Brigadier Suzanne Anderson (pictured left) spoke at the launch of the Senior Master’s Degree Apprenticeship and CMI Professional and Leadership Standard in the House of Commons in October 2017. She talked of working towards Chartered Manager and the value it had given her through reflecting on her own leadership and management experiences.
Discover Suzanne’s chartered journey
Suzanne said: “The CMI has different routes to gaining chartered manager status: the exemption route for those who have studied a CMI qualification to level 5 or higher; or the experiential route for those who don’t have a qualification but do have relevant experience. My career in the Army has meant that I’ve been lucky to gain a lot of leadership and management training, all of which has been mapped against CMI outcomes, right up to Level 8. I have also studied for an MBA whilst in the Army.
“I decided to gain my chartered status last year. For years I had been advising others to gain qualifications and professional membership of external organisations, extolling the virtues of the learning materials and networks that these open up. I had studied leadership and management to a high level, I had also taught numerous courses myself on leadership and management, yet I wasn’t chartered. I knew about the benefits of being a member of CMI: the access to Management Direct and all the useful resources and toolkits as I had been using them for years. Yet I had not taken that step to get chartered.”
Chartered Manager process is an opportunity for structured reflective learning
Suzanne added: “Pulling together the evidence to gain my chartered manager status meant that I had to reflect on what I had achieved as a manager throughout my career. Really reflect and think about my personal impact and how I had applied the learning and experience I had gained. In our busy lives, in busy jobs, taking that time to reflect is really important and I found it really helped me identify my strengths and areas that I need to improve on.
“Throughout my career as an Army Officer and as learning and development professional I have been in the privileged position of managing teams of people. Quite often people think that a career in the Army means that you just order people around. Well, I’m my experience, that’s not been the case. Quite often I had responsibility over mixed teams of military, civil servants and civilian contractors which have required me to use a range of approaches and I’ve found that every time I’ve faced a difficult management situation I’ve been able to dig into resources from my training courses and draw on examples or techniques from CMI and Management Direct to help me find a way to deal with the situation.
Going chartered can inspire you and cement learning transfer into the workplace
“So, I finally decided to complete my portfolio of evidence and gain chartered status last year after I had done a strategic leadership course. It was an excellent course, embedding the elements of learning of the CMI level 8 course. I felt really inspired by what I had learned and to cement the learning transfer into the workplace I felt that chartered manager would give me the momentum to kept pushing myself to improve – I know I am not there yet, I have still got plenty to learn. But more than that, I hoped that becoming chartered would give me additional confidence and credibility in the workplace and act as a catalyst for others to follow.”