iC qualifications – time to get on the bus?
Internal comms qualifications – like buses, you wait and wait and wait and then two pull up at the same time!
For years now I’ve complained about the lack of professional qualifications and academic courses for internal communication. Unlike PR, which is now extremely well served by Britain’s universities, you can count the number of courses geared towards internal communicators on one hand. It’s a dismal state of affairs and does little to underline our credibility as professionals – or the sizable body of knowledge that now exists in this area.
That’s why I was delighted to learn that two of the UK’s leading professional bodies for communicators – Communicators in Business (CiB) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) – have both launched new qualifications in the last few weeks. Hurrah. It still leaves a big gap at under-graduate and post-graduate level – and I’d like to see more universities getting on board – but it’s a step in the right direction.
The first course I’m going to talk about – the new CIPR Certificate in Internal Communication – is a new qualification developed and delivered by the PR Academy, an established and respected provider of other CIPR qualifications.
The first iC qualification developed specifically for internal communicators and backed by a chartered institute, the new CIPR certificate is a six-month course aimed at practitioners in the first few years of their career.
Delivered via a mix of face-to-face workshops, networking opportunities, practical sessions and online resources, the CIPR course is based on part-time study – so it can fit around your day job.
A pilot course is currently underway and the course will kick off properly in January 2009. It will run in London initially, but is expected to be rolled-out to other CIPR-approved centres across the country. For more info, follow the link above or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m not involved in the course, but I have seen the course guide and it looks like an extremely well conceived and well put-together programme. And I have no doubt that with the CIPR’s backing and considerable experience as an awarding body, it will be a high quality offering.
CiB Diploma in Proficiency
CiB, meanwhile, has also unveiled a new Diploma in Proficiency in Internal Communication. I know less about this course and the team behind it, but it looks like it covers the right ground.
The organisation has also mapped-out three additional ‘levels’ of courses which it says will come on stream in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively. In addition to the Level 1 Diploma of Proficiency, CiB will be launching:
- Level 2 – an Advanced Diploma of Proficiency in Internal Communications accredited by both CiB and an outside academic body.
- Level 3 – A Bachelors degree-equivalent qualification in internal communications management featuring course input from CiB but being wholly or principally accredited by an outside academic body.
- Level 4 – A Masters degree-equivalent qualification in internal communications management featuring course input from CiB but, again, being wholly or principally accredited by an outside academic body.
Interestingly, CiB’s accreditation structure for these courses is based on some cross-profession work I was involved in a few years ago which resulted in the creation of the Inter-Comm Matrix. My own view is that, strong as it was at the time, this work has been superseded by more comprehensive competency frameworks – like the one developed last year by Competent Communicators. Nice to see that it’s still in use though.
Whatever the pros and cons of these two courses, it’s great to see some activity in this area at long last. I really do hope that both go on to flourish by helping ensure new entrants to our profession – and it is a profession – are well equipped for a long and rewarding career in internal comms.