CMI qualifications explained

Take the steps to success

Our qualifications set out a journey of progression, delivering professional learning that equips learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to take their management career further. The qualifications are developed by subject matter experts, so you can have the confidence that you are gaining up to date and relevant skills desired by employers.

Ready to find the right Management and Leadership course for you? Take a look in our qualifications library.

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Starting your journey with a CMI qualification

Qualifications can be studied at one of our CMI centres. Use our online Centre Finder to locate the centres nearest to you by simply entering your qualification level and region. Our centres are approved to provide the highest standards of management and leadership development.

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This will depend on the level and size of the qualification and, to a certain extent, this will be down to the learner and the provider. To get a good indication, each unit and qualification has  a notional number of hours attached to it, based on the average time it takes to complete. More information can be found below and in the individual qualification information.

Qualification library

The below definitions are outlined in alignment to regulatory guidance:

Total Qualification Time (TQT) - The number of notional hours which represents an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required, in order for a Learner to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of a qualification. Total Qualification Time is calculated by totaling individual unit Total Unit Time (TUT).

Total Unit Time (TUT) - The number of notional hours which represents an estimate of the total amount of time that could reasonably be expected to be required, in order for a Learner to achieve and demonstrate the achievement of the level of attainment necessary for the award of a unit. This is estimated by:

  1. Guided Learning Hours  (see below)
  2. Further Learning - time reasonably expected to be required for self study and non-guided learning
  3. Assessment - time reasonably expected to be required for the preparation and completion of assessment for unit, not under direct supervision

Guided Learning Hours (GLH) - the estimated contact time the average earner has with tutors, trainers or facilitators as part of the learning process, it includes formal learning including classes, training sessions, coaching, seminars, live webinar and telephone tutorials and e-learning which is supervised (live). This does not include learning directed by tutors, training or facilitators without their supervision.

NB: these notional hours are set based on an average learner, in a predominantly classroom-based environment. Hours may vary depending on the delivery and assessment model, and the individual learner.

There are a number of options for you to deliver CMI qualifications:

  1. As an Approved Centre - As an Approved centre you are able to deliver and assess CMI qualifications in whatever format you want. We offer complete end-to-end support and have a number of flexible options to help you best meet the needs of your learners.
  2. As a Registered centre - Registered centres are approved to deliver CMI qualifications, but not assess. We offer complete assessment solutions for our partners, if required.
  3. As an Accredited partner - CMI can accredit your existing training programmes by mapping them against a CMI qualification. Find out more about Accreditation.

Our flexible solutions are designed around your organisation and the needs of your learners. Get in touch with the team today to discuss your requirements.

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Level Definitions

CMI offers qualifications from Level 2, right through to Level 8. Below is a broad overview of the qualifications and the roles that they cover.

Levels 2 and 3
Designed for aspiring, supervisory or first-line managers.
Levels 2 and 3 offer a broad range of knowledge, ranging from team leading to project and resource management.

Levels 4 and 5
For mid-managers, Levels 4 and 5 are more appropriate as they focus on developing core management skills such as managing resources, recruitment and information management.

Levels 6 and 7 
Levels 6 and 7 are developed for senior managers who have the responsibility to translate organisational strategy into effective performance.

Level 8 
CMI is the only organisation that offers Level 8, which is suited to C-level senior managers.

Want to know how these align to other qualifications in the UK? Read our guide for more information.

Qualification Subjects

CMI offers a broad range of Leadership and Management qualifications - just some of the subjects offered are:

  • Management and Leadership
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Police Management
  • Project Management
  • Entrepreneurial Practice
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Award, Certificate or Diploma?

CMI qualifications come in three different sizes, depending on how in-depth the qualification is and how long it will take you to complete it.

  • Award is the shortest and most concise qualification - typically takes between one and three months
  • Certificate provides a broad base of knowledge and skills - typically takes between three and six months
  • Diploma provides a comprehensive and extensive programme of learning - typically taking between six and 12 months

Please note: these are typical timings only, some qualifications may take less or more time, depending on the delivery options.

Units and Credits

CMI qualifications consist of units, which have a credit value that tells you roughly how long it takes to complete - one credit represents about 10 hours work. 

  • Awards are 4 to 10 credits (40 to 100 hours learning)
  • Certificates are 13 to 20 credits (130 to 200 hours learning)
  • Diplomas are 37 or more credits (370 or more hours learning)
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Got any questions?

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about CMI qualifications, contact us today and our experienced team will be able to help you.

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