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Management and Leadership

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Management and Leadership

Effective management is vital to every organisation. If you’ve already taken a leadership role while in uniform – maybe even with the institute membership and qualifications to back it up – you could already have a suitable skill set to transfer to the civilian workplace

What’s involved?

Management and leadership exist in every organisation – the two go hand in hand, but, in essence, they are about the control and coordination of people and material resources. The use of teams and project-based working methods, the identification of individual roles within the organisation, and an increased emphasis on the best possible use of all resources, all under a legal spotlight, make effective management and leadership more of a challenge than ever before.

Organisations such as the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the Management Standards Centre (MSC) are dedicated to raising the performance of businesses in the UK by championing management via the provision of appropriate standards and qualifications. These aim to equip those in management and leadership or supervisory roles with the skills they need to deal with the challenges and decisions they face throughout their careers – and help such individuals realise their own full potential as well as that of their organisations.

Skill up while serving

Service careers can involve a wide and varied experience of management – often in extremely difficult circumstances. Like many Service people, you may have management skills and experience, and perhaps institute membership (see below) that reflects these. General management is practised by most of those in positions of authority and responsibility in the Forces and, these days, is increasingly recognised with formal qualifications.

The awarding of certificates and the opportunity to earn other qualifications by some additional work on top of Service courses mean that all levels of Service management can now be recognised, so that military training can be translated into terms that civilian employers will understand – which may be something you want to consider for the future, when the time comes for you to leave. Leadership and management are core skills for all military personnel, and are among the most transferable of skills into the civilian world. The majority of civilian employers endorse the need for appropriate leadership and management skills, and leadership and management qualifications will certainly enhance your CV.

The British Army website ( highlights the following accreditation opportunities that are available to reserve soldiers and officers …

Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) level 3 Certificate in First Line Management

Available to soldiers and officers who successfully complete the Range Management qualification (Parts 1–3) delivered by Regional Training Centres (RTCs). A portfolio of evidence is compiled using assessed coursework from the RMQ course.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI) or ILM level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management

Available to DE officers who successfully complete the Army Reserve Commissioning course. Completion of a personal development plan is required, which is externally assessed by the awarding organisation.

Chartered Management Institute level 7 Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management

Available to LE officers who successfully complete the Late Entry Officers course (LEOC). Completion of an additional assignment is required and this is externally assessed by the CMI.

In addition to qualifications, the possession of certain personal qualities can be beneficial to those who ultimately wish to pursue a career in management (see ‘Do you have what it takes?’). In fact, due to the roles and responsibilities you may have taken on while serving, you could well be equipped with a range of management skills without even realising it!

Get qualified!

A large number of different types of management and leadership qualification are available within the UK. These range from vocational qualifications such as Scottish and national vocational qualifications (S/NVQs) and vocationally related qualifications (VRQs) to academic (e.g. foundation degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s, doctorates) and professional qualifications (see below). There is also learning available that is not officially accredited – for instance, the sort of group learning acquired at conferences.

There is some overlap between these types of qualification – for example, courses leading to vocational or professional qualifications are often delivered by academic institutions, and group learning is a feature common to many of the courses that lead to accredited qualifications.

Of the qualifications mentioned above, three types relate directly to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for management and leadership: NVQs, SVQs and VRQs. Like S/NVQs, VRQs are based on the NOS, but differ in that they are taught courses that deliver the knowledge and understanding found in the standards; for each level of management there will be a number of VRQs available from the nationally accredited management awarding bodies. NVQs and SVQs represent national standards that are recognised by employers across the country.

As well as those listed above, there are many other courses on offer, with most business schools and the aforementioned institutes offering a number of certificates and diplomas in management, as well as assessment and quality assurance (verification) qualifications.

Courses and training options

There are many courses available to help people move in to management and leadership positions, whether you want a quick skills update or a longer, more in-depth course of training.

Short courses (from one to three days) include a variety of areas (such as facilitation skills, consulting skills, effective delegation, employment law, psychology of management, middle management development, managing change, project management, and an introduction to management) that will provide a solid base to build on. Alternatively, they work well as brush-ups for existing managers at all levels. Course costs can start at around £450 for one day and rise to £2,000 for three days. Some are run in-house, and some are residential.

Intensive short courses take around five days and cost in the region of £1,600 upwards. These courses are for those wanting to learn about leadership and management in the workplace, or to revise their existing skillset. Completion sometimes comes with a recognised certificate – e.g. APMG Change Management Practitioner.

Certificate and diploma courses offer the opportunity for those with little or no management experience to learn in more depth. For example, an NVQ level 3 Certificate in Management, which typically covers how to be a dynamic leader and how to improve team performance, is aimed at those with an interest in becoming first-line managers. Meanwhile, a level 7 Management/Leadership Diploma is more suited to existing senior management personnel. These courses are typically taken as distance learning options. An NVQ at level 3 could take 9 to 12 months and start at around £1,250; an SVQ at level 5 in, say, Operational Management could take up to 18 months and cost around £1,770, while a VRQ at level 7 in Strategic Management and Leadership would take around 12 months and cost around £1,800.

Foundation degrees (e.g. Leadership and Management in Social Care, Leadership for Change and Growth, and Leadership and Management in Early Years) degrees typically take into consideration the needs of employers and the skills students need for the workplace, and so learning is part work based, and part classroom/distance learning based. Students may be expected to have achieved 120 UCAS points in order to take an FD. However, non-standard qualifications and work experience may be taken into consideration in the absence of these points. Additionally, an FD can then be used to count towards a full bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s degrees (which sometimes have entry requirements, and sometimes not) typically cost from about £6,000 to just under £10,000, and offer a range of related learning, such as problem-solving skills, decision making, collaborative working, strategy and reflective thinking. An undergraduate degree can be the stepping-stone to master’s study, which in turn can be the stepping-stone to PhD study (if you are looking for a natural progression). Costs for this kind of study tend to start at close to £10,000 and rise to in excess of £60,000. However, there may well be funding opportunities. Subject areas for this level of study include, for instance, leadership development, international management, leadership and organisational change, and management consulting.

As well as those listed above, there are many other courses on offer, with most business schools and the institutes featured in this article offering a number of certificates and diplomas in management, as well as assessment and quality assurance (verification) qualifications.



The following personal qualities are helpful in management and leadership roles:

  • tough-mindedness
  • decisiveness
  • an extrovert nature
  • capacity to tolerate uncertainty
  • ability to think on one’s feet
  • intuitive understanding of others
  • high tolerance of stress.


ILM membership can provide an excellent platform to help you make the transition to a civilian career. More than 10% of ILM members are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. The ILM understands the issues you face with the transition from the Services to civilian life and getting started on a second career. It can help you gain recognition for the skills and training you received while in the Forces. ILM membership offers:

  • excellent networking and profile-building opportunities – it will connect you with 35,000 professional managers and leaders, in its online community and at regular ILM events
  • its career centre, offering a jobs board, career planner and careers-related help and information
  • resource centre, allowing you to get up to speed with the latest management and leadership thinking in hundreds of free online articles, journals and books
  • the LearningZone, with free videos, seminars and in-depth e-learning resources on key management and leadership topics, by leading business experts.

Military rank equivalencies
ILM recognises military ranks and has mapped them to its own membership grades, according to your levels of achievement, experience and qualification. This means that, even if you don’t have formal management-related qualifications, you can still join the ILM at a membership grade that recognises your achievements and/or military training.

If you have any queries, please contact the ILM’s membership team, who are always happy to help (see ‘Key contacts’).


Use your ELC

Under the ELC scheme, a wide range of learning can be taken, provided it is offered by an approved provider listed on the ELC website at and is at level 3 or above.

Professional bodies

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

The ILM’s nationwide accredited centres deliver training on a huge range of courses each year in management and leadership. All members enjoy access to its information service and publications. Underpinned by a strong focus on developing workplace performance, the ILM’s extensively available qualifications, at many different levels, are designed explicitly to meet the needs of managers and their organisations.

Its multi-level qualifications cover areas such as:

  • leadership and management
  • effective management
  • principles of leadership and management
  • executive management
  • leadership and management skills
  • leading with integrity, and
  • strategic leadership.

In addition, it also offers qualifications at various levels under the banners of Coaching and Mentoring, Business and Enterprise, and Specialist.

The ILM has special membership arrangements in place for Forces personnel (see box).

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Chartered professional body the CMI is dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. All members enjoy access to its management library – one of the largest in the UK. Its approved and registered centres support students worldwide. It offers qualifications at multiple levels in areas including:

  • strategic management and leadership
  • leadership coaching and mentoring
  • management and leadership
  • management coaching and mentoring
  • first line management
  • coaching and mentoring
  • team leading.

Chartered Manager status is also offered for senior managers. 

Professional recognition awards and membership of professional bodies

This type of accreditation is not linked to specific military training courses, says the British Army website, but recognises an individual’s experience in a vocational/professional area, gained over a period of time. Professional recognition awards usually require a one-off payment and may confer the right to use post-nominals (letters placed after your name to denote your qualification/membership status); note that membership of a professional body requires the continuing payment of an annual membership fee and will usually confer the right to use post-nominals. Membership of a relevant professional body, such as the examples highlighted below, will enhance your CV …

City & Guilds Senior Awards
The Senior Awards are a professional recognition award, recognising competence and career experience gained over a period of time in rank. The criteria and procedure for applying for a Senior Award in leadership and management are identical for regular and reserve personnel. The minimum rank required to apply for a Senior Award is Sgt. Defence Information Note 2010DIN07-182 is the reference. Senior Awards are also used by a number of Arms and Services to recognise competence in vocational or trade skills. A one-off payment is required and City & Guilds confers the right to use post-nominals.

Membership of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Similar criteria apply to regular and regular personnel. The reference is 2010DIN07-77.

Membership of the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM)
Similar criteria apply to regular and reserve personnel. Refer to the details in the box above and the ILM website.


Novadata TAB Ltd | Management and Leadership
Novadata specialises in driver training packages aimed specifically at those leaving the armed forces who wish either to transfer their military skills or seek a completely new career in transport.
South East
AVADO | Management and Leadership
AVADO is the largest training provider for professional qualifications in the UK with an active community of over 20,000 students studying to secure their next promotion, a higher salary or to take their career in a new direction.
i2i Development Solutions Ltd | Management and Leadership
i2i is the first choice for Leadership Training, Coaching and Team Development and that really makes a difference! Our holistic approach ensures that your Training and Development really does improve the bottom line.
Wiltshire College | Management and Leadership
Wiltshire College works closely with local and regional employers in and around the South West, delivering a wide range of professional and vocational qualifications. As a provider of work-based learning programmes and bespoke training packages for business, our courses are all designed to enhance the skills sets of your employees, adding to their continual professional development.
South West
I2L Ltd. trading as inspired2learn | Management and Leadership
With over 16 years of experience in CMI training and ILM training across a wide range of business sectors and organisations of all sizes, we will help you achieve CMI and/or ILM qualifications.
International, Nationwide
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The Development Initiative Ltd (TDI) | Management and Leadership
TDI was established in 2005 to provide extensive project management to both governmental and non-governmental organisations, incorporating the provision of landmine clearance, UXO disposal, mine risk education (MRE), improvised explosive device disposal (IEDD) and search training, fleet maintenance and remote logistics solutions in inaccessible and often hostile locations, primarily across Africa and the Middle East.