The British Association of Communicators in Business (CiB) has launched a formal qualification for new entrants to internal communications as part of an ambitious programme to develop an industry-recognised professional development path for all levels of practitioners.
Feedback over several years has told the association that internal communications professionals need recognised qualifications to put them on a similar professional footing as their peers in human resources, public relations, marketing and other major business areas.
CiB believes that there should be four distinct levels of accreditation within the internal communications arena, and the new Diploma of Proficiency in Internal Communications – Level 1 is the first of these to be developed by the association.
This approach originates from work undertaken several years ago by CiB with The Work Foundation and several other industry bodies to draw up an internal communications knowledge and skills matrix. This recognises four distinct levels of skills and competencies for people working in internal communications – Level 1 Entry Level (six to 12 months’ experience), Level 2 New Practitioner (one to three years), Level 3 Manager or Team Leader (two to three years’ post graduate experience) and Level 4 Senior Practitioner (five years’ experience and above).
Candidates for the Level 1 Diploma will be expected to gain a thorough grounding in core skills and basic knowledge spanning internal communications, its role and significance; different audiences/media; planning skills; basic management theory; legal issues; writing, sub-editing and proofreading; teamwork, meeting and interpersonal skills; interviewing; basic skills in photography and design; working effectively with internal/external clients and suppliers.
Running over a six month period, the key elements of the diploma are an introductory immersion day, an evidence file to be completed by the candidate back at the workplace to demonstrate that elements of the Level 1 matrix are being covered, completion of an essay relevant to their work environment and a basic skills examination.
The first candidates will join the programme early in 2009, and new intakes are planned regularly throughout the year.
An independent board of CiB fellows and other industry experts will assess candidates’ work and oversee the qualification.
CiB education and accreditation director Steve Doswell comments: ‘Internal communicators have a raft of tools and approaches at their disposal. An independently recognised qualification will give practitioners the skills and confidence to use them effectively in order to deal with today’s challenges. It will also help to increase recognition of and respect for the internal communications function within organisations, which is absolutely key to ensuring that this discipline is fully integrated into the overall business planning process.’
CiB expects to develop qualifications relating to Levels 2, 3 and 4 in the forthcoming months.
For further information, contact tel: 01908 313755, email: [email protected]