Developing a Competency Standards for Filipino Librarians by Fe Angela M. Verzosa


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Developing a Competency Standards for Filipino Librarians by Fe Angela M. Verzosa

  1. 1. Developing a Competency Standards for Filipino Librarians by Fe Angela M. Verzosa   In line with the Aquino Government’s overarching goal to invest in the country's human resource to make them more competitive and employable, the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) is fast-tracking convergent action on the conduct of a multi-sector consultation on the Philippine Qualifications Framework (PQF) and the ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework AQRF). "The PQF was developed to establish a coherent national and internationally- benchmarked structure for all qualifications awarded in the Philippines. All qualifications listed on the framework are quality assured so that there may be national and international confidence not only in the academic and skill standards and their vocational relevance, but also in the quality of teaching, assessment, and the valid awarding of the officially recognized Philippine national qualification," as explained by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz in an article here ( The ASEAN Regional Qualifications Framework (ARQF) aims to benchmark and improve higher education by exchanging information in order to promote adoption of best practices on standards and qualifications, and to come up with similar standards throughout the region. The consultation seeks to prepare Filipino professionals for the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community by having a deeper understanding on the concept, principles, and processes of the PQF and ARQF, with the ultimate goal to enhance the quality of professionals, promote their competitiveness, and support their mobility across the ASEAN region and elsewhere. As part of these initiatives, PRC Chair, Hon. Teresita Manzala, who has consistently stressed the importance of preparing Filipino professionals for the FTAs (Free Trade Agreements) by the year 2015, is urging the creation of roadmaps of competitiveness in every field of professions, a roadmap that is customer-focused, with high value-added product and services-centered. In line with this initiative, the Professional Regulatory Board for Librarians conducted a consultative workshop for the formulation of standards and competencies for the library profession, with the end in view of developing a National Competency-based Standards for Librarians (NCBSL), using as the frame of reference Dr. Numeriana M. Villareal’s doctoral dissertation entitled, A Proposed Competency-based Standards for Librarians. The first consultative workshop held on July 5, 2013, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the National Library of the Philippines, was attended by the members of the Board for Librarians, Chairman Corazon M. Nera, and members Arabella M. Ananoria and Mila M. Ramos, the
  2. 2. Director of the National Library, Atty. Antonio M. Santos, presidents of library organizations led by the Philippine Librarians Association’s President Elizabeth R. Peralejo, library school faculty led by UP School of Library and Information Science Dean Johann F. Cabbab, Dr. Juan Buenrostro, and Dr. Teresita H. Calma, and about forty (40) librarians representing their academic, public, special, and school libraries. Among the initial agreements reached during this meeting were as follows: 1. The competency-based standards to be adopted and prescribed shall define the core (or basic) competencies (of skills and knowledge) to be possessed by a professional in the practice of librarianship as embodied in RA 9246. 2. While the body agreed to determine the scope of the competency-based standards in the introduction to the working document after it has been finalized, the term competencies to be used in the working document shall be defined as “the knowledge, skills, and abilities that define and contribute to the performance in a particular profession.” 3. The core competencies shall be divided into two main groups: PROFESSIONAL and PERSONAL, following the SLA model. 4. The Professional Competencies shall be formulated into model statements following the four domains under the SLA model, while Personal Competencies will be based on other sources in addition to the Villareal thesis, namely: SLA’s Competencies for Information Professionals of the 21st Century and Competency Index for the Library Field compiled by WebJunction, as shown in the tables below:
  3. 3. 5. The body was grouped thereafter into 5 to formulate the competency statements for the following domains: Group 1 - Managing information resources under Dr. Juan Buenrostro as team leader Group 2 – Managing information services under Susan Pador as team Leader Group 3 – Managing information tools and technologies under Ed Quiros as team leader Group 4 – Managing information organizations under Salvacion M. Arlante as team leader Group 5 – Personal Competencies under Chairman Corazon M. Nera as team leader The groups were encouraged to make use of other competency models to further complement the three sources upon which the domains were based. The group leaders were tasked to submit their working papers to the National Competency-based Standards for Librarians (NCBSL)Task Force Coordinator (this writer) for consolidation, editing, and review prior to submission to the Board for Librarians, and before a resolution to this effect will be submitted to the Commission proper. As envisioned, the adoption and prescription of a NCBSL will be a significant part of the BFL Competitiveness Roadmap.
  4. 4. The draft of the Standards prepared by the five groups were presented again for discussion and review last September 5, which was attended by the Board for Librarians, the Director of the National Library, and this writer as the NCBSL Task Force Coordinator. Also participating in the deliberations were librarians/ representatives from the different library sectors and library organizations. The first to be presented, and by consensus approved in principle, was the Personal Competencies Statement drafted by the members of the Board of Librarians. According to BFL Chair Mrs. Nera, the group relied heavily on the Competency Index for the Library Field compiled by WebJunction to describe the domains and formulate the statements. This is the Competency Index for the Library Field compiled in June 2009 using various competency sets (from ALA, SLA, PLA, library associations in California, Kansas, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, etc), and supported by OCLC, Dublin, Ohio. (see sample tables below)
  5. 5. The other groups’ presentations will be subject to more inputs, deliberation, review and finalization before submission. Meanwhile, it was agreed at the second consultative meeting that the draft presentations will be disseminated online through various social networking media for discussion and feedback. Hopefully, other avenues for open discussion will be explored and availed of, and more inputs may be generated from other interested groups or sectors Because librarianship as a profession is viewed as dynamic and continually evolving, the NCBSL Task Force views the final document to be presented to the Commission as a guide to a career-long learning, and therefore, is subject to periodic review and re-assessment.