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CMI or ILM: Which is the best management institute for my management qualification?

Choosing the right professional qualification can be a difficult process at the best of times – but what happens when you have more than one professional institute to choose from?

Students looking to improve their team leading or management skills are faced with exactly that dilemma – there are two competing management institutes; the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management. At first glance they both offer very similar courses, so how do you choose between the two?

While both the CMI and ILM are valuable and prestigious qualifications, there are differences between the two institutes that you should be aware of before making a choice between them.

The Institute of Leadership and Management:

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) was formed in November 2001 through the merger of the Institute of Supervision and Management (ISM) and the National Examining Board for Supervision and Management (NEBS). It is now an organisation within the City & Guilds Group.

The Institute of Leadership and Management offers a range of highly customisable management courses, ranging from team leader training through to middle management levels and above. ILM units are shorter than CMI units, so you can choose to study a wider range of topics during your course.

Because of its close links with City and Guilds, the ILM’s courses are known for their flexibility, range of assessment options and vocational focus. The ILM is particularly noted for its courses in team leading and first line management, which are popular in the public sector.

The Chartered Institute of Management:

The CMI was originally formed in the 1950’s as the British Management Institute, and became the Chartered Management Institute in 2002. It’s the UK’s only chartered professional body for management, with 70,000 members worldwide.

The Chartered Management Institute’s qualifications range from team leader through to strategic management courses. CMI courses offer fewer opportunities for customisation than ILM courses, although students may still select from optional units to tailor the course to their requirements.

The CMI is particularly well known for its higher level courses at level 5 and 7, which are often viewed as having a more ‘academic’ focus than their ILM equivalents. CMI management qualifications are highly prized by private sector and blue chip organizations, and offer students the chance to gain ‘Chartered Manager’ status.

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