As many of you may know I am a keen advocate of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) certificate, diploma and post graduate qualifications and have taught, part time, on a number of courses at local colleges and for Cambridge Marketing College and on the PSMG version for Professional Services.

At a recent Future Marketing Manager course that I deliver a couple of times each year for the PM Forum, I was asked by German and American delegates about the best qualification route for them. At the time I said that I was confident that the CIM qualifications were recognised throughout Europe but wasn’t sure about the United States but that I would check.

I spent ages trawling the CIM web site ( before giving the CIM a call. I was shocked by their response which was that there was no agreed recognition for the qualification beyond the UK. I was told that overseas employers should be given a copy of the CIM syllabus to demonstrate the quality of the qualification.

This is an inadequate response. CIM’s web site says that “as the world’s largest organisation for professional marketers we play a key role in training, developing and representing our profession”. It positions itself as guardian of marketing standards. It may be the largest marketing organisation with lofty ideals but it isn’t serving its 40,000 members if doesn’t promote their hard-won qualifications internationally.

Look at the other professions – and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) in particular. It has 100,000 qualified members and over 50,000 students and trainees in some 140 countries. In its annual review it states that one of its key roles is “promoting RICS status and standards in key markets as the mark of property professionals”. And it reports that 87% of key employers, business leaders, decision makers and opinion formers confirmed their view of RICS as the mark of property professionalism worldwide – a 20% increase in brand equity in 12 months. So a professional association for the property industry is doing more to develop its international brand equity than the professional association for the marketing profession?

This is the CIM’s centenary year – why not make it really special by promoting this “gold standard” qualification overseas and making it globally recognised. Otherwise, I will have to start suggesting to students that they invest in an MSc in marketing or an MBA.