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For many of us, preparing a Gold Quill nomination and thinking about embarking on the accreditation process are things that have been on our “to do list” for a long time. As of last night, 18 September 2012, there are about a dozen of us who have been inspired to move them right to the top.

IABC members met at the Honey Bar for an insightful and motivating discussion around the value of participating in the awards and accreditation programs available through IABC. A great deal of work has and continues to be done to review and align them – it was a revelation to many that you can use your successful Gold Quill submission as one of your portfolio pieces towards accreditation.

The ever articulate Adrian Cropley and Melissa Dark led the discussion sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience around the processes and the future of each program. Former international Quills chair Jo Curkpatrick also offered insights into the process. Key points from the discussion include:

  • The accreditation process is on hold while the program is reviewed and a new structure, catering for different levels of expertise, is put in place. Those currently enrolled will continue their journey unaffected.
  • There are significant changes to the Gold Quill Awards with a focus on ensuring high quality judging that provides thorough, useful feedback and consistency in marking. All judges will need to have completed the formal training process.
  • There will only be one tier of judging with Blue Ribbon Panels established in each region. All submissions will still be reviewed twice and feedback will be provided on every element assessed
  • There are some changes to the categories to make them more relevant and specific.

Our ABCs and past Gold Quill winners offered tips for those preparing their 2013 submissions:

  • Key is a concise, well-edited workplan that clearly conveys your message to the judges
  • Remember you are writing for a global audience. Terminology and acronyms may not translate across borders.
  • Review the categories and choose wisely. Tailor your entry to the category requirements
  • Judges are looking for threshold criteria in the workplan: research, specified objectives and measures that match those objectives
  • Review and critically assess your workplan against the judging criteria for your category.  Make sure you articulate the benefit to your business and set out clear objectives and measures.
  • Have your workplan reviewed either through the IABC gold quill mentoring program, a peer, or someone outside your industry
  • Collect your stats: quantitative, and qualitative. Be clear about what you measurement and make sure it demonstrates achievement of your objectives.

Read more about the changes to accreditation and Gold Quills and keep  an eye on your inbox as the 2013 Gold Quill call for entries goes live very soon.

 If you are considering a submission there is a mentoring program available for first time entrants and no shortage of help and advice available. For more information get in touch with Belinda Lawrie

Reported by Deb Lemcke – IABC Victoria Professional Development Chair