Multi-Channel Marketer Apprenticeship: The New Way to Obtain a CIM Level 3 Qualification


The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate

Typically, a CIM level 3 Foundation Certificate is completed over a period of time which varies between 6 months and a year. It is usually completed by somebody who has an aspiration to enter marketing or is using it to build on their knowledge as they are new to the industry.

A CIM qualification at Level 3 provides you with the essential skills and knowledge needed to enter the marketing industry and be able to perform professionally in a support-level role within the workplace. It covers a variety of areas such as the Marketing mix, Customer behaviour, Digital marketing tools and much more. The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate has two pathways: Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing and Foundation Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing.

Both qualifications require the compulsory module of Marketing Principles to be completed. The Professional Marketing qualification requires the elective module ‘Communications in Practice’, whilst the Professional Digital Marketing requires the completion of the ‘Digital Fundamentals’ module.


Considerations Before Enrolling

The Level 3 Foundation Certificate has a fee attached to it, which includes a membership fee, assessment fees and the cost of the training delivery for both modules, all of which have a starting cost of £600.

The learning format involves a small amount of teaching sessions, with feedback at intervals, relying on the student to have the drive to self-learn.

However, this approach might pose challenges for some, raising questions about the feasibility of investing time and money in this qualification. This is a significant consideration, especially given the high regard for CIM qualifications in the marketing industry.

Yet, there's an alternative route to achieve a CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate, which addresses these challenges: Apprenticeships.



‘Apprenticeships???’ You are more than likely thinking, ‘but how? How can an apprenticeship help me achieve a CIM qualification’, I’ll explain.

The new Multi-channel marketer (MCM) apprenticeship, which was introduced in December 2023, replaced the Digital Marketer and Marketing Assistant apprenticeship. The new MCM apprenticeship is a revamped version, freeing it from the shackles of job fit issues that occurred regularly with DM’s rigid requirements, and requiring more training in marketing areas such as content marketing, sustainability, and digital strategies.

With the birth of the new MCM apprenticeship, came a huge opportunity for apprentices (and their employers) enrolling on it.

The MCM apprenticeship aligns with the Level 3 Foundation Certificate's modules. As a result of completing the apprenticeship, the CIM has now confirmed an exemption will be granted for the Marketing Principles module. This means that only the Digital Fundamentals
module (or Communications in Practice for Professional Marketing) needs to be completed to achieve the full CIM Level 3 qualification.

‘Sounds better? But would I still have to pay for the DF module?'

You would indeed, it would require you to complete the DF module through an approved CIM study centre, which would still be significantly lower than paying for 2 modules and can be completed after the apprenticeship.

‘Doesn’t that still have the barriers you mention above?’

Correct, however, there is another method which goes one step further, in completely wiping out the barriers above.


CIM Accredited Apprenticeship Provider

Choose a CIM apprenticeship provider which will offer the DF module or both modules during the apprenticeship!

This essentially means you can complete the DF module during the apprenticeship, and on completion of your apprenticeship achieve the Level 3 Foundation Certificate (if you use the exemption for Marketing Principles).


The Marketing Trainer

We at The Marketing Trainer believe in not using the exemption.

‘That’s bizarre, why would you not?’

The reason is strategic. The MP exam is 50 Multiple Choice Questions. A Distinction for the CIM Foundation Certificate is 70%. If you were to achieve a score which is much higher than 70%, this reduces the 70% you would need to obtain in an assignment (for a Distinction overall), for some who don’t have assignment writing as their strong point, this could be advantageous.

I completed the CIM Level 4, achieving 92% in the MCQ module, meaning the required scores in the remaining modules to achieve a Distinction were significantly lowered, easing the pressure I had on the assignments.

An apprenticeship is free to enrol, there is no cost to you (even your employer may be eligible for 100% Gov funding). You learn on the job, as well as having a significant amount of off-the-job training, all whilst in a marketing role. Not only will you achieve the Level 3 MCM qualification upon complexion, but you will also (depending on who your CIM-accredited apprenticeship training provider is) have a CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate.



Understandably this blog isn’t going to be the perfect match for 100% of readers, however, for some, it is the perfect way to obtain a CIM Level 3 Qualification without the cost and time sacrifice. Your preferences/circumstances will ultimately determine whether you
complete a CIM Foundation Certificate through an apprenticeship or not.



About the Author

Ashleigh Gorton graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2013 and completed his CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing in 2020, with Distinction. He has worked in the apprenticeship industry since 2015 and as of 2023, set up The Marketing Trainer, who are a CIM-accredited apprenticeship training provider delivering marketing and market research apprenticeships. Ashleigh is proud to be recognised as one of the youngest apprenticeship training provider owners in England.

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