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PSMG and CMC announce major changes to the CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing

The CIM Diploma is changing to better fit the specific needs of professionals in our sector, says Nigel Clark, Executive Director, PSMG

I have written on a number of occasions in this column about the value of studying for a qualification as a complement to on-the-job experience and learning. We work in a sector where the combination of formal and informal learning is the mark of a true professional, so I see no reason why we marketers should be any different. 

For a number of years, I have had the pleasure of being the Course Director for the only marketing programme which combines a recognised qualification, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) Diploma for Professional Marketing, with bespoke teaching and experience relevant to marketers in our sector. This programme pairs PSMG, the hub for professional services marketing, with Cambridge Marketing College (CMC), Europe's leading provider of professional marketing qualifications, to offer a professional service pathway to the CIM qualification. 

To date, we have attracted with great success professional services marketers from large and small firms alike onto the programme, but now, and with a change in the CIM syllabus, we are taking the opportunity to restyle and relaunch the course to better fit the specific needs of marketers in our sector. 

In terms of the CIM syllabus, students of the Diploma now only need to study three modules rather than the previous requirement for four. The first two of these new modules, Strategic Marketing and Marketing Metrics , are mandatory and are assessed by exam and assignment respectively. The third module is an elective with the student choosing between Driving Innovation and Digital Strategy . A pass in all three modules is required to receive the Diploma. For a more individual approach, CMC will offer an award if students wish to take only single modules. As a further change all three module assessments can now be applied specifically to delegates own professional services company. 

In terms of delivery, we have previously offered the course either as a series of London evening classes or as distance learning. We have increasingly found that evening classes are hard for busy London-based marketers to commit to over an extended study period and, needless to say, impossible for anyone working outside the capital. And while more flexible in format, distance learning lacks the collegiate nature of a ‘classroom’ taught course.


Our new offer is three intensive study weekends – one for each module – in Cambridge at the highly regarded Moller Centre, Churchill College’s residential leadership development and conference centre. The study weekends will be timed to fit in with the CIM’s exam and assignment schedule, and will allow students to complete the qualification at a considered pace of about 15 months from first weekend to final assessment.


To ensure the bespoke and collegiate nature of the programme, only marketers from professional services firms will be able to sign up for this course and all the tutors will have extensive experience of working in the sector. Course materials will be also be sector specific, including the Professional Services Marketing Handbook , which I edited with Charles Nixon, the Chairman of CMC.


In addition to the study weekends, the programme will include a special one-day seminar on ‘Emerging Trends in Professional Services Marketing’ when we will invite leading marketers in our sector, including the course tutors, to share their thoughts and ideas on the direction of marketing. People interested in joining future intakes of the programme will be welcome to join this seminar, but will have to pay an additional fee. The seminar will be included within the overall course costs for those already committed to the programme.


The first study weekend will be in February 2017 and cover both an introduction to the course and the Strategic Marketing module. Students will then be well placed to take the next available CIM exam in June


We think this course would be ideal for professional services marketing or business development specialists looking to progress their careers to a more senior position. It probably best suits someone in an executive or manager position who holds either a business degree with a minimum of 30% of credits in marketing or already has over three years' marketing experience.


The class size will be kept below 18 to allow delegates to work together and share experiences successfully. As with previous courses, we expect the first cohort on the weekend programme will include delegates from a broad spread of firms, such as accountancy, architecture, consulting and legal firms and marketing agencies supporting the professional services sector.


Dates and prices for the new course, along with details on how to sign up for the programme, will be published on both the PSMG and CMC website shortly, but if you are interested in then please contact Gail Jaffa at PSMG on or get in touch with me directly.


Nigel Clark is a Non-Executive Director of PSMG and the editor and lead author of the Professional Service Marketing Handbook. He has held senior marketing and business development roles in financial services, management consulting, legal, environmental, business services, engineering and project management firms. Follow Nigel on Twitter @nigelgclark.


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