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CILIP's PKSB and the new BSI ISO 30401 Knowledge Management Systems Standard


CILIP’s Professional Skills and Knowledge Base (PKSB) and the new BSI ISO 30401 Knowledge Management Systems Standard

It’s great to see how well CILIP’s Professional Skills and Knowledge Base (PKSB) maps across to the new BS ISO 30401: 2018 Knowledge Management Systems Requirements standard published by BSI on Friday.

I had the privilege of representing CILIP on BSI’s Knowledge Management (KM) Committee which helped develop this new KM Standard. I believe this standard is a key step in professionalising/formalising KM into a discipline and gives KM legitimacy as a profession. This is good news for those knowledge managers considering becoming Chartered Knowledge Managers through CILIP’s Professional Registration process.

This new KM Standard is a standard of principles and there is real value in having a set of universally–agreed principles that KM practitioners can align to. It sets down a marker for future KM practitioners to benchmark activities against.

So how does this new standard map against CILIP’s Professional Skills and Knowledge Base (PKSB)?

CILIP’s PKSB brings areas of professional and technical expertise together with the generic skills and capabilities required by those in the information and knowledge management community. It also encompasses our ethics and values while placing value on the wider context both within the community and beyond.

I have just completed a review/comparison of the new KM standard alongside the PKSB. I have a vested interest in this, as I was also a member of CILIP’s Future Skills Project Board which developed the PKSB. I am therefore delighted to see that the PKSB is of great relevance to those knowledge managers today who will be using the new KM Standard to provide a solid foundation on which to build their KM solution.

CILIP’s PKSB incorporates many aspects the new BSI ISO 30401 KM Systems standard. PKSB’s Section 2: Knowledge and Information Management covers organising and exploiting knowledge as well as managing knowledge. All the parts of PKSB Section 2: Knowledge and Information Management (except 2.3 which explicitly relates to data management) are reflected in the new standard.

CILIP’s PKSB reflects the standard in the following way:

Section 3 of the standard defines knowledge and also knowledge management. ISO 30401 para 3.26 provides a note on knowledge management as “Optimizing the identification, creation, analysis, representation, distribution and application of knowledge to create organizational value”. This is consistent with the PKSB’s definition in Section 2 “collecting, organising and exploiting knowledge … within an organisation …sharing knowledge, skills and outcomes for the benefit of others”.

Section 3.27, section 4.8 and Annex C Knowledge management culture are reflected in PKSB 2.7: Knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Section 4 of the standard covers the KM system, understanding the organisation and its context and how KM supports this; understanding the needs of stakeholders. It then outlines the KM system itself: the knowledge development and the enablers (the roles, processes, technologies, governance and culture).

Section 4.1 Understanding the organisation and its context is reflected in PKSB Section 10: Strategy, planning and management.

Section 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties is reflected in the PKSB Section 11: Customer focus, service design and marketing.

Sections 4.4.2 to 4.4.4 include requirements which are independent.

Section 4.4.2 Knowledge development

  • Section 4.4.2.a Acquiring new knowledge is reflected in PKSB 2.1: Knowledge management and PKSB 2.5: Knowledge transfer/organisational learning
  • Section 4.4.2.b Applying current knowledge: knowledge reuse is reflected in PKSB 2.5: Knowledge transfer/organisational learning and PKSB 2.2: Information management
  • Section 4.4.2.c Retaining current knowledge is reflected in PKSB 2.6: Organisational knowledge assets, PKSB 2.7: Knowledge sharing and collaboration, and PKSB 5.6: Information risk management

Section 4.4.3 Knowledge conveyance and transformation

  • Section 4.4.3.a Human interaction is reflected in PKSB 2.7: Knowledge sharing and collaboration
  • Section 4.4.3.b Representation is reflected in PKSB 2.2: Information management, PKSB 2.4 Knowledge synthesis and PKSB 2.5: Knowledge transfer/organisational learning
  • Sections 4..4.3 c Combination is reflected in PKSB 1.3: Classification schemes and taxonomies, PKSB 2.2: Information management, and PKSB 2.4: Knowledge synthesis
  • Section 4.4.3.d Internalization and learning is reflected in PKSB 2.1: Knowledge management and PKSB 2.7: Knowledge sharing and collaboration

Section 4.4.4 Knowledge management enablers

  • Section 4.4.4.b Processes is reflected in PKSB section 2.5: Knowledge transfer/organisational learning
  • Section 4.4.4.c Technology & infrastructure is reflected in PKSB Section 12.4: Social media and collaborative tools
  • Section 4.4.4.d Governance is reflected in PKSB 10.1: Strategic planning and PKSB 10.4: Policy

Section 5.1. Leadership and commitment is reflected in PKSB Section 9: Leadership and advocacy

Section 5.2 Policy is reflected in PKSB 10.4: Policy

Section 6 Planning is reflected in PKSB 10.1: Strategic planning

So it is clear that CILIP’s PKSB incorporates the KM aspects of the standard. I hope this will encourage KM practitioners to consider professional registration to become a CILIP Chartered Knowledge Manager when it is rolled out in 2019.

Karen McFarlane CMG BA MLib FCLIP
Chair of CILIP Board


Press release


Published: 29 November 2017

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