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How Long Does a CMI Qualification Take?

If you’re serious about developing your career in leadership and management, you’ve probably started considering qualifications you could take to boost your performance. The chances are that you’re considering qualifications from the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) as one of your options.

CMI qualifications are a really effective way to gain the essential theoretical knowledge and practical skills that you’ll need for a successful career in management and leadership. As one of the ‘gold standard’ qualifications in the industry, they can help to both improve your performance at work and help your overall career development.

But how long do they actually take to complete? Here’s what you need to know.

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Factors that affect how long a CMI qualification takes to complete

The type of qualification you take

Some types of qualifications will take longer to complete than others. There are three lengths of CMI qualification:

How long does a CMI Award take to complete?

An Award is the simplest type of qualification that you can take. It covers one topic in detail and will take around 1 to 3 months to complete.

How long does a CMI Certificate take to complete?

A Certificate is the next step up. It takes around 6 to 8 months to complete and covers a few topics related to the subject in detail. It is a good way to get a broad grounding in a topic in a relatively short period. Many businesses will expect candidates for top roles to have a CMI certificate as a bare minimum.

How long does a CMI Diploma take to complete?

A Diploma is the most comprehensive qualification that you’ll be able to take at each level. It can take you anywhere from 12 months to 24 months to complete.  It’s designed to give you the essential information that you’ll need to progress in your career, and it will cover more units than a certificate, usually in more detail.

How long it takes you to complete a qualification will obviously vary then, depending on the exact type of qualification you choose to take. Usually, qualifications that cover more information will take longer to compete. For example, you’ll be able to complete an award relatively quickly because it only covers one topic, whilst a certificate or diploma will take slightly longer because they cover several.

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Your existing commitments

Life has a habit of getting in the way of things that you’re trying to focus on.

Unless you’re able to dedicate your entire waking hours to study, you’re likely to find that you’re going to need to balance existing commitments like childcare or work with the demands of study.

And that can affect how long it takes you to complete a qualification.

Study takes time and effort, and you’ll only really be successful if you give it the time that it deserves. Basically, the more time you have to devote to a CMI qualification, the faster you’ll be able to complete it in!

Full-time work and family commitments shouldn’t put you off taking a CMI qualification, though. With a little bit of intelligent thinking and crafty scheduling, you’ll be able to make your existing commitments fit around your study.

Many providers, for instance, have designed their courses to do just this.

Our CMI qualifications, for example, can be completed 100% online and whenever you want – there are no deadlines aside from the end of your access to the course. You can study at your own pace!

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How fast you learn

How fast a learner you are will also affect how long it takes you to complete a CMI qualification.

That’s because learning is an intensely personal process. The speed that you learn differs for everyone and is dependent on a whole range of factors, such as the type of information that you’re learning and how you’re learning it.

You can’t really predict how long it might take you to learn a particular skill or piece of information. You can only base it on how you’ve learned new knowledge and skills in the past.

That means that the unique way that you learn will affect how fast you learn overall.

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Your study format

One of the biggest things that influences how long it will take you to complete a CMI qualification is the format of the course that you’re studying.

In the past you had two choices for how to study a qualification: you could either do it in person, at a school or college, or you could do it by distance learning, by post.

With the growth of the internet, distance-learning proved increasingly popular. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed online learning to the forefront of education and has proved a vital lifeline for students around the world.

Whether you choose to study in a classroom or online will have a direct impact on how long your CMI qualification will take to complete.

If you’re studying the course in a physical classroom, it’s likely that the course will have a specific timeframe that you’ll need to complete it within. This can be a positive or a negative, depending on how easy you find it to study.

Our 100% online CMI courses [link] let you complete your course as quickly or slowly as you choose within the course access period, which we calculate generously to give you plenty of time to learn at your own pace and take breaks when you need them.

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Your performance

Your current management skills and knowledge will play some part in how easy you find it to complete a CMI qualification, and thus, how long you it takes to complete it, too.

After all, logic says that if you already have a lot of management and leadership experience, you’re likely to find it easier to complete a course in it. 

Becoming a successful manager is a tough but very rewarding journey. It doesn’t matter if it takes you a little longer to get there – every small step that you make is ultimately getting you closer to your goals.



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