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Which CMI Qualification is Right For You?

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Choosing a management qualification to study can feel like quite an overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be.

There are a few pieces of information that you should know if you’re currently trying to work out what CMI qualification you want to study. Being aware of these things can make the process a whole lot easier.

Here’s how you can work out which CMI qualification is right for you.


Why study a CMI Qualification?

If you’re a manager and you’re looking to develop your skills, chances are you’ve probably had CMI qualifications recommended to you.

But why should you choose to study a CMI qualification in the first place?

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is one of the UK’s largest professional body for the management and leadership profession. They’re responsible for upholding standards in this sector and for accrediting a range of industry-specific qualifications, aimed at all experience levels.

It’s also the only professional management sector body in the UK that has the power to award prestigious ‘Chartered Manager’ status to professionals – one of the highest titles that you can achieve as a manager.

If you’re committed to pursuing a career in management and leadership, studying a qualification from the CMI is one of the best ways to prove to top employers that you have the high quality skills and knowledge they’ll expect from the best candidates.


What factors affect which CMI qualification is right for you?

There are three things that will usually affect which type of CMI qualification is the best for you. They are:

  1. Your current knowledge, skills and experience
  2. Your career goals
  3. Your budget

How are CMI qualifications structured?

Okay, hold tight because we’re going to get slightly technical.

There are two classifications when it comes to organising CMI qualifications and these can be quite confusing to get your head around, particularly if you’re new to the exciting world of qualifications structure.

All qualifications are categorised by their Level (such as Level 5) and their qualification length (indicated by Diploma, Certificate, or Award).


CMI Qualification Levels

(Eg. Level 2 and 3, Level 4, Level 5, Level 7, Level 8)

This corresponds to the difficulty of the qualification. The higher the number, the more advanced the qualification is.

CMI Level 2 and 3 qualifications are entry-level courses, aimed at team leaders, supervisors, and first-line managers.

CMI Level 4 and 5 qualifications are intermediate qualifications, targeted at mid-level managers and department heads who are looking to further their knowledge.

CMI Level 6 and 7 qualifications are aimed at senior managers who are directly answerable to a company leader or board and are looking to progress to even more senior roles.

CMI Level 8 qualifications are designed for company directors and business leaders who are at the top of their game and looking to take their existing expertise to the next level.


CMI Diplomas, Certificates and Awards

At each CMI Level, there are Diplomas, Certificates, and Awards available. Qualifications are designated as either a Diploma, Certificate, or Award depending on how long they take to complete and the amount of information that they cover.


CMI Awards

Average completion time: 1 to 3 months

These are the shortest qualifications at each level and cover one topic in detail.

CMI Certificates

Average completion time: 3 to 6 months

These are mid-size qualifications that cover several subjects in detail.

CMI Diplomas

Average completion time: 6 to 12 months

These are the most comprehensive qualifications and cover a wide range of topics in detail.

At ICS Learn, we offer a range of fully flexible CMI qualifications that you can complete 100% online:


How to choose the right qualification

Think about your career goals

Considering your career goals will help you to hone in on the type of course that’s best for you to achieve your dreams.

It’s a bit of a clichéd question, but think about where you see yourself in five years, both in terms of job position, company and location. Do you plan to stay at the company you’re currently in and climb the career ladder, or do you intend to find a more senior role at another company? Do you see yourself working in a specific management, specialising in a particular subject, or are you more of a generalist, happy to work anywhere?

Once you have a clear idea of your goals, you can research the easiest way to achieve them and what qualifications might be best suited to helping you progress. 


Consider the ways you learn best

Everyone learns best in their own particular way. It’s generally held that there are five different learning styles that people use when it comes to processing and retaining information. They are: visual, auditory, written, kinesthetic and multimodal.

Having a think about the ways that you learn best will help you determine which type of qualification suits you.

This infographic is a great way to find out what type of learner you are.

Consider your time

Studying a qualification will take time and effort. A surprising amount of courses are designed on the assumption that you’re studying full-time and that you don’t have any prior commitments like work or family, which can make studying them quite difficult if you’ve got a job or young children.

Finding out how flexible a course is really important when it comes to determining if a particular course is right for you. Most course providers will offer a variety of courses, in a number of formats. All of our CMI courses, for instance, are designed to be as flexible as possible, so they’re delivered 100% online, and can be studied whenever and wherever suits you best.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful and that you feel able to decide which CMI qualification is best for you!

And if you’re still not sure, get in touch – our CMI Advisors will be happy to help.


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