How to decide between the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and the ILM for your management development

As an employer, training provider or individual there are a variety of options when considering leadership and management development, qualifications and apprenticeships. In this blog we take a snapshot of two of the most influential UK bodies to see if they are providing the same services and summarise the key similarities and differences.

Similarities in the offerings from the Chartered Management Institute and ILM

The CMI and ILM share a number of similarities in that both professional bodies work with employers, individuals and education/training providers to provide leadership and management qualifications, accreditations and apprenticeships. Both organisations offer management qualifications from Levels 2 to 7*, which can all be achieved at Award, Certificate or Diploma status.

In addition, the ILM and CMI offer end-point assessments (EPA) for their management apprenticeship programmes to support employers and training providers when the apprenticeship has been completed.

Both organisations provide extensive resources online and organise events to enable their audiences to increase knowledge and learning and to network with others.

What sets the individual bodies apart?

The Chartered Management Institute

Established over 60 years ago, the CMI started out as the British Institute of Management and developed the UK’s very first diploma in management studies. It is the only chartered professional body dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence.

It is also the only professional body to award Chartered Manager status, which is the highest status that can be achieved in the management profession.

*The CMI qualifications range from Level 2 to 8 – which is one level above those of the ILM.

The CMI is a membership organisation that regularly publishes its Professional Management magazine for its members.

More information on the CMI


Part of the City and Guilds Group since 2001, the ILM provides qualifications for learners in the UK and internationally. It has a global network of over 2,000 approved centres and operates in eight regions across the world.

Over 70,000 people register for an ILM qualification each year. As part of the registration process, they will receive a year’s free membership to the Institute of Leadership and Management, with whom the ILM work closely to provide membership to employees. The Institute of Leadership and Management publishes its Edge magazine for its, and ILM, members.

More information on the ILM

Read our blog about the differences between the ILM and the Institute of Leadership and Management here.

It’s down to choice of provider

The Chartered Management Institute and ILM are both long established professional bodies with excellent reputations of supporting individuals, employers and training providers and you would be in very safe hands working with either. So at the end of the day possibly the biggest choice to make is the approved provider of either with whom you prefer to work.