James Fox CSci, Science Council Assessor
After gaining professional registration, I wanted to ‘give-back’ to the community that had assisted and encouraged me throughout my personal registration journey. I decided to volunteer to become an assessor for the Science Council and a Registrant Champion at my University as a continuing professional development (CPD) opportunity for myself and to be able to help other candidates through the process of becoming professionally registered. I firstly assessed RSciTech and RSci, equivalent to my initial registration at RSci level, but have subsequently personally progressed to CSci qualifying me to assess applications at all levels.
The process of becoming an assessor involves an initial half-day training course provided by the Science Council and additional refreshers or re-training if elements of the application process changes. The training includes lots of example responses to the application questions, which are discussed via group exercises with fellow new assessors. I was supported all the way through, with guidance on each stage as to the requirements for each level of registration. The training also helps you understand the application platform and how to recognise achievements/competencies and assess applications from individuals that may not work in your area. There is always help available from the team at the Science Council if you’re unsure about an application or if work gets in the way and more time to assess an application is required.
More recently, I have been involved in a project with the Science Council assessing shortened application routes for apprentices. Several apprenticeships have now been ‘mapped’ as aligning with the professional registers and we hope this will promote professional registration at an early career stage promoting sustainability, visibility, recognition and career progression – the pillars of the Technician Commitment programme.
One of the best things about being an assessor is learning about all the fabulous science and inspirational CPD being done by exceptional people all over the UK. I have read applications and actively explored training or other opportunities as a way to progress and motivate me in my own career. It’s also a great opportunity to experience life outside your own field, directly from the point of view of other scientists. Further, knowing I have helped others become professionally registered and so given a boost to their career is very fulfilling.