Chaterd Institutes.

There is some fairly intelligent people that roam this forum. Does anybody have any information on how one becomes a member of the Chatered Institute Of Managment, after a brief conversation with an ASM he mentioned that this had been brought up at the last DEME(A) Confrence as something that all TSS should look into.
I didn't know anything about the Chartered Management Institute, until 5 minutes ago. Now I know that with no degree and five years' experience, one can become a Member of the Institute. Note: Member, not member. With an additional three years at a strategic level, one can become a Fellow. Both of these attract postnominals too.

A measly $140 gets you in the club. With such a low entry requirement, does it really make a difference? A bit like the "Cornflake Packet" degrees. Have a look here: Linky
Surprised you had never heard of the CMI before, roadie. The thing to remember is that they may be a Chartered Institute but becoming a member is not the same as gaining Chartered status. There is a hierarchy - Student member, Associate member, full Member (MCMI) and then Fellow (FCMI). MCMI and FCMIs can apply for Chartered manager status (CMgr) but it isn't easy, there's a lot of qualifications and experience to demonstrate before they'll even consider someone.

Most SNCO and above could probably gain MCMI with little effort but that's because they recognise accreditation for supervisory management activities in the mob, using stuff like CLM as a benchmark. Becoming a member just allows someone to get involvement with the practice of management, gain access to resources, demonstrate experience and basically work up the ladder. Without a portfolio of evidence that they are practicing managers, someone will not get MCMI, they will only be offered Associate membership, which is like a rookie with a lot to learn.
There is also a forces association with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) which is another option.
They have offerd me affiliate membership.

In a nutshell, what are the benefits of being an affiliate to the CMI.
A word of caution here, if I may.

Run FCMI and MCMI through a search on and you will see that the hits show a lot of ex-forces. So you are not necessarily showing that you are as civvy and as cosmopolitan as those postnominals suggest?

Worst case: You spend money on an accreditation that actually pigeonholes you as ex-forces to a recruiter (all of whom know this BTW).
Nothing wrong at all with joining the CMI/BIFM/IOSH etc relative to your career path. it is a good for your CV as it demonstates, in theory, that you are committed to improving your personal development -hang about; didn't we adopt all this in the REME in the 90s? To that end it should be no surprise that a prospective employer would like to know you are keeping up to date. There are probably a few employers that will insist you have membership of certain organisations. On a personal note I am convinced the BIFM membership helped me get my current job.
Unless you have the qualifications or experience its very unlikey you will get Membership below Officer or SNCO level.

Even at that level you will more than likely need a Management qualification at Level 4 and above, ample management experience, a well prepared CV and an organisational chart to go along with any application.
I have just been given Chartered Membership of an Institute. Qualifying criteria included 10 years within that type of job at mangement level, with 5 years senior management of which 4 had to include startegic level management. My CV had to reflect this, and i had to answer questions during a phone interview on various aspects of my CV, basically proving my knowledge and that i hadn't just over egged tasks i had done fo rth epurpose of my CV. They wanted my CV, Org chart, job spec and a 2 year development plan and i had to be sponsored by the relevant branch of the army (it is a different capbadge to our beloved Corps) to be put forward to go onto their board. Therefore it wasn't a particularily easy or give away accreditation. As i am a WO1 and this level is normally reserved for Majors or their equivalent it wasn't cut and dried i would get accepted at this level.

If i couldn't prove any of the above through my work etc i would jhave had to do a Masters Degree in that area of expertise to gain Charterd Membership level.

I went for this accreditation because of th ejobs i was looking at, most specified membership of this institute would be beneficial. Likewise alot of them ask for proof of management qualifications and/or memebership of CMI or ILM.

So before we undervalue these institutes, there seem to be alot of civvy employers looking for these sort of quals/accreditations.

As a previous poster said, they are not just given out, in order to apply for the higher level ones, membership, Chartered Membership etc you have to have already met a certain criteria. Most aren't worth applying for before SSgt/WO2 level, so you have already gained a lot of experience.

Also the comment that some of these institutes have too many ex squads on them and civvy managers are aware of this, what do you mean by that? Are you saying civvies don't actually rate ex forcres as managers, because without exception every on eof my mates who have left in th elast few years are now successful managers, many taken on because of their military background.

Rizzle, i would save your money until you reach higher ranks, otherwise you are paying for something you will eventually get a higher accreditation for later in your career.
Also the comment that some of these institutes have too many ex squads on them and civvy managers are aware of this, what do you mean by that? Are you saying civvies don't actually rate ex forcres as managers, because without exception every on eof my mates who have left in th elast few years are now successful managers, many taken on because of their military background..
Not quite what I said, but I'm happy to clarify.

My comment was about differerentiation.

A lot of people train, join or invest in organisations as a part of the process of leaving the Armed Forces, you and I being no exception. Part of the motivation for this is to show that we have transferrable skills or a breadth of experience and commitment to professional bodies that extends beyond 'just' having done it in the Army. In short, we are trying to differentiate ourselves from our serving peers or others leaving at the same time. Agreed?

If this is the case (and you are parting with time, money or both) you'd be a bit pissed off if you joined a body which instead of differentiating you, actually did quite the reverse and basically marked you out as ex services. Not a bad thing in itself but annoying if you are trying to differentiate.

This is one of the reasons I selected an MBA over FCMI - because there are a lot of forces people doing the CMI path so arguably a less powerful differentiator.

We hire headhunters to find us people and we often specify that we want people who are 'a bit different' (it's how I got hired), and recruiters like this because they can run search strings that very rapidly arrive at the 5 CVs that will go forward for interview. Think carefully about whether your accreditations pigeonhole you or not because there are some that do. I'm not necessarily saying that CMI or any other chartered institute necessarily does this, but I'm not alone in being a subjective interviewer when I'm interviewing those 5 candidates - I'm only human. For example, I tend to prefer:

People who have done degrees over a syllabus within a professional body.
People who show diversity within roles or career step changes - particularly ones that go from 'poacher to gamekeeper.' (or vice versa).
People who show pragmatism and strategic nouse over process obsessives (ISOs and ITILs are good examples of these - you've got to prove you are a manoeuvreist and won't allow process to cloud the primary objective of pleasing the customer and making money).
Swiss Army Knives - lots of things they can do as opposed to one thing really, really well.

I'm not saying that list is correct - just me!

I would however say that some people confuse 'converting' their military skills with additional training that serves to consolidate that training. So if you are a WO2 you've had some spectacularly good leadership training and experience. By all means convert it (in the way you phrase your CV and perhaps some exams) but invest in a lengthy programme that only adds incremental value to something you already possess seems to be denying yourself the opportunity to add much more value for less cost and effort.

Returning to your question, civvies absolutely rate ex-Forces but there is still sadly a game to be played to stand out from the herd. Hopefully I've spent a profitable lunchtime in making that point because arrse is one of the best educations about the bid bad world for service leavers which helped me and I hope helps others - so, am I right or not?

What you say makes sense.

Very good post . I am just starting my last 2 years and now looking around for what will transfer my experience and quals to something a civilian would recognise or look for or more importantly what they are specifying.

Best way i see is to see what jobs i am going for and what they are looking for, most do specify. So i look at the jobs that say the company is looking for a manager on say £35-45k ( i would assume you earn significantly more, but this is to me a realistc wage and the average range of pay in the sector i am looking at in the area i will be living) most are looking for a manager with 5 years proven track record at' insert job', with at least 2 years at strategic level, membership of 'insert institute' is beneficial, then i look at what else they are looking for or what i feel will add value, so any H+S, CPC, NVQ assessor etc and this is what i am planning my resettlement around.

A lot of companies now want, and it has been high lighted in numerous magazines and articles, managers with proven abilities, rather than the 20 something who has left Uni with a degree in that area of expertise. Now obviously you can back your MBA up with experience as well, so you are already over and above alot of your contemporaries. There was a programme on R4 about the standard of Post Graduate now entering the work place, and it wasn't complementary.

I do see your point, it is very well made, however as both my parents are managers in civvy street, both have said that their companies are spending vast amounts of money on training their managers, mainly through NVQ's and through some of the same institutes the forces use. My father is in an electrical retail/supply ( a worldwide one) coy and my mother is a manager at a leading bank. Neither started off at that level, both working their way up from the shop floor. My mum, several years ago, had to do an NVQ 3 in Management ( i had already done the NVQ4) in order to advance.

If the jobs i was looking at said 'MBA' then that is what i would attempt to achieve. Maybe i am aiming too low, maybe i could go on to do an MBA, but it isn't required in the jobs i am looking at.

But i agree that any institute that the forces recommends has to be taken with a pinch of salt as to its worth. The institute i got accredited with Chartered Member of isn't one of the main ones, it isn't pushed as much , but is valued in the area i am looking at working in, hence why i went for it.

A colleague of mine also got awarded Chartered Membership of this institute, he did do a degree at uni to get it. Took him 2 years to achieve. Both the same rank, both same time served, different cap badges, similar trade groups but with differences. Another colleague also did this, going to uni once a month, distant learning, online etc but failed/binned it as too hard to achieve.

But thankyou for the post, it is informative and it does back up that civvy street isn't a cake walk and that we ain't all Gods who will automatically get good jobs when we leave the forces. I already know that and have no false impressions, even though as said all of my friends have good jobs.

I know £35-45k a year isn't a dynamic wage, i do have friends earning more in civvy street, but i wouldn't say they are happy, many work long hours, take work home, have lots of stress, so it is a balance in my opinion.

Likewise a great post.

You raise a major omission that I made; specifically that some industries require accreditations as necessary entry standards, or as you identify, describe them as 'beneficial'. There's no arguing with that; don't 'fight the white'.

I used MBA for illustrative purposes only, but my path to an MBA included a Professional Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (PGCertBusAdmin) which again shows that there are some useful stepping stones to accreditations like MBA which can make them more digestible and show value early on. So I'd say that you could plan the path as a part of your life plan and not have to commit to an MBA or any such painful masters programme.

I would suggest that you be circumspect about H&S and other similar specialisations. You might have got these in the past but do some research to see whether you need to keep them current - I would criticise some of the training providers in the resettlement space in overstating the value of some of these qualifications to people who are going to leave and become general managers. Check whether the employer's expectation in your chosen field is that a manager enacts H&S or just needs a working knowledge of it. To give you an example, I only know enough about Six Sigma, Employment Law, Prince2, MSP, ITIL, ISO900#, Lean to manage those who know more or spot when I'm being bluffed about them.

£35-45K is what I started on. I now earn a bit more but do indeed have long(er) hours, more travel, less fun and more stress!

Any chance of a job then?

I totally agree with your comments about how certain courses are pushed as being a must in civvy street and how the resettlement centre seem sto direct you towards certain 'obvious' courses , when realistically 'managing safely' is all you need and not a fullblown Nebosh qual.

Has anyone on here attended any of the Brizzel University courses in Buisness Management, project management etc? Just interested in whether to invest my ELC into one of these courses.
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