Happy birthday Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

17 January 2019 -

Chartered manager degree apprenticeshipIt’s three years since the introduction of the most popular degree apprenticeship. Here’s what you should know

Rob Wall

The vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal wasn’t the only important event occurring in Westminster on Tuesday 15 January. CMI, along with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Management, hosted a celebration in Parliament to mark three years since the formal launch of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA).


The CMDA is a degree apprenticeship that includes business education, work-based learning and professional development. The CMDA Standard has been mapped to the requirements for Chartered Manager. This means that apprentices are able, through their degree and work-based learning activities, to acquire the knowledge and skills that a Chartered Manager should have.

In the 17/18 academic year there were over 2,000 starts on the CMDA, making it the most popular degree apprenticeship. Chartered Manager degree apprentices now work in many of the UK’s biggest companies – such as BT, the BBC, the Civil Service, IBN, Nestle and the NHS – as well as in small and medium-sized businesses up and down the country.

Improving management skills and spreading the adoption of good management practice is key to improving individual and organisational performance. As such, the CMDA – and management apprenticeships in general – are playing an important role in helping to solve the UK’s long-standing productivity puzzle. Indeed, since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, management apprenticeships have the potential to radically transform employers’ approach to management and leadership development and significantly improve our productivity performance.


To coincide with the three year anniversary, CMI have released new statistics on the CMDA. These show that the CMDA is not only successful in boosting productivity but is also attracting and developing apprentices from all walks of life. For example:

  • with more female apprentices than male, the CMDA is helping to build the pipeline of future female leaders and redress the gender imbalance in our boardrooms
  • with over a quarter of apprentices under 25, the CMDA is helping young people take their first steps into management
  • with many apprentices over 30, the CMDA is also playing an important role upskilling and reskilling older workers. With nearly one in three workers in the UK aged 50 or over, upskilling and reskilling existing older workers is more important than ever
  • with two in five apprentices coming from the most deprived areas of the UK, the CMDA is a great example of how degree apprenticeships are widening participation and boosting social mobility

CMI believes that the UK needs good managers and great leaders – now, more than ever. We know that today’s Chartered Manager degree apprentices are tomorrow’s senior civil servants, top business leaders and key influencers. If all our future managers are to be equipped with the skills to be confident, competent leaders, then we need not only to celebrate the CMDA but also accelerate investment in management development and in management apprenticeships.

It is time to champion and celebrate the huge success story that is the CMDA. Long may it continue to build a diverse pipeline of talented future managers and leaders. Happy birthday CMDA!

Rob Wall is head of policy at the Chartered Management Institute. More information about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship is available here.

Image: Shutterstock

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