About the Professional Development Scheme (PDS)

The Professional Development Scheme (PDS) recognizes the effort and achievements of librarians in their continuous professional training and development effort. The award of “Practicing Professional (PP)” is given to librarians who have attained a prescribed level of training and professional development activities within a 2-year period. LAS will confer the award to individuals on the recommendation of the PDS Board and their names are published in this site with the expiry date in brackets.

Employers can use this as an indicator of a librarian’s ability in keeping up with the rapid changes in our field and his/her likelihood of performing their job competently. Employers are encouraged to use the scheme as part of their performance appraisal process and for recruiting middle and senior level professional staff.

The Revised PDS

After the successful implementation of the scheme for the last 5 years, LAS introduced a revised PDS in July 2014. This takes into account feedback from members and our experience in managing the scheme. In the old scheme, an applicant needs to attain a minimum of 2,000 points by engaging in groups of prescribed activities within 2 years. In the new scheme, the point system is replaced by the number of activities engaged in, also within 2 years. Although the types of recognized activities remain similar, they are more specifically defined to make it easier for assessors to approve the application. See the details of the new scheme.

The changes would make it easier for members to tally their activities for submission and for the PDS Board to assess the applications. However the philosophy behind the PDS remains the same, i.e. to ensure that members engage in a minimum number of professional development activities that must be varied and not centred on a single type, such as only attending conferences.

Benefits of the PP status

For individuals, gaining PP status will enable them to show their employers or potential employers that they have engaged in a systematic programme of continuous professional development and training expected of any modern professional. For some major organizations, the attainment of PP status may be tied to promotion considerations, career advancement and successful job applications.

For libraries, the PDS scheme provides a useful framework to encourage all librarians to engage in continuing training and professional development in a systematic and consistent manner. The scheme can dovetail with any existing staff development scheme easily. The attainment of PP status by staff member can be used as a pre-requisite for recruitment, promotion and incentive scheme for achieving higher professionalism and productivity. One useful feature of the PDS is that it takes into account non-training activities such as publishing, self-study, professional reading, participation in community projects, etc., which are important component of professional development and which are not normally considered as training activities in an organization’s staff training programme.

For parent bodies of libraries, the PDS scheme provides an industry standard in terms of what it takes to be recognized as sufficient effort in continuing professional development for librarians. Employers of librarians now have a common yardstick to determine the professional development effort undertaken by existing as well as potential employees. Also, unlike staff training schemes in an organization, whereby a person’s training record is kept in-house and is specific to the organization, the PP certification is portable and can be used wherever the person works.

Go to Application Procedures.