The IPM Diploma could be your passport to a glittering career in the promotional marketing industry, says Sophie Robertson of Spark & Fuse

Experiencing the IPM Diploma first hand


The IPM Diploma could be your passport to a glittering career in the promotional marketing industry, says Sophie Robertson of Spark & Fuse

Three weeks ago, I officially became an IPM Graduate.

The IPM – the Institute of Promotional Marketing – holds its graduation ceremonies at the House of Commons, where I found myself standing alongside 44 other graduates of the IPM Diploma 2015.  It was a wonderful experience – the celebration of six months hard work – made all the more so by having my Diploma presented to me by Lord Black of Brentwood, president of the IPM and executive director of the Telegraph Media Group.

My Experience?

Having recently returned from living in France for 12 years, switching language and educational approach was definitely a challenge – but one that I was more than happy to accept.  I definitely don’t regret it.

The IPM Diploma study notes and guidelines were instructive, and the tutors more than happy to help when I had any questions.  You also nominate a mentor in your workplace – usually a senior member of the organisation – and the notes they receive from the IPM coupled with your mentor’s expertise is invaluable to your studies.  Don’t ever hesitate to ask your mentor for help, as they will provide you with insights and possible solutions that you may not have thought of.

Working for Spark & Fuse in the prize promotions industry, the IPM Diploma has given me the ability to think differently and more thoroughly about the problems in front of me.  I feel more confident when it comes to devising successful promotional campaigns.  The IPM Diploma has given me the skills to know that when I’m ready, I can move into a different promotional sector.

I completed the Diploma in September 2015, receiving my results mid-December which made for a lovely Christmas break! I wasn’t the only one celebrating; the 2015 cohort produced the best results yet – nearly 60% achieved a Credit, and a further 9% a Distinction.

The Facts?

The IPM (which used to be known as the ISP –  Institute of Sales Promotion) has provided courses and qualifications for the last thirty years.

The IPM Diploma, introduced in 1984, is refreshed every year by industry experts so that what you learn is always relevant and timely.  It improves promotional marketing skills for current and future promotional marketers.  As a result, graduates have gone on to become leaders in every sector of the promotional industry.

You’ll learn about all marketing aspects, from understanding channels and audiences to strategic thinking and promotional techniques.  It’s easy to fit in around work and your personal life, as it takes the form of a six month e-learning course.

You’ll complete nine modules (six compulsory and three elective) and a Set Brief.  The Set Brief is the ultimate and most substantial part of the IPM Diploma as it’s worth a third of the marks.  A brand will provide you with a fictional brief and a budget.  This gives students the opportunity to develop and demonstrate their strategic skills, creativity and logic in their proposal.

Since 2015, the IPM have introduced three submission dates for assignments.  The first, after two months, is when you submit Modules 1&2 which you will receive feedback on a matter of weeks later.  This gives you an opportunity to understand where you need to improve, if at all.  The remaining modules are submitted five months in and you then have the last month to dedicate entirely to the Set Brief.

You’ll also be invited to an Immersion Day and a Tutorial Day – both of which are designed for candidates to meet and network with other candidates and tutors to discuss the various assignments and Set Brief.

The IPM, for 2016, have introduced the option to enrol on The IPM Diploma Supplements – a two day seminar filled opportunity to hear from industry experts in a face-to-face environment.

Considering The IPM Diploma?

The next intake for the IPM Diploma kicks off on the 14th March – there’s still availability, so please do book here.  I have no doubt that you too will be celebrating your IPM Diploma success over the 2016 Christmas period!

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