Why in-house need no longer mean unaccredited

Why in-house need no longer mean unaccredited

“Firms looking to put their managers through development programmes are increasingly creating their own, rather than relying on business schools, consulting firms and the like. Companies are not only spending more of their training budgets in-house but are setting up their own ‘corporate universities’,” according to the Economist

In this article, Jill Towner, Contracts Manager at Professional Academy, explains why in-house training does not have to mean non-accredited training and how organisations around the world are saving costs and increasing impact by ploughing their own furrows.

Professional Academy has grown its reputation as a world-leading provider of qualifications accredited by the main European professional sales, marketing and management bodies, ISMM, CIM, CAM Foundation and CMI. Over the last 12 years, we’ve helped management trainees gain professional qualifications from over 200 global organisations, including Gulf Air, Siemens, Sanofi, AXA insurance, Swagelok – to name a recent few. Increasingly, these organisations are turning to us to help develop corporate universities, by co-creating and delivering tailored versions of our accredited courses in house.

When such organisations do come to us, we start by helping them to assess whether an accredited path or a non-accredited path will best meet their corporate objectives. They often bring an assumption that an accredited route will be too costly, too time consuming and too distracting to their employees.

Here are a couple of tables we use to help them to decide. In reviewing these tables it can become clear to them that there is a third way: a tailored accredited path that delivers all of the pros from both pathways (and more) and none of the cons.

I think have these as nicely formatted tables with some graphical icons will bring the content to life, whilst keeping the length down, so have left them as tables. Happy to change to narrative though.

Typical Pros & Cons of Standard Accreditation Route for In-house Training Programmes



National/international recognition of qualification

Rigid content

Mapped against approved learning outcomes

May be more focus on passing and less on personal development and achievement

QFC system allows credits to be carried over, therefore exemptions from other courses can be granted

Exams and deadlines can create time related stress to individuals 

Standard level of learning

Perceived risk of failure may put individuals off

Benefits from membership of professional bodies attractive to your organisation and your people

In-company or company sponsored training may carry with it implications for job progression & pay rises (your people may assume the right to progress if they attend these courses)

Reusable learning material – which can be branded – makes it less expensive

All content/modules may not be appropriate, but still required in order to achieve qualification

Combination of work-based projects and exams, so different assessment styles are covered

Assessment required to select correct level – needs to be accurate otherwise incorrect level will be either too hard or too easy – equally dissatisfying (it may be difficult to please everyone attending)

Personal satisfaction

Missed workshops might significantly impact on success

Opportunity to network with people of similar status/expertise


Typical Pros & Cons of Standard Non-Accreditation Route for In-house Training Programmes

For Against
Completely flexible content and module combination Less suitable for individual learners
Tailored courses can still be mapped against professional body learning outcomes but so much more targeted on specific areas so participants and managers can see immediate relevance Completion/ participation may be less significant to participants than achievement of professionally recognised qualification
No need for assessments, so less personal time required and less stress Measurement of success more difficult if no assessment procedure
Can be more focussed on personal development than on academic achievement Courses may take longer to develop than the ‘off the shelf’ materials (e.g. may require a familiarisation day), which can increase cost
Eligibility can be determined by company, rather than academic level More difficult to motivate learners post training as no consequences
Success can be measured in wider terms than a pass or fail May mean different levels of expertise are combined within training, which can make content too easy/too hard for participants
Can be integrated with other non-accredited in-house training to fit the house style  
Company in control of completion deadlines, rather than professional body  
In house training provides opportunity to mix up departments, job roles, levels of staff  
Can be used to strengthen company ethos and underpin organisational policies in a practical way (rather than reading a dry document), which will strengthen company loyalty  

Whilst reviewing these tables, we explain an alternative route: co-creating courses and material by intelligently mapping the accredited frameworks around the organisations’ specific learning objectives and their employees’ job descriptions.

We have helped organisations including BP, Swagelok, Siemens and PHS to plough their own furrows. More case studies coming soon by the way. Such organisations report cost savings and performance improvements from so doing. Indeed, we are currently talking to several organisations across multiple sectors about enabling them to set up their own corporate universities. I’ll share with you more about our unique L&D ROI tracking tool that helps them to make the business case to their board in a future post.

Why are we best positioned to enable corporate universities?

Professional Academy is uniquely positioned to enable organisations to quickly and cost effectively scale up and roll out their own corporate universities. In fact we are the only training provider to have the accreditation, knowledge, database, learning management system, tutor pool and experience to:

Provide existing accredited course material (from ISMM, CIM, CMI and CAM Foundation), a choice of delivery platforms (digital, workshop or blended) and a pool of experienced expert tutors

Contextualise any of these bodies’ professional programmes to your company’s specific requirements – and we really do mean contextualise – we do more than slap your brand on our material
Integrate/enhance your existing in-house training material OR write completely new material, mapped against our unique professional bodies’ qualification matrix so that it can be accredited.

We can (and indeed do) do the same without accreditation, if the accreditation route really is not the right way to go for you.

To find out more about Professional Academy’s in-company training services, please download our brochure, or contact me, Jill Towner on 0844 800 5256 or via jill.towner@professionalacademy.com.