Management qualifications v management courses

There is a significant and important difference between a qualification and a course.

Management training course

A training course is a series of lessons teaching the skills that you need for a particular job or activity. It could be delivered through e-learning, books or workshops. It will be designed and delivered by trainer. The trainer may provide you with a certificate of attendance, but this is an unofficial document.

Management qualification

A management qualification  will provide you with both learning and official assessment. The learning element may also be delivered through e-learning, books or classes and workshops.  However the learning will be designed according to a strict syllabus issued by an Awarding Body. There will be formal assessment of the knowledge and skills you have acquired. If you are successful in the assessments you will be issued a certificate and it will come direct from the Awarding Body.

Genuine qualifications in the UK can only be certificated by Awarding Bodies.

This means an organisation that has undergone a strict approval process (see Ofqual website) or an organisation such as a university that has powers to create and award their own qualifications.

In the UK the two leading Awarding Bodies that specialise in awarding management qualifications are the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Management qualifications that are designed by recognised Awarding Bodies have to be approved by the Qualifications Curriculum Authority, who will check that they are fit for purpose and meet national standards, making sure that the content and level meet national standards.

Approved Centres deliver the training and assessment for these recognised management qualifications. You can see an example of an approved centre at The Awarding Bodies are responsible for vetting training centres to make sure that they have all the skills and facilities needed to deliver high quality learning and assessment. This is a strict process and the Awarding Bodies External Verifiers make sure these standards are maintained by regularly visiting them.

So unless a training organisation is an Approved Centre, any piece of paper you will receive at the end of a management course will not be a ‘real’ qualification.

Before choosing which management qualification to study you should consider the following questions:

Which awarding body

What type of study method, e.g. distance learning or classroom

Where to study

What level of study

What kind of qualification


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Management Qualification Information Centre

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