In the fiercely competitive world of marketing careers, any relevant experience or qualification that gives you an edge over other candidates will increase your chances of securing an interview. Once you are in the interview stage the way you engage and express yourself and the power of the examples you give will assume greater importance. But when the recruiter can only judge you on paper, qualifications and accreditations count for a lot. And arguably the most prestigious accreditation you can have on your CV is Chartered Marketer status from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).
The CIM defines Chartered Marketer status in this way:
“Chartered Marketer is a status recognising those marketers achieving the highest level in our profession. It demonstrates commitment to keeping up-to-date and is awarded on a combination of experience and qualifications. In 1998, The Queen’s Privy Council granted CIM the exclusive authority to award Chartered Marketer status.”
Chartered Marketer status was developed to encourage experienced marketers to keep their skills relevant through 'the proactive maintenance and extension of professional knowledge, skills and personal qualities required to drive responsible practice throughout working life.'
Chartered Marketer status is not easy to achieve and is usually only attainable by seasoned marketing professionals with several years of experience under their belts. It requires dedication to continuing professional development (CPD), but as we’d recommend this to anyone wishing to achieve career longevity, there is no reason not to start the activities that will help you secure Chartered Marketer status at any stage of your career.
Who can become a Chartered Marketer?
In order to start the formal process of becoming a Chartered Marketer you must have already have been a Member or a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM or FCIM) for at least two consecutive years.
The title ‘Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’ can create some confusion as anyone who pays their annual subscription may believe they hold this grade. It’s a fair assumption but an incorrect one.
To achieve MCIM grade you need a CIM qualification and/or five to ten years’ relevant experience. You’ll probably be working at a strategic level, such as Head of Marketing or Senior Marketing Manager. You need to submit evidence, including a validated CV, which is considered by the CIM before MCIM status is awarded.
To achieve FCIM grade you will need 10 - 15 years’ experience and you’re likely to be a Marketing Director or Marketing Consultant. A greater degree of evidence is needed at this level.
Once you have achieved MCIM or FCIM grade you can begin the process of working towards Chartered Marketer status by recording your continuing professional development activities.
You can, however, join the CIM’s CPD programme at any stage of your marketing career and it makes sense to start as soon as possible. This will create the good habits of constant development and record keeping that will become second nature.
What do I need to do to become a Chartered Marketer
The CIM has recently introduced a less paternal approach to CPD monitoring for MCIM and FCIM members in recognition of their professional maturity. Replacing the old system, which required members to demonstrate they had spent at least 35 hours in a range of CPD activities, the new approach asks members to provide reflective statements on their development activities.
The requirements are not especially prescriptive, but the CIM does ask members to:
- Complete at least four development activities
- Include two activities relating to the CIM’s ‘Core Competencies’*
- Include two activities relating to the CIM’s ‘Technical Competencies’**
- Provide a reflective statement for each activity, describing what impact it has had on their marketing.
Once you have recorded your continuing professional development for two consecutive years you will be invited to complete the assessment which leads to full Chartered Marketer status.
On achieving this you can display the letters CMktr after your name or, more commonly, adopt the designation of Chartered Marketer. You will receive a certificate of recognition and a copy of a logo you can use on business cards, CVs etc with some minor restrictions.
Is Chartered Marketer status worth the effort?
This may feel like a long, slow process but if you have already achieved MCIM or FCIM grade, you have already achieved the most difficult part. Employers expect all marketers, indeed all employees, to be continually developing their skills and if you can demonstrate your activities are part of a formally recognised CPD programme you may be given funds or time off to study, coach or participate in special interest groups.
The only extra burden going for Chartered Marketer status places on you is the need to record your reflections on what you’ve done. And as the CIM provides a useful online tool to make this easier there really is no reason not to start straight away. It could make all the difference when it comes to securing your next senior marketing position.
Regan & Dean specialises in placing experienced marketing professionals into fulfilling roles. Wherever you are in your marketing career, if you are looking to progress you should be talking with us.
The CIM Competencies
*Core Competencies - Insights | Championing the Customer | Strategy
** Technical Competencies - Risk and Reputation Management | Brand | Integrated Marketing Communications | Digital Integration | Product Management | Monitoring and Measuring Effectiveness | Customer Experience | Partnership Marketing