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IfL

copy of ifl demand for paymentI am a self-employed ‘Fellow’ of the IfL. After 17 years teaching in F.E. I became redundant and took up the challenge of self-employment. For over five years I have worked independently as well as on a variety of national CPD programmes, which were aimed at raising the e-Learning capabilities of teaching colleagues. I have always paid my own IfL fee voluntarily, including the surcharge for possessing a Master’s level qualification that entitles me to the ‘Fellow’ appellation.

As far as I am aware, there is no rule, law or contract to make me do this.

I’ve been happy enough to pay the £45 fee each year with no real understanding of what I gained from being a member. I’m still no wiser – but am comfortable in the knowledge that each person I worked alongside was also a member. For the same (and more tangible) reasons I also remain a member of UCU (originally Natfhe). Furthermore, given my speciality (e-Learning), I am also a member of the Association of Learning Technology (ALT).

The fact that IfL now demands a 100%+ increase in my fee has made me step back and consider the issue more closely.

First of all, my membership of ALT still costs less than £50 p.a. and for that I get up to four printed peer assessed research journals and a monthly stream of newsletters along with the opportunity to discuss matters with my peers. What’s more, with ALT, I have the opportunity to undertake well-regarded (by the sector) and peer assessed certification of CPD (CMALT).

IfL have offered me the chance to use REFLECT (which I have). To the best of my knowledge no one has certified or checked the 30+ hours I have recorded each year. What saddens me, is that REFLECT can be easily replicated on the Web by individuals for little or no cost. They also offered me the chance to become a ‘Fellow’ – but I’ve no idea what that has done for me, for my peers or for my future. And now they want twice as much as before to offer me the same? As I say, I’m not sure what that is.

I’m sorry but they (IfL) will just have to suck it up like all of the other previously government supported private and not so private companies – lose some staff or take a pay cut. We didn’t cause the financial downturn – we’re all to careful with our money.

IfL will certainly have to start offering some value for money before I reconsider my decision not to re-enlist.

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