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CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership

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Is CMI a recognised qualification?

Is CMI a recognised qualification? is simple question any one can ask. When you see a course like our CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership, it can be hard to gather what that means. The question we’re going to be looking at in this post is what the “CMI” means and what sort of qualification you come out of the course with.

It’s not a type of qualification – in this case, the qualification is a Level 7 Diploma. I’ve already written about what a level 7 qualification is, so if you’re unsure about that, go back and have a read of that. The CMI here stands for “Chartered Management Institute” – a recognised organisation that represents managers. College of Contract Management in the United Kingdom is a leading course provider worldwide. You can learn more about them at their website.

What does it mean?

It is, however, still very significant that it is listed as part of the qualification name. What that means is that this is an award the CMI have not only recognised as good, but that they actually issue and award themselves, though we here at the College deliver the actual content. This makes us an Approved Study Centre for the CMI (for a full list of them see their website) – although note that many organisations will use different terminology to describe the same relationship.

This provides a real assurance that not only is the course of excellent quality, but that it fits exactly with what the CMI are looking for from their members. The fact that the content aligns with the competencies expected by a leading membership body means that you are assured to cover the areas that are considered important. A course that is so closely aligned with such a body will also often put you on the path to becoming a member of that body yourself as well, which in many industries can make a substantial difference.

Is CMI a recognised qualification?

It also means that – coming back to the original question – while the letters CMI might not actually be what the qualification is called, they do serve to mark out a qualification that will be widely recognised from one that might not. Being able to show that you possess a qualification recognised by the CMI is a great way of differentiating yourself from others who might possess something similar but not quite equal.

The CMI Recognised Course

Something very similar, although not quite so emphatic, is course accreditation. This is where a recognised body (one like the CMI) will examine the recognised course content and confirm that it conforms to their professional standards. This still provides a substantial reassurance that the course content is of high quality and aligned with the expectations of the body in question. Undertaking an accredited the CMI recognised course then becomes extremely valuable, and once again, for some bodies it can even provide a path into membership.

RQF Qualification

All of this is different from the actual qualification itself. Many different courses may be accredited or issued by the same body while still having very different content and structure. The type of qualification depends on how it is constructed under the RQF, or Regulated Qualification Framework. This is the structure that guides the creation of courses and governs what level award they provide you. (Formerly, the QCF used to fill this role, but this has since been phased out, and as of 2017 all QCF courses should have been replaced with RQF).

The RQF provides a consistent framework for UK recognisd qualifications, although it should be noted that qualifications elsewhere in the world may not necessarily follow it. However, the European Qualification Framework (or EQF) does provide a scheme to find equivalents in European qualifications.

Nature of the CMI

The fact that this is totally separate to accreditation by a body like the CMI means that a CMI recognised course of any level can theoretically be accredited. However, in reality, most accredited qualifications will be at least graduate level, since quite a high level of expertise is needed for membership of such bodies. Indeed, part of the point of such bodies is to be a group of highly skilled professionals, so accrediting or issuing a course which does not uphold those high quality skills would run counter to their purpose.

Where “CMI” might be thought of as a recognised qualification is that members of such organisations are often able to add letters after their name (known as a postnominal). So, for example, if I were a member of the CMI (which I should clarify I am not!), I could call myself Chris Munns MCMI. Higher levels of membership often have slightly different postnominals – for example, a Fellow of the CMI can call themselves FCMI. As such, if you see anyone talking about being “CMI qualified” or something similar, this may be what they mean. Alternatively, they may mean that they have taken a CMI recognised course such as accredited or issued by the CMI.

Hopefully this has cleared up any confusion as to what kind of recognised qualifications you can expect from something with “CMI” in the title. If you have any further questions, please contact the College of Contract Management on

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