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CMI Professional Standards


The CMI  Professional Standard sets out best practice in management and leadership and underpins all of CMI’s products and services, specifically: qualifications, apprenticeships, membership, Chartered and Foundation Chartered Manager plus continuing professional development.

The standard has been developed in consultation with managers and leaders from across sectors and based on the CMI’s own extensive research

The Standard defines the key competence areas for professional managers at every stage of their career and sets out best practice in management and leadership.

In conjunction with the CMI Code of Conduct and Practice, this standard sets a high bar for building and maintaining a high level of professionalism in the management and leadership role

The CMI Professional Standard is based around core competencies in 3 key themes with 9 sub-sections:


Personal Effectiveness is about making use of all the resources you have available to help you achieve work and life goals. How you manage yourself impacts your personal effectiveness.

  • Managing yourself
  • Making decisions
  • Communicating and influencing 

Interacting and building essential relationships with colleagues, clients, partners, competitors and other stakeholders.

  • Providing purpose and direction
  • Developing people and capabilities
  • Building relationships and networks

Measuring the actual output or results of an organisation against the goals or objectives set.

How you listen to and communicate with others impacts interpersonal excellence

  • Leading change and innovation
  • Managing resource and risk
  • Achieving results

 About the Competence Framework

Each of the five key stages is written in first person, to enable the individual to benchmark and assess their competence.

The stages all align to one of the CMI Membership Grades, build on the competencies from the previous stage and underpin CMIs key products and services (including apprenticeships, qualifications, ManagementDirect content).

CMI Professional Standard 5 StagesCMI Membership Grades

Stage 1

Aspiring Manager (CMI Membership Grade - Affiliate)

Relates to individuals that are just at the start of their management and leadership career. (Typical roles could include Team Leader, Front Line Worker, Generalist).

Stage 2

First Line Manager (CMI Membership Grade - Associate)

Relates to practising First Line Managers. They supervise and/or manage a team to achieve clearly defined outcomes. (Typical roles could include Team Leader, Supervisor, Project Officer).

Stage 3

Middle Manager (CMI Membership Grade - Member)

Relates to managers and leaders who manage staff and activities with a level of autonomy as part of the delivery of their organisational strategy. (Typical roles could include practising Operations Manager, Departmental Manager, Regional or Divisional Manager, aspiring Chartered Managers).

Stage 4

Senior Manager (CMI Membership Grade - Chartered Manager)

Relates to experienced managers and leaders that drive business activities in order to deliver long term organisational success. (Typical roles could include Professional Manager, Senior Manager or Director).

Stage 5

Executive (CMI Membership Grade - Fellow or Chartered Fellow)

Relates to leaders and managers that formulate the strategic direction of the business in line with their organisation’s mission, vision and values. (Typical roles could include practising or aspiring CEO, Managing Director, Director).

Example competences in the Personal Effectiveness:communication and influencing


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