ILM leadership qualfication

I am often asked why McCrudden Training doesn’t offer courses for the Institute of Leadership Management (ILM) qualifications. The Government has suggested, in response to a recent health management review that consistency in management practices be developed through accredited training programmes. As in our response to the findings of the review, we’re not convinced this will work.

Don’t get me wrong, in some circumstances having a management qualification is really helpful. Many of the McCrudden gurus have ILM (or similar) qualifications and if you’re looking for a structured move in a management role or want to become a CEO for example, then yes, go for it.

However, most of the people we teach simply need pragmatic leadership support to develop the skills to be a better manager. Speaking frankly, and with no disrespect to the ILM, these qualifications can actually be a bit irrelevant to them.  What we offer at McCrudden is actually better for the leaders we work with.

Can ILM training courses be flexible?

Here’s the crux of it. There’s some flexibility, but not total flexibility. McCrudden Training is renowned for tailoring every course or leadership programme to the organisation and the individual learners. However, when you do a qualification, whether it’s ILM level 5 coaching, or leadership or something else, you have to follow a curriculum, with set modules over a set period of time.

And although you sometimes get the option to choose which modules you take, you have to do a set number of hours. That restricts the flexibility that we as a bespoke, non-accredited training provider can offer. For example, a client might have a limit on the time they can release people to participate in training so they need to get the most relevant training out of the time available to them. With an accredited qualification the mandatory modules might not match that need. Equally, you usually have to select different level modules from a menu, that can sometimes mean you can’t cover exactly what you want.


Learning to pass an exam or make a difference at work?

Some will argue that accredited training proves that it’s quality training because learners are examined on their learning; they evidence their learning, and thus the efficacy of the course.

However, assessing learning often means people writing essays or taking exams – which a lot of employers ask people to do in their own time. In our experience, a number of people don’t do them, so they don’t actually complete the qualification. And if they do the employer then has had to pay a per person certification fee. This fee can add around £600 to a course for 10 people. If your organisation is on a budget, or you have a lot of staff to train, that can dramatically increase your course costs.

But doesn’t it prove learning? Frankly, even if people do write an amazing essay about ‘how to give great feedback’, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will actually be able to do it in practice. Equally, people who are brilliant at it in practice might not be great at writing about it. We believe it’s better that we get learners to practice their skills through practical learning experiences and fun challenges, with feedback from the trainer and their peers. Then we can focus on ways to make that learning transferable. And if you want to evidence that the training had an impact, well, we can do that for you too.


What’s the alternative to ILM courses?

McCrudden Training places an emphasis on pragmatic training. We want our learners to be able to do what they want to do, not write about it.

By keeping our work 100% bespoke (even our set courses are ‘ready to tailor’) we can give clients exactly what they need and take out what they don’t. This means they are not paying staff to be taking modules that aren’t relevant, or they risk switching people off from the training because they can’t see the relevance of what’s being taught.

I’d rather offer courses where people learn about tools or techniques that are 100% applicable to them right now (or in the near future), and that we can get them putting into practice with help to hone their skills, rather than spend time writing about it (unless of course the training is about business writing, like how to write a case study!).

If you want to find out more about the bespoke leadership courses and programmes available from McCrudden Training, take a look at the wealth of courses described on our website and think about how you could tailor them to meet your own needs. Give us a call and we can advise you on the best ways to meet your needs.