Professional Academy offer qualifications in Sales, Marketing and Management

Check out the links below to find out more about each course and how it can help you achieve your professional goals. 

Choosing professional qualifications

You have decided that for you to enhance your skills or get the job you really want, you need to successfully gain a Professional Qualification. It may be that your boss has asked you to look at the options as part of your personal development plan or that your CV is lacking that edge to put you above other candidates applying for the same position you have applied for. Maybe you are looking to add to your personal reputation or status?

You have probably Googled who can offer the course that you want, you may have asked friends and colleagues for recommendations, or you may have looked at the relevant Professional Body or Institute’s website to see what qualifications are on offer and who can provide the course to you.

At this point many people become overwhelmed with the range of options and the jargon that the course providers use. Coupled with the fact that this is a significant investment of time and money, the risk of making a wrong decision can have long-term consequences.

Let’s look at some of our frequently asked questions that you can use to make your decision on when it comes to what, who with and how to study, and most importantly, is this a good investment in your future?

Frequently asked questions

Professional Bodies or Institutes are the custodians of professionalism, quality and ethics in your chosen field of work. The Professional Body, be it the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), or The Chartered Institute of Management (CMI), will have a range of strands to this objective.

The ISM, CMI and CIM provide Study Centres with comprehensive syllabuses for learning and assessments. Professional Academy use the syllabuses to develop relevant course content to support our learners in achieving optimal results.

When you study a qualification with one of these Institutes, you will become a studying member and receive all the benefits that come with this. They will vary depending on the body, but can include things like access to networking events, magazines, online resources, career guidance, and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) services.

Professional qualifications are for anyone & and for everyone. We passionately believe that every one of us can learn, develop and improve, gaining the skills and confidence to achieve our goals.

If you want to develop as a person and as a professional, get better at your job and take your career to the next level, studying for a professional qualification is the best investment you can make.

Whether your professional goals lie in improved income, a promotion, a career change, a new opportunity, or excelling in your current position, a qualification can certainly help.

The nature of a Professional Qualification means that any of these goals are possible, and you learn new, globally recognised, career-based skills that make you more employable as a result. At Professional Academy we fervently believe that everyone has the capacity to succeed in their chosen qualification and we are committed to helping you on that path, all we ask is that you also have the same level of commitment and dedication.

You may be looking at progressing your career by way of personal development, pursuing a possible career change, or you may simply want to gain a better understanding of Sales, Marketing, Digital Marketing or Management.

The nature of the professional qualifications that we run is that they combine theory with practical skills and knowledge that can be applied to your specific area of business or specialism.  The learning process is ongoing throughout your studies, allowing you to implement what you learn straight away. This combination of theory and “real world” application empowers an individual with the ability to “ hit the ground running” from outset in their respective field.

Accredited professional qualifications are the only sure way of demonstrating your knowledge and abilities to potential employers. By gaining an internationally recognised qualification, you set yourself apart from your peers and show that you mean business.

But it's not just about improving your CV. Our carefully designed courses will give you new knowledge and skills you can apply directly in the workplace and you'll gain the confidence that comes from taking on a new challenge and succeeding.

Organisations are always looking for a return on investment when it comes to financing a training and development course for an individual. However, the financial quantification of the benefit is not always straight forward. Nevertheless, here are some of the areas in which an employer can look to reap the rewards of funding Professional Qualifications for their staff.

  • Improved productivity
  • Increased efficiency
  • Ability to contribute to strategic goals
  • Participation in organisation talent development programme
  • Succession planning
  • Enhanced role capability
  • Improved innovation ability
  • Ability to attract and recruit quality staff
  • Reduction in costly mistakes by under trained staff.

Contrary to popular belief, research demonstrates that staff do not leave their job once qualified, in fact it has been proven that they become even more committed to their employer!

Depending upon your work experience and current qualifications, it is quite common for delegates to be able to start studying at a qualification level higher than the lowest level in the programme ladder. It is usually at the discretion of the study centre to decide the most appropriate start level for you. With so many different courses, modules and qualifications out there, it can be hard to figure out the best route to take. That's where we come in.

Book a free advice session and we'll be happy to talk you through your options online, on the phone, or face-to-face. Tell us about your background, your current role and, most importantly, where you want to take your career, and we'll help you identify the course and qualification that will deliver the greatest benefit.

Alternatively, you can take Professional Academy's quick and easy online entry level assessment tool, this will help you to determine which institute and qualification best suit your needs and professional development goals.

For a quick overview of what our study options are and what is included with each, please see our Premium and Lite course comparison chart.

The decision as to how you chose to study depends upon your location, personal preference, and your learning style.

Premium/Blended courses include one or two day intensive face-to-face (or virtual) workshops per module, where you can learn course content from an expert tutor and interact with your peers. This premium option also includes the addition of physical key texts and printed study guides delivered to your home.

The alternative is our Distance Learning option, where you can complete your course online via fully supported eLearning, PDF downloads, and tutor support.

At Professional Academy, every course, whether it is a face to face version or an online version comes with your own personal tutor who is allocated to you when you enrol. They are there to answer your questions and most importantly review your draft assignment submission before you formally send it to us for marking.

Many of our support tutors are examiners working on behalf of the Professional Body as well as working for us and all of them have a high-level knowledge of the subject you are studying and what it takes for you to pass the assessment.

We run workshop sessions across our UK and Channel Island study centres. One or two day workshops take place at the following UK locations for all available qualifications:

For a complete list of workshop dates for all of our study centres please visit our workshop page.

Yes, you will! If it's been a long time since you took an exam or submitted coursework, the idea of stepping back into the classroom can be daunting. Our carefully designed courses break things down into manageable steps, while our experienced tutors and friendly support staff will do everything they can to help you succeed.

Courses need to be flexible enough to fit around your life and work. Fortunately, Professional Bodies recognise that, and course providers therefore can build flexible programmes.

Our Professional Qualifications can be studied at any time of the year. They aren’t confined to a September start date like many colleges and universities. How and when you learn is simply up to you, you can go as fast or as slow as you want.

You can choose to study via workshops or online distance learning, and you have the choice of a variety of workshop dates and locations.

Whatever your learning style, you should plan for about 30-45 hours of study per module as a minimum and decide how you would like to schedule this weekly. Three to five hours a week is a comfortable pace. Don’t forget, a two-day workshop counts as 15 hours of this time!

Obviously, nobody can categorically state that you will definitely pass your qualification assessment and indeed who would want a qualification that everybody can get, you want something that sets you a level above other people. Professional Bodies have rigorous marking and verification processes in place to ensure the quality of those people to whom they award a qualification certificate or diploma to.

At Professional Academy, although we can't guarantee a pass, we can guarantee to support you until you do. We do this through our 100% Pass guarantee commitment. Pay once and stay with us until you succeed. All we ask is that you follow the course, submit your draft assignments and stay committed. Our results are proof that the process works.

Examinations often scare potential course delegates away from taking a course from the outset and some argue are not the best way to assess a person's understanding and ability to put into action the skills they have learnt on a course. Apart from two units on the CIM Marketing courses, every module Professional Academy deliver is assessed by some form of assignment or work-based project.

This usually entails writing a report based around how you would utilise the knowledge you have gained to address an issue or opportunity in your workplace. They are challenging, but rewarding and we are often told that the delegates employer has subsequently implemented the proposal in the workplace. Your Professional Academy support tutor is on hand to help you with this piece of work and also to review the finished article before submission.

Studying for a new qualification is a significant investment, but if you consider the personal and financial benefits that new skills, a better job and a higher salary will bring, both now and for years to come, the return on that investment is huge.

There are a range of options available when you want to enrol onto a Professional Qualification course. These will vary by the provider you are talking to, as will the scope of what is supplied for the money you pay. Pay particular attention as to whether Professional Body membership and assessment fees are included in the price you are being charged. For example, Professional Academy will collect monies on behalf of the CMI, ISM and DMI but you have to pay any fees charged by the CIM directly to them when you apply for membership and assessments.

At Professional Academy we accept purchase orders from companies and offer the usual payment terms that exist in a business to business arrangement.

Payments can also be made using credit cards on behalf of an individual or a business.

In addition, to help self-funding delegates we also offer staged payment plans whereby equal payments are taken monthly from a credit card after an initial down-payment has been made.

As not everybody wants to sign up for a full multi-modular/course programme there are also options to enrol on one module/course/unit at a time. This helps spread the cost, although individual course costs are slightly more expensive than buying the full programme at once. This option may however be appropriate if you only want to gain one unit as a qualification. This is usually called an Award by the Professional Body, allowing delegates to take a more granular and targeted approach to their studies.

In addition to the main qualification course, it is not uncommon for a provider to offer additional services or products. For example, at Professional Academy, we also give you the ability to sign up for a NUS Student card entitling you to a range of student discounts.

The benefits are of course of value but stay focussed on what you will get as part of your core course, i.e. the range of online and offline services, the support you will get and the quality of the provision.

At Professional Academy we have two types of course, Distance Learning / Lite which refers to our online/distance learning version and Premium / Blended which includes face-to-face workshops. We provide a full book pack of core texts as well as printed versions of our purpose written study guides for every module as part of our Premium option.

Professional Academy have a high first time Pass Rate (view our CIM Pass Rates), due to the comprehensive nature of all the study material we supply our students, along with the expertise and knowledge of our tutors who, along with being knowledgeable academics, are experienced business practitioners in their respective fields.

We value our students greatly and take our level of service & and ongoing unlimited tutor support very seriously. Our interactive workshops have also proven to be a highly effective method of learning for our students, and enhance their overall experience with us.

Even without the workshops (via distance learning) we provide all our students with all the necessary course materials, online resources and tutor support to be able to study effectively and achieve their desired qualification. You can hear how Professional Academy qualifications have helped people progress in their career in their own words via our testimonials page.

We are here to help

Hopefully this information has helped answer all your questions regarding a course leading to a Professional Qualification. It has been written with the benefit of delivering these courses for many years as well as from the standpoint of a leading contributor to the strategy of the Professional Bodies.

However, you may still have questions or concerns, if that is the case, give us a call, email, or get in touch via the online chat.

We are a friendly and supportive team. We are passionate about your success and we do our utmost to help you make the most of your decision to make your future a better one by gaining a Professional Qualification.