Getting Chartered - Myth Busting

01 October 2018

Article from the CMI Southern Board Chair Suzanne Anderson as she completes her term serving in the region.

We recently held a really successful workshop for our Southern Region members who are embarking on their journey to get Chartered Manager status. It was great to see such enthusiasm and work with individuals to understand some of their concerns about setting out, so I thought I would try and distil some of the thoughts and feedback we got from that session and bust a few myths about Chartered Manager.

Myth 1: “I’m already a manager so I don’t need to get Chartered”

I think this comes down to really understanding the difference between Chartered and the different levels of membership that the CMI offers. As an experienced manager and leader, it took me many years to get round to getting Chartered, but I can tell you that having finally done it I wish I had done it years ago.

Why? I had gained CMI qualifications up to Level 8, I had an MBA as well as a smattering of other qualifications, so perhaps I thought that getting Chartered status wouldn’t really make much difference.

In 2016, I decided it was about time to get Chartered, so I looked at what I would need to do and realised I was eligible for the Exemption route. After some procrastination I finally got round to filling in my application form and setting out not just what I have done in the workplace but also how I do it, giving myself time to reflect and thinking about the benefits of what I had learned over the years. This process of reflection is probably the most valuable part of the Chartered journey as you think about, reflect and apply your own management practice, ensuring this is matched against the CMI Code of Conduct and Practice.

Myth 2: “People just get Chartered to pad out their CV”

Well, whilst there is clearly a personal benefit to anyone who can put ‘Chartered’ on their CV as it is an obvious demonstration of management achievement and experience, there is much more to it. Once you have achieved Chartered status you make a commitment to Continuing Professional Development (CPD), which means that there is much more to this than a label. CPD enforces you to continue thinking about your management development, increasing your skills, and getting you to reflect on what you have achieved and how you have done it. Many of the CMI events and webinars can contribute to your CPD and you usually find that you learn something new or reinforce positive approaches just by committing to these.

Myth 3: “I’m too busy to get Chartered”

We’re all busy, aren’t we? Juggling work, family, other commitments and trying to fit in all of the work that is needed to get Chartered can seem like it is just too much. Yet, once you get started you will find that the most difficult thing is working out which route is right for you. Just have a look on the CMI website and you will see that there are three different routes to gaining Chartered status depending on what you have done previously.

If you already have a CMI Level 5 or above Diploma and a minimum of three years’ management experience, then you can go for the Exemption route which means you have done all of the hard work already in terms of the theory and learning, you just need to write up a short portfolio and demonstrate how you apply this in your workplace. If you have a degree level qualification in management, leadership or business but it was not a CMI qualification then you can take the Qualified route; this means you will need to write up you learning and experience and then have a professional discussion with an assessor.

The third route is for those that do not have a degree level qualification but have got plenty of actual management experience and is called the Experiential route. For this route you will need to submit a written portfolio setting out all your experience; this will be followed up with a telephone assessment and then a visit by an assessor to see you in your workplace.

So, three different routes depending on your level of formal qualification but all three are achievable over the space of a few months and do not take that much time as it is about what you do and how you do it that counts, and remember you will be supported all the way through by a dedicated assessor who is there to help.

“I’m too junior to get Chartered”

Well, I think it depends on what you mean by Junior. To get Chartered you will need at least three years relevant experience in a management role, but it doesn’t matter what level of role that is, whether that is first line manager all the way up to Board level. As long as you can demonstrate that you have the right level of qualification and experience then you are eligible to start.

“I haven’t done a CMI qualification so I can’t get Chartered”

The only route that needs a CMI qualification is the Exemption route, the other two routes are open to others regardless of where you learned your management theory. So, it doesn’t matter what your management qualification is or even if you don’t have one, there is still a route for you to get started on your Chartered journey.

I hope that has helped bust a few myths about getting Chartered. It is well worth it in terms of giving you confidence in your own management ability but in also opening up your mind to continuous improvement.

Whichever route is for you, good luck on the journey, and watch out for more Southern Region events to help you get Chartered.

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CMI Southern Blog for more stories and reflections on Chartered Manager.