“No man is an island!” This is one of my favorite sayings and with this as my mantra my goal after successfully completing my IABC accreditation was to get other professionals through this daunting but highly satisfying process. When five or more persons get together to do accreditation from a single chapter it is called an Accreditation Completion Program (ACP). The benefits are that you get a discount on your registration, you have a senior leader to help you through the process and of course a community, so to speak, of other individuals doing the program that you can use as sounding boards.
Of course having had to “wing it”, with no local support while I was doing the program, I find myself in a similar position as facilitator of the island’s first ACP. How is it going? It is very tough. After getting a record seven persons to register for the programme, (Sophia Cambridge, Sharon Marshall, Marilyn Sealy, Sara Odle, Novaline Brewster, Heather Barker and Lynda Holder), I was then faced with the task of finding them mentors. Persons who along with myself would assist them in getting through the portfolio stage which is the first real test. After this there is a written and oral exam. You need to pass all areas to complete and you must pass the portfolio before moving on to the exam.
After a couple of weeks with little or no success in getting any kind of help from IABC, I determined that I would take my fight to the International Conference in Chicago. There myself and Sophia Cambridge met with Accreditation Chair, Gloria Walker and the wheels were set in motion to not just get mentors for the Barbados candidates, but for Walker herself to come to Barbados to speak to the candidates and to the general body about accreditation. To top it off, Gloria was on her way to volunteer for the London Olympics. We had struck a gold mine - from her experience there and her vast knowledge of communications and accreditation our first Professional Development event for 2012-2013 was born – “Benchmarking Global Communication Standards: Making your Mark!”
Gloria also took the candidates through a one-day workshop. It was the second time they would be coming together after the first orientation meeting I had held earlier at the Nation Publishing Co. Limited, thanks to Marilyn Sealy. Gloria was thorough; she went through all the steps to accreditation and in no time showed us a formula to put together a portfolio. The candidates were all armed with the tools to go out and put their portfolios together along with their mentors and of course I was always an email or phone call away.
I was disappointed that after all this effort that just four persons successfully submitted their portfolios on time. However I am sure that based on this first experience that persons would take a more positive approach and not be sidetracked.
On a very high note: Congratulations to Jackie Marshall Clarke our newest ABC. We look forward to welcoming many more onboard.
Pamala Proverbs, APR, ABC