The library career and qualifications path


Image free from Pixabay

Library staff in Wales have opportunities to improve their skills and qualifications through the bursaries and training available under the Libraries Inspire strategic programme for 2015-16.

Full information can be found in the document ‘Library workforce development grant information’ on the Welsh Government website CyMAL grant pages.

In summary, there are bursaries available for people wishing to study library and information qualifications from Level 2 (i.e. from the Certificate in LAIS) upwards to MSc level and including the Foundation Degree and its conversion to a BSc and the PDA in ICTL (Professional Development Award in ICT in Libraries). If you have any queries get in touch – contact details are in the document. All these qualifications can be studied in Wales (or at other accredited institutions if you prefer).

Whilst I’m writing on this topic, now is a good moment to look at the career and qualifications path open to library and information staff. All the names and levels can be confusing, so I have mapped out the qualifications, to the best of my knowledge, in a table. Any errors, please correct me! (The S number in the ‘level’ column refers to Scotland as they have a slightly different education system, but as one of the Foundation Degrees offered in Wales was developed with the Scottish Qualifications Authority  you may see reference to Level 7 or 8 for that, whereas in England and Wales it relates to a Level 3-4 achievement. The SQA also now offer a full library HNC.)

Level Example qualifications Library qualifications
8 (S12) Doctorate PhD
7 (S11) Masters
Postgraduate Diploma Postgraduate Certificate
Dip Lib (Dip LIS)
6 (S 9+10) Bachelors degree
Graduate Certificate or Diploma
BSc Foundation Degree Conversion to Bachelors (year 2)
5 (S 8+9) Foundation Degree Professional Development Award
NHD – Higher National Diploma
Foundation Degree
PDA in Applications of ICT in Libraries (formerly the ‘ICTL Diploma’)
4 (S7) [1st year of university] Foundation Degree
Professional Development Award
Certificate of Higher Education HNC – Higher National Certificate
Foundation Degree
PDA in Applications of ICT in Libraries (ICTL Diploma)
3 (S6&7) A Level (and AS level)
Welsh Baccalaureate (Advanced) NVQ Level 3)
Diploma in LAIS (Level 3) (Libraries Archives and Information Services)
2 (S5) GCSE at grades A*–C
Welsh Baccalaureate (Intermediate)
NVQ Level 2
Certificate in LAIS (Level 2)
1 (S4) GCSE at grades D–G
Welsh Baccalaureate (Foundation)
NVQ Level 1
Entry (S1-3) Entry Level Certificate

Levels 1 to 4 are also covered by Apprenticeships.

In Wales you can study at Aberystwyth University, Glyndwr University and at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, all of whom offer distance learning in varying styles.

Semi-circle diagram of qualifcations in WalesIf this table is still confusing, you may like this fan diagram (one the left) instead which maps qualifications in Wales, and which is on the Welsh Government’s education web pages, or there is a very detailed comparison chart of qualifications across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland here.

You may also want to map your skills against CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base. You can also look at the framework of professional registration with CILIP which includes certification, chartership, fellowship and revalidation.

And finally, the Libraries Inspire investment also includes the regional library partnerships training programmes (contact details are on this tab) and CyMAL also runs a cross-sector (i.e. museums, archives and libraries) free training programme. Upcoming courses and dates are listed on the training section of the CyMAL web pages.

About alysontyler

Civil servant, yoga teacher and former librarian.
This entry was posted in Careers, CILIP, CyMAL, Libraries, Libraries Inspire, Training, Wales, Workforce development. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The library career and qualifications path

  1. Reblogged this on Bibliodeviancy and commented:

  2. rachael whitfield says:

    Reblogged this on WHELF and commented:
    Many thanks to Alyson Tyler (CyMAL) for this overview of the library career and qualifications route and for providing details of bursary opportunities.

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