packs left over from the Christmas Party. We had organised the room with separate tables and four to five chairs at each.
Kari started by referring to ITI’s Code of Conduct point 2.1.1, which states that: “[members are] required to undertake continuing professional development as appropriate, in order to continue to offer the highest possible standards of work by maintaining and updating their language skills, subject knowledge or any other skills or knowledge necessary for the work.”
Members are expected to achieve 30 hours per year – both formal and informal (self-directed) – in order to qualify for the CPD badge, which can be downloaded from the ITI website. The recommended 30 hours per year is commensurate with that demanded by other professional associations.
ITI CPD log
Members can log their CPD using the form on the ITI website, from which you can also download a CPD ‘badge’ to add to your email sign-off. To achieve the higher membership grades, and FITI in particular, you are expected to be able to provide evidence of three years of recent CPD.
In answer to a question, Kari said that, in her opinion, research carried out in order to translate a new document does not count as CPD because you have to do that research as part of the assignment.
CPD is important because it reassures your established clients that you are keeping up-to-date both in your SL and TL skills and your subject knowledge. You can use it to keep in touch with existing clients, providing periodic updates on new CPD that you have achieved and new qualifications that you have gained.
It can also help when you are preparing a dossier prior to approaching new clients. So, it is an important part of your marketing strategy. Language changes all the time so anything that brings you abreast of changes in your SL and TL counts as CPD. It sends a strong message to LSPs and project managers that you are a freelance translator who is committed to improving your skill set and your knowledge.
Evidence of your CPD is a way of showing that you are keeping up with new technology, learning a specialist subject – by dint of achieving a qualification (such as a Diploma, MA, or MSc) – or attending a course in a specialist subject, in either your SL or TL or specialist subject area.
Other CPD options are: open lectures at a local university, podcasts, or a free MOOC (massive open online course); talks and lectures delivered by professionals from other spheres; attending ITI and CIOL conferences and workshops; and attending talks at local universities or conferences organised by bodies based in your source language country.
These offer access to new ideas and new information and also offer an opportunity for face-to-face contact with people – a particular benefit for freelance translators, who generally work alone.
After Kari’s introduction, the floor was open for contributions from participants and questions and further discussion. There was some discussion as to whether watching TV series and documentaries in your source language counted as CPD.
In the end, it is up to each person to assess and evaluate anything they have done that may count as CPD; it is not formally evaluated by ITI.
Mentoring can also be counted as CPD; it benefits both the mentor and the mentee. The important thing is to log it, and to summarise what has been learned in the mentoring process.
Kari reminded us that money set aside for CPD – your CPD ‘budget’ – is tax-deductible.
LRG is indebted to Kari for coming to talk to us about CPD and sharing her knowledge and expertise with the Group.