I have been in training and development for the past 12 years and would like to manage a training function. I have a first degree in psychology, plus social worker and physiotherapist qualifications. I did the Institute of Training and Development foundation programme many years ago, and now have the opportunity to do a postgraduate certificate in management development. Which would be more useful in furthering my career – this certificate, or the CIPD qualification?
Both are useful qualifications that could help you progress into a training manager role. However, I believe the CIPD course might prove more useful in the long term, as it is more widely recognised in the industry and will give you a broader scope to move out of the training function should you wish to do so further down the line – for example, into generalist HR, or another area, such as change management or occupational development. It will also give you an overview of all aspects of the HR function so that you can see where training and development sits within it.
Aside from gaining a further qualification, try to broaden your skills in your current role. Managing a department will involve managing staff, being in charge of the budget, and firmly steering how training and development fits into the company’s strategic goals. You could consider mentoring another member of staff to demonstrate your people management skills, and make sure you get more involved in strategic decisions.
Your background in social work and physiotherapy indicates that you are accustomed to working closely with people, which will help your case when you are looking for a management role.
Whichever qualification you choose to pursue, both will help your credibility. In a training manager role, you need to be seen as someone whose own personal development is important to them. When you get to a certain level, employers will also be comparing your qualifications against those of other candidates.
Finally, be prepared to work for a smaller organisation. In a larger company, the training and development department could comprise as many as 20 or 30 people, so there will be fewer chances for you to progress to the top. In a smaller business, you could head up a smaller team, and have much greater influence.
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