Recently we (myself, Alex and Tony) were all given the opportunity to apply for the Chartered Manager recognition through CMI and were both recognised after Christmas – a nice extra present.
All of us were excited about the opportunity and very thankful for the support from the University, which is why we have written this review, to help spread the word about the programme.
So what has this meant for us?
As Programme Leaders on non-conventional provision, (the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, Defence Logistics Staff Course and Engineering Management programmes) we all have had to manage significant projects over the last year. Firstly, we can say that the CMI application enabled us to take time out to think and reflect about our own actions this year. As teachers, we recognise the need to reflect to learn, but acknowledge this is not always done when you are working at 100 mph. The application asked us to capture the events of the year. In doing so, this made us consider our roles and challenges, this was cathartic and productive, but left us only recounting what happened. As we all know, the next step was to consider what to do next time. For us this was the main advantage and result of the process. The reflection forced us to face our challenges and to develop plans. In doing this, we explored tools and techniques of management. In fairness, many of these tools were not new to us but the process offered what we often discuss with our students, the application of tools and their value to our management style. We are all confident to say that we have challenged our own work and management styles and developed our own adapted tools. We hope we are better managers now.
An added advantage has been taking a practitioner viewpoint. Based within Work-Based Distance Learning (WBDL), we often refer our students to challenge their own workplace position with the theory that supports their field of study. Taking this role for ourselves in the application process, we have built up a new empathy with our students. This has allowed us to consider how we deliver our learning but also how we can support students to move to this learning cycle of comparing practice to theory. The result has been new ideas about enabling activities which generate this interaction.
Although only a new certificate, we all feel that the status has given us more confidence in our own management practice. This confidence has come from the hard work of completing and learning in the Chartered Manager process but also from the recognition this process accredits to its applicants. All of us like to feel validation for the work we do and the position we adopt. The Chartered Manager offers this validation through external bodies and through the external mentors who took us through the assessments. We might say that chartered status offers a benchmark, which gives us recognition from a practitioner viewpoint. In an academic world where employability is at the centre of curriculum design and increasingly results, having this practitioner status and viewpoint enables us to embed employability into our own programmes of study.
We would recommend the learning journey to all.