The Society of Bookbinders’ Certificates of Competence scheme has been established for two principal reasons: firstly to set out the Society’s standards for hand bookbinding, and secondly to give members a target to work towards.
Rather than being a curriculum or syllabus for a course of tuition, the scheme is designed to assess the products of training, experience and hard work.
Candidates might include students on courses, tutors of book arts courses, or members who just want to prove something to themselves! It is hoped that, as well as providing a yardstick against which to measure one’s own abilities, the Certificates will become a recognised sign of assurance for prospective clients.
The scheme is modular and encompasses a range of different binding styles. Initial modules cover cloth bindings, half- and quarter-leather, and full leather. Further modules are expected to be added in future.
Each of the three Certificates currently available has its own criteria for assessment, but the general approach is to be as flexible as possible in what can be offered for assessment.
Each module will include a practical assessment during which the applicant will be asked to complete a set task within a specified time, given a suitable kit of materials It is envisaged that these practical tests will be arranged by the Society’s Regions. The completed task will become part of the portfolio of work for assessment.
Each item offered for assessment may be accompanied by a short written statement about the approach to the work. Applicants will also be expected to sign a declaration stating that the work is their own and that it was completed within the previous twelve months.
As no timetable has been fixed for 2011, timings are open to discussion and negotiation.
There is a charge of £30 per Certificate to cover administration and assessment costs.
The assessors’ comments will be fed back to the applicants and the names of successful applicants will be recorded in a Society Roll Book.