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This year, the IoIC was kindly invited to contribute to VMAGROUP's annual Inside Insight report with our thoughts on the value of professional membership. Below, read what Jennifer Sproul, IoIC Chief Executive, had to say.

'I always look forward to seeing the results from VMAGROUP’s Inside Insight survey, as I am keen to understand the ways in which practitioners view the value of professional membership and development. As a profession we need to keep taking the right steps to continue to learn and invest in ourselves, in order to be seen as masters of our craft.

It’s great to see, for example, the number of professionals who are not affiliated to any membership body reduce from 55% in 2016 to 44% in 2017. Last year, 454 IC practitioners joined the IoIC – a record high in the Institute’s history, and adding to the sense that our industry is gaining more recognition as a stand-alone profession every day.

But the value of membership is not clear to everyone. So why join a professional body?

For us, membership is a statement about an individual’s commitment to not only the profession but also to their professional skills, adherence to best practice, and desire to keep getting better. As a profession we strive to be taken more seriously as a strategic discipline, playing a central role to achieving the organisation’s strategic ambitions. But it is only when we take ourselves seriously that we can demand the same from those around us.

Membership also enables communicators to speak with a credible, authoritative and accredited voice in their organisation; one that demands respect, trust and recognition of their abilities. The IoIC has significantly invested in and expanded its professional development portfolio to support members to do just this. Built around our Profession Map and Competency Framework which identifies the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a practitioner to excel, the portfolio recognises that learning takes places in a multitude of ways and, we hope, caters for this, with opportunities to learn through qualifications, training, mentoring, CPD and dedicated networks.

Again, we were thrilled to see in this year’s report the rise in the value of a specialist IC qualification – from 35% in 2016 to 42% in 2017, demonstrating further that we are taking ourselves more seriously year upon year. However, it’s disappointing that 23% of practitioners either disagree or strongly disagree that such a qualification would help them to perform better in their role.

The majority of students who complete either our Foundation or Advanced Level Diplomas state that their key motivation in studying for these qualifications is to build their confidence in their own ability and to gain the reassurance that everything they do in their role is validated by both an industry body and an academic institute. It is this increase in self-belief and self-efficacy that improves our performance in anything that we put our hand to.

The credibility of the internal communication profession is driven through the individuals who commit to continuously improving their skills and knowledge, and with more of you now than ever before who have made that commitment, we can only become stronger, more valued and closer to gaining that all important recognition as a strategic function within the organisation.'

We were thrilled to see that the IoIC is, for the second year running, the preferred professional body for internal communication, with 22% of Inside Insight respondents holding membership with us. To celebrate, we'll be offering a 22% discount to new members for this week only. Use code 'iimember' when registering to benefit from the discount (offer ends 4 May 2018).
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