ILM Courses and Qualifications

If you're thinking about an ILM qualification in Leadership, Management and Coaching, discover all the options with TSW

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What is ILM?

An Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) course is a training experience for leaders and managers. It caters from entry-level or junior management, all the way up to senior managers and CEOs.

Each course is made up of multiple topics, called units, which are chosen to develop different leadership and management skills.

The course can be applied to management in any sector and transfer if you decide to change roles.

ILM supports your natural management style and enhances it with practical advice and techniques. At every level, ILM is a solid career development course and is increasingly popular with organisations, leaders and managers globally.

ILM delivers skills, knowledge, understanding and experience you need to successfully deliver in your leadership and/or management role.

How to take an ILM course

ILM is widely available across the UK, delivered by training providers, like TSW either online or in-person.

ILM courses are usually open to the public, so you can train alongside other managers at the same level as you from different industries and businesses.

For organisations with larger numbers of staff to train, they can opt for an in-house ILM programme, delivered on-site or at a venue of their choice.

In-house ILM training content can be tailored to align with the business’s strategies, corporate values, processes and policies, creating contextualised training that increases return on investment.

To find out more about our ILM & Management Courses - Virtual and Classroom-based Click Here

ILM levels explained

There are seven levels of ILM qualification, each designed to develop leaders and managers with different levels of experience, seniority, and role:

  • Level 2 – For Team Leaders and Team Supervisors
  • Level 3 – For Junior Managers, First Line Managers and Supervisors
  • Level 4/5 – Middle Managers
  • Level 6/7 – Senior Managers and Directors of smaller organisations
  • Level 7 – Senior Leaders, CEO’s and Directors of large divisions

You don't need to work through each level. For example, if you're already a senior manager, you can start at level 6.

Now that you know which level is right for you, it is time to consider the length and scope of the course you would like to take.

ILM Awards, Certificates and Diplomas

ILM's qualifications come in various shapes and sizes, denoted by the words ‘award’, ‘certificate’ and ‘diploma’. Each type requires a different number of guided learning hours, number of units/topics, and number of assignments.

ILM Awards

Awards are the shortest ILM qualifications, requiring fewer days’ of course attendance. They focus on critical topics and demand fewer assignments. They tend to take 10 to 120 hours to complete.

ILM Certificates

Certificates are more in-depth than the ILM awards. The syllabus is thorough to give you a larger base of knowledge and skills. You join more training sessions and have a greater number of assignments to complete. They tend to account for 130 to 360 hours of learning.

ILM Diplomas

Diplomas are the most comprehensive qualification, covering the greatest number of leadership and management units. It's ten days of training and a number of assignments. You'll clock in 370 hours of learning - it's expert-level training.

Each level of qualification has varying requirements, you can enquire with a training provider who will be able to provide you with the exact number of days and details on assessment.

Regardless of whether you choose the award, certificate or diploma, you will still receive a qualification certificate at the level you decide to study.

So, if you take an ILM level 3 Award in Leadership and Management you will be able to say you have a level 3 qualification in management, the same as if you take a much longer and more intensive ILM level 3 Diploma.

What are the benefits of taking an ILM course? 

As an approved ILM training provider, we have witnessed the many benefits for leaders, managers and organisations, that come from participating in ILM qualifications. Here are just some: 

  • Internationally recognised qualifications travel well
  • Vocational qualifications that deliver real-world skills
  • ILM Qualifications are highly recommended by employers
  • A quick impact on management skills and knowledge
  • Viewed positively by employers and employees
  • Every learner gets a membership to the Institute Of Leadership and Management
  • Less time away from the workplace than traditional management development
  • Develop a wide range of management and leadership skills
  • ILM’s deliver a proven return on investment for employers

Further information on the benefits of an ILM course can be found on our blog.


Which ILM course is right for you?

If you decide to take an award you will cover much fewer units and content than in a certificate or diploma course. To select the right course for you, you must know how you want to develop your skills, as well as the amount of time you have for course attendance and ILM assignment completion.

If you are still unsure about the course that is right for you, take a look at ILM’s really useful qualification finder or get in touch.

To view all our ILM & Management Courses - Virtual and Classroom-based Click Here


Coaching vs leadership and management training

ILM gives you the option to either specialise in leadership and management or coaching. 

The syllabus of each course is targeted to meet the demands of your job.

For example, the coaching course content focuses on developing your people and cultivating a supportive environment to help your team to meet their targets. Read more about the ILM Level 3 Award in Coaching

Whereas a leadership and management ILM is a practical management approach to help you drive positive change.

ILM Leadership and Management qualifications we offer

ILM Recognition: Our endorsed and developed courses

An impactful ILM management course can come in all shapes and sizes.

We understand that organisations and their people may not want to embark on a formal management qualification, but they might still like to know that the training they invest in for their leaders and managers is recognisable and quality assured.

ILM review and endorse many of TSW's management training programmes, ensuring that they meet the highest standards. This means that you can be assured that you are receiving high-quality leadership and management training.

With all of these programmes, we retain the ability to tailor their length, content and delivery, making them perfect for our public courses and for in-house delivery.

The courses below have been designed by TSW from the ground up and submitted to ILM for quality assurance. 

Do you have a leadership and management training need in your organisation, which you require an ILM recognised course for? You can enquire here for more information on how we can run one of the courses above or design a new one just for you and your needs.

Volvo Case Study

Volvo was searching for a training provider who could deliver a Leadership and Management Programme to develop practising and aspiring Managers in line with the needs of the business.

“Arranging our ILM Level 3 Certificate through TSW Training couldn’t have been easier as they tailored the training to accommodate our chosen modules and were flexible in terms of delivery locations and dates. The biggest factor for us was that TSW provide an e-learning system which educates and tests understanding; it was helpful to receive analysis from this system (modules completed and test scores) as we could easily monitor employees’ progress and offer extra support where required. 10/10!" - Maxine (Knowles) Linehan, Human Resources Manager, Volvo


Studying Membership of The Institute of Leadership and Management

If you decide to take an ILM qualification you will receive complimentary access to studying membership, a community of over 30,000 leaders and managers.

You will gain access to a wide range of expert online resources, including interactive tests, guides, journals, webinars, blogs, podcasts and free events.

How do I activate my ILM Membership?

To activate your membership with ILM, all you need is the enrolment number that your provider will give you upon registration.

If your ILM provider has already provided The Institute with your email address, please check your mailbox – an automatic activation link from The Institute should have been sent to you directly.

If you are yet to receive an email, you can complete The Institute’s online form to register for free membership.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Who are ILM? chevron

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) is the UK’s leading awarding body for leadership, management, and coaching qualifications.

ILM has been a part of the City & Guilds Group since November 2001, providing a wide range of qualifications for learners throughout the UK and internationally. Its qualifications are delivered through a large network of approved training centres and employers.

ILM qualifications and training are delivered globally, with regions including:

  • Africa
  • South East Asia
  • East Asia
  • The Middle East,
  • The Pacific and South Asia
  • India
  • The Caribbean and the Americas
What's the difference between an ILM Award, Certificate or Diploma? chevron

These terms refer to how detailed the ILM qualification is going to be and how long it might take to complete. ILM's programmes, at all levels, generally fall in into three sizes:

  • Awards - these are the shortest and most concise qualifications, accounting for 10 to 120 hours of learning and providing 1-12 credits.
  • Certificates - these provide between 130 to 360 hours of learning and provide a broader base of knowledge and skills, They provided between 13 and 36 credits.
  • Diplomas - are by far the most comprehensive qualifications offered by ILM. A diploma offers an extensive programme of learning amounting to over 370 hours of learning, providing 37 or more credits.

Examples of how these sizes show up in qualification titles include:

ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management Versus ILM Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management

Why should I choose an ILM course? chevron

Six reasons why you should choose an ILM Course:

  1. ILM training is focused on the place of work, using work-based assessment and contextualised learning to make sure leader and managers put their skills into action
  2. 90% of ILM learners say they're able to apply the leadership and management learning to their day-to-day role*
  3. 94% of employers would recommend ILM to another organisation looking to improve leadership and management skills*
  4. 9 out of 10 learners would recommend ILM, which is testament to their quality*
  5. The qualifications are very flexible, offering organisations and learners various options on the level, content covered, and how many units are taken.
  6. All ILM providers and the courses they offer have been quality assured by ILM, so you know you are getting a high standard of learning

*Harris Interactive research for ILM, July 2018. Sample size: 740 interviews with 101 training providers, 80 employers and 559 learners.

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