Building a professional network

In addition to building a network of useful contacts within your institution, think about ways of linking to your peers in other institutions. You may be surprised by the amount of cooperation and information sharing which goes on, even though institutions are in some ways competing with one another.

For example, if you identified any gaps in the policies and procedures your institution currently has, you may find colleagues are willing to share examples from their own institution.

Joining a professional network will give you a useful set of informal contacts for support, advice and sharing of ideas. See the resources tab at the end of this module for details of key professional networks in the sector.

Key benefits are likely to include both email discussion networks and training and networking events.

Identify which network (or networks) are most relevant to you in your current role. If you aren't already a member, can you join?

Your organisation may already have institutional membership, or may be willing to pay your individual membership fee.


Decide what you aim to get out of joining this network? For instance, contacts locally or nationally, contacts in similar organisations, network for seeking ideas on good practice, opportunities for training.

Join professional network
Sign up for relevant email discussion groups
Book onto the next relevant training or networking event