March 9, 2020|Kim's Blog, Marketing|
New CIM professional marketing qualifications

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)  is the professional body for marketers in the UK and it regularly updates its professional marketing qualifications at certificate, diploma and post-graduate diploma levels. I reviewed past changes in October 2014. Here is an overview of the new CIM professional marketing qualifications 2020 (which started running in September 2019).

Foundation certificate in professional (digital) marketing


  • Marketing Principles


  • Communications in Practice (Foundation certificate in professional marketing)
  • Digital fundamentals (Foundation certificate in professional digital marketing)

You do not need any previous experience or knowledge of marketing to study the foundation certificate (level 3 – equivalent to an A level or NVQ level 3).

Previously there was a mandatory module in marketing principles and two electives – either customer communications or digital essentials. So this qualification hasn’t changed much.

Certificate in professional (digital) marketing


  • Applied marketing
  • Planning campaigns


  • Customer insights
  • Digital marketing techniques

You need a minimum of one year’s experience in the industry or a relevant level 3 qualification to complete this level 4 qualification.

The previous course mandatory modules were marketing and integrated communications. The previous electives were customer experience and digital marketing.

Diploma in professional (digital) marketing

This level 6 course (equivalent to an undergraduate degree) develops strategic marketing skills supporting career progression and performance at a management level. You need a minimum of two years’ experience working in the industry at an operational level or a relevant level 4 qualification. There is a choice of the marketing or digital marketing qualifications.

Diploma in Professional marketing


  • Marketing and digital strategy
  • Innovation in marketing


  • The digital customer experience
  • Resources management
  • Managing brands

Previously the professional marketing diploma had mandatory modules for strategic marketing and mastering metrics. And the electives were driving innovation and digital strategy. A possible concern is the loss of focus on analytics although perhaps it is more relevant to the digital qualifications.

Diploma in professional digital marketing


  • Marketing and digital strategy
  • Digital optimisation
  • The digital customer experience

Previously there were three mandatory modules: driving digital experience, digital strategy and mastering digital channels.

Post-graduate diploma in Professional Marketing

This is a level 7 qualification (equivalent to a Master’s degree).


  • Global marketing decisions
  • Corporate digital communications
  • Creating entrepreneurial change

To gain entry to this qualification, you must have experience working in senior marketing management for three years or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. These modules are unchanged. There is a note on the CIM web site that this qualification is only offered to those who reside outside the UK.

The level 7 CIM Marketing Leadership Programme has two mandatory modules – contemporary challenges and leading change. And two electives: consultancy and managing business growth remains unchanged.

Marketing apprenticeships

Apprenticeship standards for Marketing Executive (Level 4 typical duration of this apprenticeship is 15-21 months) and Marketing Manager (Level 6 – the typical duration of this apprenticeship is 24-30 months) are now fully approved.

The knowledge, skills and behaviours are shown in detail on the CIM site:  Marketing executives and Marketing managers.

For a marketing manager, these include:

• Knowledge –  Marketing concepts and theories. Business understanding and commercial awareness, research and insight, product and service development

• Skills – Marketing strategy, advanced interpersonal and communication skills, service delivery and improvement, resource management, planning & analysis. Commercial approach, leadership, systems and processes

• Behaviours – Agile and flexible, creative and commercial thinker, resilience and continuous improvement, professional and emotional intelligence

Cambridge Marketing College is one of the approved providers for marketing apprenticeships.

Marketing standards

I also wrote about the marketing standards in 2014 .

This year I was admitted to the Worshipful Company of Marketors.  One of its activities is The Academy of Marketing Awards. The quality of marketing teaching in Business Schools is recognised through an Award to the Academy of Marketing (the Marketing faculty association) for the “Teacher of the Year” and for the best Research Paper submitted by a marketing academic.