Development: Philip Preston on CPD payback and changes

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is a fundamental part of being a professional marketer. Developing skills and knowledge is a must throughout your career. Philip Preston explains what’s changed with the CPD programme available to CIM members and answers some common questions. Previously Director of Marketing at a leading regional media company, Philip is passionate about the role of professional marketers in business, the not-for-profit sector and social marketing. He is CIM Network Manager for the London Region, and both a CIM Fellow and Chartered Marketer.

What is CPD?

Whether you’re a marketing newbie or a seasoned professional, CPD is a way to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge you need to be effective. By joining the CIM Chartered CPD Programme, you’ll have a framework to help you manage your learning and professional development. Those who are currently members at MCIM or FCIM grade, can work towards Chartered Marketer status through a combination of experience, knowledge and CPD.

My job is hectic, is CPD worth the time?

There is an old saying “What gets measured, gets done”. Joining the CIM CPD programme has many benefits, in particular, the simple process of tracking your progress, becomes a motivator for managing your own personal development. The programme provides a useful structure for gaining new skills and knowledge, to ensure that you’re up-to-date with the latest trends. Being part of the programme is a good way to demonstrate your commitment to employers. The more you supplement your existing capabilities, the more payback you can get professionally. You’ll be better placed in the jobs market and your increased level of skill can only help you to grow in authority and confidence. The CPD Programme also gives you a direct route to become a Chartered Marketer.

From one marketer to another, I’d say invest time in yourself. Take the time to keep learning. Use CPD to keep up and get ahead. As more and more of us commit to continuous learning, we’re raising the standards of our profession. That’s got to be good thing for all of us.

I’ve heard the CPD programme has changed – how?

While the aims of the CPD programme remain the same, in terms of developing professional knowledge, skills and personal qualities, there have been changes to make the process more streamlined, personalised and flexible.

The programme has been tailored to make it suit membership grades. There are two distinct approaches for those who are either Affiliates and Associates or who are Members and Fellows.

Affiliates and Associates can now aim for a total of 35 credits. Simply log hours spent on different activities and your credits will be automatically calculated. CPD relates to CIM’s Professional Marketing Competencies, which are the essential skills and behaviours expected of professional marketers.

Members and Fellows, and those who are already Chartered Marketers, have greater scope to determine their development activities. As a minimum four activities which reflect the CIM’s Professional Marketing Competencies must be completed and four reflective statements provided.

Tracking CPD has been streamlined with an online system for managing your CPD, recording progress and submitting your completed record online. Whereas there used to be a fixed CPD year for everyone, your submission is now aligned with your own membership year. And you can use the new mobile app (available on Apple and Android devices) to record your CPD activity as you complete it. For more guidance refer to:

How do I get started?

As a CIM member you can register for the CPD programme on our website at and logging into your MyCIM account and selecting ‘CPD’. Once registered, you then have access to everything you need to follow the programme.

For further details read: Continuing Professional Development with CIM.

How do I go about skills analysis?

One of the key features of the CPD platform is a Skills Analysis which allows you to map your skills against the Professional Marketing Competencies. This will highlight areas you may like to focus on for your development, depending on your current role and your future career plans.

Can I use CPD to become a Chartered Marketer?

Yes, CPD is the route to Chartered Marketer status, which recognises those marketers at the highest level of the profession. If you want to become a Chartered Marketer you must:

  • Be either Member (MCIM) or Fellow (FCIM) grade for at least two consecutive years. (If you don’t already hold MCIM or FCIM membership but believe you may be eligible for an upgrade. You can visit to log in and select ‘Upgrade membership’ under Resources & tools to download the relevant form, or call 01628 427360 or email
  • Complete four reflective statements, relating to any area of the Professional Marketing Competencies framework, during each CPD year for a minimum of two consecutive years.
    Complete the Chartered Marketer assessment. This will be available on completion of your second consecutive year of CPD.
  • When you gain Chartered Marketer status, you can use the Chartered Marketer descriptor and logo to show others that you are an up-to-date, experienced and qualified marketing professional.

I found the journey towards becoming a Chartered Marketer a positive experience. And it shows an ongoing commitment to CPD. When anyone asks me what it means to be Chartered, I’m being given the ideal platform to explain my professional approach. That’s a great payback.