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What do you think of Internal Comms qualifications?

Huge congratulations to everyone on my post-graduate diploma in Internal Communications Management course. A year of study has finally come to an end and I’m the very proud owner of a PGDip. Well done to everyone in my class for surviving and coming out the other side.

For me, the opportunity to meet Internal Comms professionals from a wide variety of industries and hearing war stories from each other of when good comms go bad was a vital part of my learning. Knowing that I now have people I can talk to for advice and to swap tips and hints with is incredibly valuable. I set up a Facebook group for us when the course started and would advise future ICM students to do the same as it is a great way to keep in touch and not feel isolated when spending hours and hours researching and writing assignments.

There is a fair bit of activity on Twitter about Internal Communication training and a few people have asked me whether I would recommend my course. I studied via Capita Learning & Development and Kingston University in London. It covered topics including understanding the new communication environment, evaluating the effects of organisational culture and structure on internal communications; issues involved in communicating in an international environment and how to influence and negotiate with people at all levels.

My advice would be to not underestimate the sheer amount of work and hours you need to dedicate in order to keep your head above water and meet the stringent deadlines, while also holding down a full time job and family/social life.

I think knowing there are now 35 more Internal Comms professionals at an accredited level working hard to improve IC in our own industries is fantastic. We all have the theory behind our instincts and a thorough understanding of just how important Internal Communication is and the role it plays. I’m sure we will all go on to push for improved IC in our organisations now and in the future.

Other courses around include Melcrum’s black belt training for Internal Communication. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has a list of accredited Communications and PR courses and Communicators in Business (CiB) offers a Diploma of proficiency in internal communication. What do you think about Internal Communication courses? Have you come across any good ones? Let me know your thoughts.

Comments

  1. Karl Roche says:

    Well done. I’ve been thinking about doing something like this (I don’t have a social life) but work is pretty hectic.

    How many hours do you think you put in each week?

  2. Rachel says:

    At the start of the course the tutors advised us it is between 12-15 hours a week. However I think it varies. Over the course of the year you write four assignments, which certainly devour weekends – up to 10 hours each day. But there are other weeks between submitting assignments and the next lot of lectures, where the time commitment dips.

  3. Mark K Curtis says:

    Congratulations! It certainly does take more time from the week than you first imagine doesn’t it?!

    I was very honoured to have the tutorship of Pat Hedges before she stepped down as the course Director at Kingston Uni. She was an inspiration and really helped me to see things differently than I was used to seeing within the organisation I worked for. I have to say, doing the course really opened my eyes. But, also helped me to galvanise thoughts and ideas that I already had but perhaps didn’t have the opportunity to express at the time.

  4. Rachel says:

    Thanks Mark, it certainly does take longer than you think!
    Pat is brilliant, I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but we communicate regularly via email. She’s been a fantastic sounding board and source of advice and encouragement.

  5. Christina says:

    Rachel,

    Not sure whether you can answer this but are you familiar with similar training/education programs in the U.S.? This blog post is a great resource. I’d actually found these sites a couple of years ago but didn’t know at the time whether they were legit or not. I’m not sure whether the U.K. is light years ahead in internal communications or the U.S. is behind, but most of the IC professionals I follow on blogs and Twitter are located throughout Europe so I haven’t really found many viable U.S. sources other than Ragan Communications.

  6. […] on various aspects of corporate communications. In the 30 minutes I perused her blog, I found resources for accredited internal communication training (U.K.-based), the diary she’s posting on Melcrum during her first 30 days as the head of […]

  7. Rachel says:

    Hi Christina, thank you for your comments.

    I’m not aware of any US-based courses that I could recommend. However a good starting point could be IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) or I would recommend appealing for reccomended courses via Twitter if you haven’t done so already.

    Check out Melcrum.com too- I just had a look and there is a contact for US information listed – Rick Spratley rick.spratley@melcrum.com or +1 312 379 6500. Hopefully he would be able to point you in the right direction.

    Hope that helps,
    Kind regards
    Rachel

  8. Hi Rachel

    I know this is an old thread but wasn’t sure if you would still see this comment. I saw you speak at last years IOIC Live and really enjoyed your session; since then I have really been immersing myself in IC and nearly completed my Foundation diploma in Proficiency in IC with the IOIC 🙂
    In your opinion how much weight do IC qualifications hold in business? Are there some favoured more than others or are there some key ‘golden’ qualifications that employees look for when recruiting IC staff? Thank you for your help!

    Vicki

  9. Hi Vicki, thank you for your comment. Congratulations on your studying, I hope it’s going well so far. That’s such a good question. I’m spotting them more on job adverts, either specifically e.g. “CIPR Diploma in Internal Communications” or generically “a qualification in Internal Communication”. It’s hard to say weight-wise whether one carries more than another one, that would be a question for recruiters. My instinct is it’s never a bad thing to invest in your own learning and development. I hope that helps, Rachel.

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