UK’s managers win chartered status

Managers can now achieve chartered status following the launch this month of
a new professional designation along the lines of that available in other
professions such as accountancy and surveying.

Management must be better valued if the UK is to get serious about tackling
its productivity gap with the US, France and Germany, according to the
Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which launches the designation on 10
September.

"Clearly there’s a job to be done," said the institute’s chief
executive Mary Chapman. She cited CMI research from 2001, which found that half
of middle and junior managers rated the quality of leadership in their
organisations as poor or relatively poor, while a third of companies reported
not having all the management skills they needed.

The new designation of ‘Chartered Manager’ has been endorsed by the
Government, which included it in its recent skills strategy as one of the steps
to improve management and leadership in the UK. Adult skills minister Ivan
Lewis will attend the launch.

"In every other major professional area, there is a chartered
institute," said Chapman. "For too long management has been regarded
as not a profession in its own right, but something people come to in their
career."

The institute has piloted the scheme over the past year, and so far 70
managers have been awarded Chartered Manager status.

"Management is a practical skill," said Chapman, and the focus of
the scheme is to assess professional competency in the workplace rather than
having a grasp of management theory. "What counts is whether an individual
can translate the theory into practice," she said.

The scheme is managed via an online personal portfolio for each applicant.
Candidates must first be assessed by 360-degree feedback from colleagues on six
core skills: leading people, managing change, meeting customer needs, managing
information and knowledge, managing activities and resources, and managing
themselves.

Along with this feedback, candidates provide specific evidence of their
positive impact on their organisation. Should they pass the initial assessment,
candidates face a panel interview with three highly experienced managers to
discuss the results. "Those demonstrating they are ‘doers and achievers’
rather than ‘theoretically able’ are awarded Chartered Manager status,"
said Chapman.

"It’s extremely important that the work of the Chartered Manager scheme
dovetails with whatever people and companies are doing in their own training strategies,"
she added. "It will enable them to get much better return on investment
for their training."

By Margaret Kubicek

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