What CMI Qualification Is Right For You?

Choosing what management qualification best suits you doesn’t need to be a tremendous task. As leaders in online learning, we’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that we believe will make the process much easier.

By taking the below into consideration, it will soon become clear which CMI qualification is right for you.

The benefits of completing a CMI qualification

If you’re currently a manager or leader, perhaps you’ve already heard of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) as they are the only organisation that can award Chartered Manager status – the highest industry accolade.

Dating all the way back to the 1940’s, CMI have since been committed to raising and maintaining the quality and standard of management and leadership in the workplace.

If working in management and leadership is your chosen career path, then gaining a certificate, diploma, or award with CMI might just be the next step in progressing your career.

What to consider when choosing a CMI qualification

As there’s different CMI levels and requirements, there’s a few things that you need to take into consideration when choosing what CMI qualification is right for you:

  • Career goals
  • Learning methods
  • How much time you have

Not to worry though! We go into more detail about the ins and outs of these points later in the blog.

How are CMI qualifications structured?

As previously mentioned, CMI qualifications vary in that they come in awards, certificates and diplomas, ranging from Level 2 through to Level 8.

CMI Awards, Certificates and Diplomas 

At each CMI level, the qualifications are separated into awards, certificates and diplomas. Each of these differ in the length of completion and the depth of knowledge and insight they cover.

CMI Awards

An award is the shortest and more condensed qualification and can take on average around 1 to 3 months to complete.

CMI Certificates

A certificate consists of more in-depth course material and can typically take around 3 to 6 months to complete, according to CMI. Usually those working towards a certificate have some core knowledge which they’re looking to expand on and they’re great stepping stones into further study.

Currently, we offer two fully flexible 100% online CMI certificates, including: 

  1. CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership
  2. CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice

CMI Diplomas

A diploma is typically more comprehensive than the certificates and can take on average around six to twelve months to complete according to CMI.

At DPG, we offer two CMI fully flexible online diplomas including: 

  1. CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership 
  2. CMI Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice

It should be noted that after achieving the CMI Level 5 or Level 7 Diplomas and gaining 3+ years of management experience, you'll be eligible for Chartered Manager status.

CMI qualification levels

The level best represents the difficulty of the course. The higher the number of a particular course, the more advanced the qualification will be.

CMI Level 2 and 3 qualifications

These courses are designed for the aspiring and those who are just starting out on their journey as managers or leaders.

CMI Level 4 and 5 qualifications

These courses are designed for junior managers, or for those who are sitting at or aspiring to be in mid-level roles.

CMI Level 6 or 7 qualifications

These qualifications are designed for professional and senior managers.

CMI Level 8 qualifications

Focus on seniors, directors and CEOs, these courses are designed for those who are at leadership level.

How to choose the right qualification

As previously mentioned, there’s factors to consider when choosing what qualification is right for you and we’ve discussed them in further detail below.

1) Think about your career goals

Thinking about what you want to achieve from a qualification before you enrol will help manage your expectations and set you up for success. Often, we get overwhelmed or bogged down on the contents of the course, however thinking past that and where you want to be post qualification will ensure you stay focussed on your professional development. 

2) Consider your preferred learning methods

Everyone learns and absorbs information in different ways so it’s important that prior to making your decision, you think about your preferred learning methods as this will dictate which course is right for you.

The four commonly known learning methods are:

Visual learners: with the use of images, colours, maps and images, visual learners rely on graphic aids to remember and learn material.

Auditory learners: with a preference of audio, listening to information that is presented vocally is the best way for auditory learners to absorb information.

Kinaesthetic learners: commonly known as those who learn from ‘doing’, kinaesthetic learners prefer interactive content and physical activity.

Reading/writing learners: focussed on the written word, these learners best absorb information through presentations, worksheets, documents, and other text-heavy resources.

At DPG, our course materials consist of eBooks, webinars, and live sessions with the goal to cater to everyone's different learning styles. 

3) How much time do you have?

Due to full-time work or additional life commitments, you may be limited from a time point of view when enrolling on a new qualification. Many widely available courses are designed with the assumption that you’ll be studying your course full time, however, we know that this isn’t always the case.

Most of our courses have been designed with full-time work and family commitments in mind, meaning you’re able to flexibly fit your studies around your current schedule. There’s no minimum completion time and all our CMI courses are 100% online.

And if you need some extra help to stay organised, manage your time appropriately and remain on track throughout your studies, then our downloadable customisable DPG printable study planner and calendar is perfect for you.


If studying a 100% online CMI qualification interests you, speak to one of our course advisors today.