Chris Croft's Personal Blog

September 6, 2011

Why do a Management Diploma?

Filed under: Careers, Lists, Managing People — chriscroft @ 3:02 pm

I often get asked about whether it’s worth doing a Diploma, so I thought I’d get my thoughts organised and get it all down in one place:

Advantages to the Company

You can show that your managers are professionally trained

You get better managers – the course fills in all the gaps, including subjects they may tend to avoid (maybe people don’t like going on Finance courses) or didn’t even realise they had (subjects like Managing Information are much more important than people realise)

Retention – people take a couple of years to do the programme, they feel valued to be on it, and you could have a lock-in arrangement afterwards (if the leave within x years they have to pay y% of the costs).

Learning has to be applied, which hammers it in better. In order to get the Diploma they have to do a number of work-based assignments, and this means that they have to a) pay attention in class, b) apply the ideas to their work and then write it up, and therefore discover that they CAN do it and it DOES work.  Imagine for example that they have to do a really textbook project, with Gantt charts etc, they are much more likely to carry on using the new ideas in their job.

The assignments are useful work in themselves.  At the very least you get a textbook project (could be worth thousands!), and all the other projects on strategy, leadership, innovation etc.  You can have some of the projects presented to a management board if you want to up the profile of the course and harvest the ideas being generated.  I would recommend that.

You can assess future talent by seeing who passes the course, who presents the best projects at the presentations, and maybe get feedback from the tutors on the high performers.

…And they don’t mind doing all this work because they get a qualification out of it.

You get a feeling of ‘total immersion in 2 years of training’ for the cost of about 24 days – because the monthly sessions are a constant top-up, with reading and assignments in between.  So it feels to the delegates like a lot of training.

Networking between members of the course – they get to know each other really well over the 2 years that a Diploma runs, so if you have a large company or have divisions which tend to be literally that, then this gives a great team effect.

Advantages to the Individual

You get a recognised management qualification at level 3 5 or 7.  The Diploma is the ultimate, but if you do fewer units you can get a Certificate in Management, and the introductory qualification is an Award (these can both be extended up to a Diploma later by simply adding more units).  See for The Cube of Possibilities.

You can upgrade your Diploma to an MBA at a later stage, by doing one more year, at a cost of about £4500 (the cheapest possible way to get an MBA!) – see for details

You get all your gaps of knowledge filled in – even the gaps you didn’t know you had.

You get to be a more effective manager, which has to be good for your career, promotion prospects, job security, and job enjoyment.

You get to feel more confident as a manager, because you know what it’s all about and you know you can do it.  You’ve even done some of it when you did your assignments.

You get a relationship with a tutor, who you can ask questions each time you see them – “It didn’t work when I tried it, what can I do differently?” etc

You get practice at writing up your assignments – the ability to write a well structured yet brief report, when y ou don’t have a lot of time, is a valuable management skill.

You might get exposure to senior managers, if they are at the project presentations or maybe dinners during the course, where you can ask questions about company strategy etc

You get to have some fun as well!


for more info on all this, see


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