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CMI qualifications FAQs

If you cannot find the answer you need below, please call Barrie for an informal chat on 01380 609313. Barrie will be very happy to give you impartial advice and guidance without obligation. You can sign up to our newsletter here.

If you prefer, you can e-mail your questions to barrie@inspired2learn.co.uk


What study support will I get?

You will have access to:

  • A named tutor with unlimited support (* see timescales that apply in further question below) by e-mail, telephone or Skype
  • Access to the CMI's on-line Management Direct learning resources - we will signpost you to our customised pages with learning journeys set up to help you study
  • A written induction pack - this includes a guide with advice on how to study and write assignments

Unlimited tutorial support 

This includes:

  • a named personal tutor
  • indicative content provided to guide your study for each assignment
  • e-mail conversations with your tutor
  • telephone/Skype support by pre-arranged appointment
  • review and feedback for draft work for your first full assignment in a qualification only. After this, you may ask for your draft of one extract (of up to 500 words) of each subsequent assignment to be reviewed – maybe a section you are least confident about. Please note: Answering of questions and providing advice on interpreting & understanding assignment questions, and signposting to resources will continue throughout the unlimited support period.

    Why this limitation on reviewing draft work? We are quality audited by the CMI. We must strike a balance between providing developmental help with your assignments and not giving so much advice that it could be considered as collusion in the writing of your own assignment (i.e. almost writing your assignment with you).

    There comes a time when, after some tutorial advice, you need to make the decision yourself about whether you have demonstrated your knowledge and understanding sufficiently against the assessment criteria.

    Generally, you will only get detailed feedback when your tutor thinks you need to do different or more content to modify a draft. If you don’t get detailed feedback it is because your tutor thinks your content is enough.

    Remember that you will also get feedback from assignment markers which will also help guide your approach to future assignments, and what needs to be improved if an assignment is referred and needs to be resubmitted.

How long will it take me to complete a qualification?

This varies a lot between different people, depending on the time you can commit, your study experience, confidence etc. You will agree your own personal timescales with us to suit your own circumstances. Here is a useful guide:

Award - Average completion time: 2-3 months - 1 year CMI registration period and up to 3 months unlimited tutorial

Certificate - Average completion time: 4-5 months - 3 year CMI registration period and up to 6 months unlimited tutorial

Diploma- Average completion time: 6-9 months - 3 year CMI registration period and up to 12 months unlimited tutorial

Extended Diploma - Average completion time: 10-18 months - 3 year CMI registration period and up to 18 months unlimited tutorial


What happens if I do not finish before the CMI expiry date?

Your registration will lapse. You will no longer have access to the CMI learning resources. You will need to pay to re-register for up to 6 months in order to complete your qualification. 


What do the different levels of qualification mean?

These relate to the level at which the qualification is recognised on the Regulated Qualifications Framework. Here is a useful summary:

Level 2 - GCSE equivalency - team leader, supervisor, co-ordinator

Level 3 - A level/BTEC equivalency - first line, team leader, supervisor, co-ordinator

Level 4/5/6 - HND/Foundation Degree/Degree equivalency - middle, operational management

Level 7 - Post-graduate equivalency - senior, strategic management


Do I have to be working at a particular level to gain the qualification I want?

No. However, you need to consider that the assignments you will write in order to achieve the qualification, require you to relate theory/principles/concepts from your learning to workplace practice. If you are working at the level of the qualification you want, you will be more likely to be able to use your learning to help you reflect on your own practice and provide practical examples of your own work. If you undertake a qualification at a higher level than your current work role, you will still be required to relate your learning to practice, and will have to reflect on the practice of other managers in your current and/or previous organisations. If you have no management experience at all, you will need to relate theory to practice using a scenario approach - i.e. 'what I would do'.


Do I have to have a Level 3 before doing a Level 4, or a Level 5 before a Level 6 etc?

No. There are no formal entry requirements. It is important that you choose the qualification that is the most suitable for you in terms of what you want to achieve, and at a level that you are capable of undertaking in terms of the learning and assessment requirement. We are always happy to discuss this with you. Call Barrie for an informal chat on 01380 609313


What is the difference between Award, Certificate, Diploma, Extended Diploma?

Each is a qualification in its own right on the Regulated Qualification Framework. The difference is simply the number of credit points/hours or total unit time (TUT) that are required. For example:

Level 3 Award in First Line Management - 6 credit points 

Level 3 Certificate in First Line Management - 13 credit points 

Level 3 Diploma in First Line Management - 38 credit points 

Level 3 Award in Principles of Management & Leadership - 40 hours TUT

Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Management & Leadership - 121 hours TUT

Level 3 Diploma in Principles of Management & Leadership - 370 hours TUT

If you follow the 'Professional Qualification' navigation tab on this website, in each level of qualification you can then follow the 'Details' and 'Full Syllabus' tabs to see full details of the qualifications.


How can I enrol for a qualification?

You can enrol here


Can I pay by instalments?

Yes - please contact us to ask for details


Are you approved by the MOD to support the ELC Scheme?

Yes, we are approved to accept ELC funding - ELCAS Provider Number 7065 - please see details here


I have already done my Award qualification with another provider. Can I top up to the Certificate or Diploma with you? Will your top-up prices apply to me?

Yes. You can enrol with us and continue your qualification. The credit points you have already achieved will be transferred to your registration with us. We will be very happy to help you with this. Our top-up prices are for our own clients, who have already completed a qualification with us. We may be able to apply this price to you, depending on the units/points you have already completed. Call Barrie on 01380 609313 to find out more about what you need to do next and how much this is likely to cost.


Do you have an information pack?



How can I become eligible for Chartered Manager status with you?

Video (04.34 mins) How to become a Chartered Manager - Barrie Smale explains how inspired2learn can help you become a Chartered Manager

We can then assess you through one of the following Chartered Manager routes:

  • Exemption route - if you have completed your minimum CMI Level 5 Diploma qualification with us and have at least 3 years management experience
  • Qualified route - if you have achieved a minimum CMI Level 5 Certificate qualification with us and have at least 5 years management experience


Will my CMI qualification give me credit points towards a Masters Degree?

A Level 7 Diploma/Extended Diploma may well help you gain entry, and possibly exemptions, towards a management Masters Degree. Universities have their own entry criteria, so you do need to check with them. It might help to visit this link to see the CMI's university partners - this is a good starting point.


Will I be eligible for an NUS membership and discount card?

Yes. This is CMI Membership Benefit 

As a CMI Student Member sign up for the NUS Extra Card from just £12 which will entitle you to hundreds of discounts. A year's worth of savings on all the things you love! Just go to www.nus.org.uk or click on the link https://cards.nusextra.co.uk/ and enter Chartered Management Institute in the ‘Place of study’ to qualify.”

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