In this article we explore how you might achieve the best professional qualifications to help your career transition
There are two compelling reasons for achieving a professional qualification:
- Gain a competitive edge in recruitment and selection processes. You will already have great experience from your military career. Now you’ll have the powerful combination of experience AND a qualification.
- It is a ‘double win’. Firstly it demonstrates your commitment to continuing professional development and learning. This tells recruiters you are a person who seeks to be the best you can be. Secondly it provides credibility and shows you are serious about professionalism.
How to choose a qualification
Neurological levels (Dilts, 1990) is a coaching model that will help you to better understand the choices available to you in your career transition, including the best qualification and professional development options for you. By asking yourself a few questions at each of the levels, you can notice what qualification might suit you best (or not) and the reasons for this. Using your ELCAS credits wisely is important, to give you return on investment for the time, energy and money spent. Let’s explore each level in turn.
Environment – when you study, what type of environment would you prefer? Online, face to face workshops or blended learning? Would you prefer set modules and set deadlines or would more flexibility suit you better? Would you prefer to study with others or on your own? What study space do you have available at home or at work and will this impact on your access to IT or other resources?
Behaviours – notice your preferred learning style and approach. When you learn something new, what do you like to do? How have you completed formal learning and qualifications in the past?
Skills and attributes – have you analysed your skills and strengths and identified areas for development? What are the gaps in your skills and professional qualities and which of these do you wish to address as part of your career transition. What are your strengths and which of these would you like to build upon by undertaking a qualification?
Values and beliefs – take a few minutes to notice what is important to you about achieving a qualification? What motivates you to study and learn? What type of qualification do you believe in? What do you believe is the best way to be qualified? What is the most important thing to get right when you make this decision?
Identity – what do you want to be in your next career? This could be a job title, a role or position. Who are you now and will that be useful going forward (or do you need to leave that role behind)? What do you like and what makes you tick?
Purpose – what is the wider vision that achieving a qualification will serve? What do you want to be part of and what do you want to belong to in the future? What will achieving a qualification enable you to do in other areas of your life?
Now that you have explored each level, here are some coaching questions to finish:
- What types of qualification have you ruled out?
- What approaches to completing a qualification will suit you best?
- What do you want to have happen?
- What is your deadline for choosing the right qualification?
- Who can help you?
- What is the first step?
Although shown as a pyramid in this article (starting at the lowest level and moving up) each level can be explored in any order if you prefer. Spending just a few minutes using these levels can uncover useful ideas and options. A career transition coach (we can help with this) can take you through each level in greater depth, with supplementary questions and robust goal setting. When you choose the qualification, you really want and need, you are more likely to be motivated and successful.
We were established in 2002 and are based in Devizes, Wiltshire. Our flexible learning programmes are serving clients across all sectors. This includes military personnel across non-commissioned and commissioned ranks, based in the UK and on deployment overseas.
Our highly experienced and qualified team, including ex-military, have been delivering CMI management & leadership and ILM coaching & mentoring qualification programmes for many years.
We take quality very seriously and are proud to be ISO9001:2015 certified.
Mini Case studies featuring ELCAS funded learners
Reason for enrolling on your course with us: Flexible learning with direct access to CMI learning tools and resources, flexible payment options and a civilian recognised qualification.
Benefits in terms of career transition: Many of us have a great deal of managerial experience and knowledge whilst operating within the Military. By achieving a civilian recognised qualification, this solidifies and endorses the expertise we have and effectively promotes this to civilian recruiters.
Comments about quality of provision by inspired2learn: With numerous companies offering various management qualifications, I hit the jackpot with the Inspired2learn team. From enrolment to completion I have received guidance and support throughout, including whilst deployed in The Falklands. Overall, I have found Inspired2learn to be professional, patient, flexible and extremely patient and supportive. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Commander, Royal Navy
Reason for enrolling on your course with us: The ability to enrol on a flexible learning scheme which was accredited through a recognised body (CMI). Initial contact with inspired to learn was receptive and supportive to my individual requirement. Excellent value for money with cost covered by one ELC which was straightforward to administer
Benefits in terms of career transition: The professional qualification is recognised by civilian employers and supported me in my new role as a strategic programme manager for the MOD
Comments about quality of provision by inspired2learn: The support has been outstanding and on point and response to emails/queries/telephone discussions has been superb. Inspired2learn have responded to my learning need and provided me with the flexibility to change modules as my new role evolved. There was no pressure for me to complete modules within given timeframes which has worked as I transitioned from the Royal Navy and completed concurrent learning. Interactive on-line learning and access to CMI resources is fantastic as well as the module guides that are provided making learning varied and interesting.
Reason for enrolling on your course with us: ELCAS registered provider with strong positive feedback
Benefits in terms of career transition: Helping me move beyond my current experience as a leader by developing my ability as a coach. This has allowed me to develop a variety of new skills and move towards a portfolio career model.
Comments about quality of provision by inspired2learn: The quality of the training and the level of individual support I2L have provided has been exceptional. I have been given the right balance of time and encouragement to keep on track to achieve the qualification. My tutor has a tremendous amount of personal experience as a professional coach and a deep theoretical knowledge of coaching; I am being trained by an expert who knows their subject in detail and can teach it extremely effectively. I cannot recommend I2L highly enough.
Maybe you have doubts about doing a CMI or ILM qualification
- “I’m not ‘academic’” – we don’t mind that at all. You will have to learn some theory for CMI and ILM qualifications, but the emphasis is on how to apply theory in practice. Our tutors will help you with this.
- “I’ve not done any qualifications before” – you do not need to have completed any previous qualifications, even at school age. What is important that we help you choose a qualification that is suitable for you and that you are capable of achieving with our support.
- “I hate exams” – there are no exams in the assessment process.
- “I don’t have the time to study on top of work and family etc.” – you will have plenty of time (up to 3 years) and you can set your own realistic timelines.
- “I can’t afford the 20% Elcas contribution to the course fees” – we offer flexible payment instalment plans to suit your budget.
- It is really important to contact us to find out more. We will be very happy to spend time helping to ensure that you choose the best programme to suit your needs and capability. We will also share plenty of information about our programmes and assessment requirements etc.to ensure that you understand all that is involved.
Telephone: 01380 609313
ILM coaching & mentoring qualifications – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
CMI management & leadership qualifications – E-mail: email@example.com
More about us: www.inspired2learn.co.uk
- Register to be an ELC Scheme member and submit an ELC Claim Form to your commanding officer/education staff – we are Provider Number 7065 – you can see full information and guidance in the Spring 2021 issue of this magazine.