ILM qualifications are designed to meet the needs of delegates and as such, are aimed at a variety of different levels to equate with an individuals’ role and management experience. Much like with other forms of education, the higher the level, the broader knowledge and library of skills will be required to gain the qualification and the more self-supported study will be expected from you.
Qualifications begin at Level 2, which is framed with team leaders in mind, and run has high as Level 7, which tend to be suited more to senior managers such as CEO’s.
Level 2 – Practising Team leaders and supervisors (equates to GCSE A*-C level thinking), geared to operational leaders and those aspiring to lead in future, providing foundation skills
Level 3 – Practising Junior Managers, First-line Managers and Supervisors (A-level style thinking), aimed at front line managers, providing the “how to” knowledge and skills that are sometimes taken for granted. Versatile and able to provide a superb toolkit for new and experienced managers alike.
Level 4/5 – Practising Middle Managers (1st/2nd year Undergraduate degree level thinking), more conceptual in nature with some of the “how to” aspects but focusing more on the “why” questions, helping managers to think more broadly about their organisation and the impact they have upon it.
Level 6/7 – Senior Managers and small organisation directors (3rd Year Undergraduate degree level thinking)
Level 7 – Senior Leaders, CEO’s and Large Division Directors (Post-graduate, Masters level thinking), built for individuals who wish to bring a more academic or theory based approach to their work and in developing the capabilities of the organisation
ILM qualifications are vocational and focused on delivering the skills, knowledge and experience that delegates can use in the real world. Although each level has an equated thinking level, don’t discount experience you may have gained. For example, a delegate may have an economics degree, but be completely new to team leading, so require starting at a lower level. Conversely, an individual may have left school after attaining their GCSE’s but have management experience from their work since and so be prepared for a Level 3. Think carefully and consider all aspects before deciding which level you need.
Which qualification is right for me?
The majority of ILM qualifications come in 3 different forms, depending on how long the programme runs and the depth provided by the chosen modules. Award is the shortest and most direct qualification, normally only containing a handful of specific modules. The Certificate gives a broader range of knowledge and skills, whilst the Diploma is the broadest and most extensive programme of learning. Which qualification you choose will depend on what you want to achieve and what skills you want to come away with.