Established in the 1970s, the Institute of Commercial Management is the leading professional body for Commercial and Business Development staff working in the following key industry sectors:
- Aerospace and Defense
- Facilities Management
- Financial Services
- Information & Communication Technology
- Tourism & Hospitality
- Retailing & Distribution
- Sports Management
The Institute is also an international examining and Awarding body, providing globally recognised Awards for business and management students.
In its capacity as a course developer and an examining and certifying Board, the Institute offers a wide range of professional and vocational Awards in Business, Management and related vocational areas.
ICM programmes are designed to address the personal development and training needs of those wishing to enter the commercial sector and to support the continued development and workplace flexibility of those already in employment.
The Institute's global services include the design, development and certification of business education and training programmes for education providers; the development and certification of tailored education and training programmes for the corporate sector, emerging industries and the global workforce and the examination, assessment and certification of students undertaking business, management and related vocational education programmes.
An acknowledged specialist in the design and development of progressive, practical and multi-functional programmes of study, the Institute works with a range of public and private sector clients including universities, business schools, colleges, training providers, International Development Agencies, government agencies and local authorities.
ICM provides examinations in more than 200 subject areas ranging from accounting and finance to tourism and hospitality and from marketing and advertising to project management and examines and certifies candidates to an internationally consistent standard.
The Institute is regulated by Ofqual as an Awarding body authorised to offer qualifications at all levels on the UK National Qualifications Framework. Ofqual regulates general and vocational qualifications in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
ICM Articulation Agreements with Universities
The Institute has formal partnership arrangements with a wide range of universities in the UK and overseas. A full list of progression routes from ICM qualifications into Undergraduate and Post Graduate courses at UK Universities is available from the ICM website.
Established articulation arrangements provide direct access to the second and final years of a wide range of BA/BSc degrees for ICM Diploma Awards (Level 5 Diploma) and Advanced Diploma Awards (Level 6 Diploma). Access to Masters programmes also exist for those with ICM Graduate Diplomas (Level 6) and ICM Post Graduate Diplomas (Level 7). In addition, ICM Certificate (Level 4 Diploma) holders may be eligible for entry to year 1 of appropriate degrees.
Subject to status and grades obtained, students holding ICM Diploma Awards at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 are accepted onto undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes offered by institutions in continents across the globe.
Our strategic partners have agreed that students can enter their degree programmes with Advanced Standing, provided they possess the right Grade profile and are able to meet other admissions criteria, such as language competence.
Entry to the First Year
Application for entry to the first year of a relevant degree programme will be considered for those students who have passed a relevant ICM Certificate (Level 4 Diploma) programme. Grade requirements may be subject to local variation.
Entry to the Second Year
Application for entry to the second year of an Honours degree programme will be considered for students who have passed a relevant ICM Diploma (Level 5) programme and have met the following requirements:
- obtained at least 24 Points from 8 subjects leading to the qualification
- obtained at least a Grade C in all subjects in the Diploma
Entry to the Final Year
Students who have passed a relevant ICM Advanced Diploma (Level 6 Diploma) programme will be considered for final year entry if they have achieved the following:
- obtained at least 32 Points from 12 subjects leading to the Advanced Diploma
- obtained at least a Grade C in all subjects in the Advanced Diploma
Entry to the Post Graduate Year
Students who have passed a relevant ICM Graduate Diploma (Level 6 Diploma) programme will be considered for entry to Masters programmes if they have achieved the following:
- obtained at least 12 Points from the final 4 subjects leading to the qualification
- obtained at least a Grade C in all subjects in the Graduate Diploma
Converting ICM subject grades into points
The following rules apply in relation to converting ICM subject grades into points:
- an 'A' grade is awarded 6 points
- a 'B' grade is awarded 4 points
- a 'C' grade is awarded 2 points
- a 'D' grade is awarded 0 points
Students wishing to progress to degree programmes should review the range of courses available at our partner Universities. Information on appropriate university courses can be obtained from our website, www.icm.ac.uk/icm-qualifications/progression-routes.
The Institute's Awards are also recognised by leading professional examining bodies for either subject exemption or registration purposes. Details of this can be obtained from the appropriate examination bodies.
Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy
Tuition in preparation for the Institute's examinations takes place on a number of levels, including lectures, seminars, class discussion and problem review and analysis.
Formal lectures provide a foundation of information, which students build on through directed learning and self managed study outside the classroom.
Students are actively encouraged to form study groups to discuss course material, fostering a greater depth of learning experience.
Assessment for the majority of programmes is based on final examinations. The Institute has a traditional approach to assessment. Formative assessment is provided by ICM Teaching Centres as and when appropriate and may include; essays, in-class tests, role play exercises, presentations and projects. However, in terms of gaining a professional qualification, and in order to maintain standards, ICM believes that students should be formally assessed on the body of knowledge covered during the course and be examined as individuals on the required learning outcomes.
In accordance with nationally accepted codes of practice in the UK, each 20 credit unit represents a total of approximately 200 hours of learning. Typically, each ICM award at undergraduate level comprises four units of 20 credits each. Students must complete four units at each level leading to the awards of Certificate (Level 4 Diploma), Diploma (Level 5 Diploma), Advanced Diploma (Level 6 Diploma) and Graduate Diploma (Level 6 Diploma). Thus, for example, in order to gain an ICM Advanced Diploma, a student must have completed the Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma stages. The Post Graduate Diploma (Level 7 Diploma) consists of 120 credits divided into six units.
The learning hours for each unit are subdivided into appropriate categories of learning opportunities, such as lectures, seminars, preparation time, directed study, time spent on assessment items and exam preparation. Approximately one quarter of this time is usually devoted to formal contact time.
A further one quarter of this time is related to directed learning. The balance of workload is comprised of individual, self-managed student learning and revision.
Note that for a unit delivered in standard mode, the ICM examinations calendar accommodates a teaching year of approximately 2 x 20 teaching weeks, and four weeks of revision/end of year assessment.
Furthermore, each unit is assigned to a particular 'Level', with each Level corresponding to the group of subjects contained within the programmes leading to the Awards of a Certificate (Level 4 Diploma), Diploma (Level 5 Diploma), Advanced Diploma (Level 6 Diploma), Graduate Diploma (Level 6 Diploma) or Post Graduate Diploma (Level 7 Diploma).
ICM Qualifications and Progression
Understanding your qualification is important and the following guidelines outline how ICM qualifications fit within the UK National Qualifications Framework and support vocational learning.
ICM has benchmarked its qualifications against the UK National Qualifications Framework (NQF). For more information about the NQF, visit www.ofqual.gov.uk. In recognition of the NQF levels and with reference to appropriate National Occupational Standards, the Institute has produced the following level descriptors which should be read in conjunction with the table provided in section 5.6.
ICM Certificates (equivalent to NQF Level 4 Diplomas)
Entry to an ICM Certificate programme requires completion of secondary education or equivalent as specified on each course syllabus.
ICM Certificates represent a level of qualification that recognises the ability to gain, and where relevant apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding.
ICM Certificate holders should be able to display competence in the application of knowledge in the performance of a range of work activities, some of which may be routine and predictable with some being complex or non-routine.
Learning at this level involves gaining knowledge and skills appropriate for individuals working semi-independently, or receiving basic supervision and training from others in their field of work.
Students should begin to develop a degree of individual responsibility or autonomy in their study as well as the ability to collaborate with others, for example through participation in work groups or teams.
Successful completion of the ICM Certificate enables entry to the first year of appropriate degree programmes at a range of Universities. For a complete list of progression routes please refer to the website, www.icm.ac.uk/icm-qualifications/progression-routes.
ICM Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 5 Diplomas)
Entry to an ICM Diploma programme requires completion of an ICM Certificate or an equivalent and recognised programme of study which covers the same subject areas as those in the ICM Certificate Level.
ICM Diplomas represent a level of qualification which recognises the ability to gain, and where relevant apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding.
ICM Diploma holders should be able to display competence in the application of knowledge in a broad range of varied work activities performed in a wide variety of contexts, most of which are complex and non-routine.
Learning at this level involves obtaining detailed knowledge and skills appropriate for people working independently, or providing basic supervision and training of others in their field of work and people wishing to go to University.
Progression is available from the ICM Diploma to the second year of relevant degree programmes at a range of Universities. For a complete list of progression routes please refer to the website, www.icm.ac.uk/icm-qualifications/progression-routes.
ICM Advanced Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 6 Diplomas)
Entry to an ICM Advanced Diploma programme requires completion of the ICM Certificate and Diploma in the selected programme. Students holding other relevant and equivalent qualifications which contain ICM Certificate and Diploma subjects could qualify for entry as well as subject and Level exemptions.
ICM Advanced Diplomas represent a level of qualification which involves specialist learning and detailed analysis of a high level of information, knowledge and skills in a specified area of work or study.
Students undertaking an ICM Advanced Diploma should demonstrate the depth of knowledge and understanding of an area of work or study to enable them to formulate solutions and responses to complex problems and situations.
ICM Advanced Diplomas are appropriate for people working in positions such as Senior Supervisors, Professionals or Managers. These individuals need to demonstrate significant levels of knowledge, a high level of work expertise in job roles and competence in managing and training others. Learning at this level is appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.
The ICM Advanced Diploma is equivalent to NQF Level 6 and in terms of level and credit value these qualifications are comparable to UK Intermediate Higher Education qualifications such as HNDs, Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees.
Progression is available from ICM Advanced Diplomas to the final year of relevant degree programmes at a range of Universities. For a complete list of progression routes please refer to the website, www.icm.ac.uk/icm-qualifications/progression-routes.
ICM Graduate Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 6 Diplomas)
Entry to an ICM Graduate Diploma programme requires prior completion of the ICM Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in the selected programme.
Advanced Standing and Exemptions: Students holding relevant degrees and equivalent qualifications which contain ICM Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma subjects could qualify for entry as well as subject and Level exemptions.
Students at this level study highly developed and complex levels of knowledge enabling the development of in-depth and original responses to complicated and unpredictable problems and situations.
Learning at the Graduate Diploma level involves the demonstration of high level specialist professional knowledge appropriate for senior professionals and managers. Indicative competencies involve the application of a range of fundamental principles across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts as well as the ability to perform technical or professional work activities in a variety of contexts with a substantial degree of personal responsibility and autonomy.
A qualification at this level is appropriate for people working as knowledge-based professionals or in professional management positions. This qualification is equivalent to a Bachelors degree, and progression is available from the ICM Graduate Diploma to post Graduate programmes such as Masters degrees. For a complete list of progression routes please refer to the website, www.icm.ac.uk/icm-qualifications/progression-routes.
ICM Post Graduate Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 7 Diplomas)
Entry to an ICM Post Graduate Diploma programme requires completion of an ICM Graduate Diploma, another Level 6 Award in business or management, or a business or management degree level qualification.
Refer to the section titled 'Course/Level Entry Requirements' for Advanced Standing arrangements for mature candidates.
Students at this level of study should display a mastery of high level knowledge and skills and have professional and research-based skills.
This qualification is equivalent to two thirds of a Masters degree (MBA or MA) and advanced standing can be given onto a range of Masters degrees. For a complete list of progression routes please refer here.
Relative Positioning of ICM Qualifications
The following table gives an indication of the relative positioning of ICM Awards, compared with other types of qualifications and levels. Reference is made to levels in the UK National Qualifications Framework and example qualifications at each level. In addition, the final column in the table (FHEQ) shows the 'equivalent' qualifications commonly being developed and delivered in the University sector. For example, these indicate that the ICM Advanced Diploma equates to an intermediate level award (in terms of credit accumulation this ICM qualification equates to a Higher National Diploma). Furthermore, the ICM Graduate Diploma equates to a Bachelors degree level qualification and the ICM Post Graduate Diploma equates to a Masters degree level qualification.
|National Qualifications Framework (Levels and example vocational qualifications)||Framework for ICM Levels||Framework for Higher Education Qualification levels (FHEQ)|
|ICM professional programmes under review||D (doctoral) Doctorates|
Professional Diploma in Translation
|ICM Post Graduate Diploma
(Level 7 Diploma)
|M (masters), Masters degrees, post graduate certificates and diplomas|
Diploma in Management
|ICM Graduate Diploma
(Level 6 Diploma)
Bachelors degrees (BSc /BA)
|ICM Advanced Diploma
(Level 6 Diploma)
Diplomas of higher education, foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas
BTEC Higher National Diploma in 3D Design
|ICM Diploma (Level 5 Diploma)|
Certificates of higher education
Certificate in Early Years Practice
(Level 4 Diploma)
Certificate in Small Animal Care NVQ in Aeronautical Engineering A levels
|Level 2 Diploma for Beauty Specialists NVQ in Agricultural Crop Production GCSEs Grades A*-C|
Certificate in Motor Vehicle Studies NVQ in Bakery GCSEs Grades D-G
|Entry - eg. Entry Level Certificate in Adult Literacy|
In order to undertake any ICM examination candidates must be Registered ICM Student Members.
Student Membership can be obtained by completing the appropriate Student Registration Application form and returning the form and the Student Registration Fee to the Institute. Details of Student Registration Fees can be found on the ICM website.
The Student Registration fee is valid for one year and can be renewed annually.
Important Note: All students wishing to register for any ICM professional programme other than a Certificate Level programme MUST complete and attach an Academic History form to their Student Registration form. Copies of all qualifications and Awards obtained by the student must also accompany the Academic History form.
The Academic History form is used to ensure that students are qualified to commence their studies at the Level they have selected.
Student Registration Fees
Student Registration fees for standard ICM Awards and programmes are based on the country in which you will undertake your examinations. The current fees levels are as follows:
Group 1: If you are based in Europe, an EU Member State, North America, a Gulf State, India, the Middle East, Australasia, Singapore, South Africa, China, Hong Kong or Malaysia your Registration Fee will be £50.00.
Group 2: If you are based in sub-Saharan Africa, Central or South America, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Caribbean or North Africa your Registration Fee will be £25.00.
Group 3: A special fee rate exists for students in countries which have (a) emerged from conflict (b) countries in which the general population is subject to great poverty and (c) countries in which the UN acknowledge that the level of economic activity and national per capita income is unacceptably low.
Course/Level Entry Requirements
ICM professional programmes are structured in 'Levels'. These Levels are designed to provide a structured and progressive level of knowledge.
All students are required to commence their studies at the Certificate Level of all programmes unless they are able to claim subject-for-subject or Level exemptions.
Subject-for-subject exemptions can be applied for if the student has (a) been examined, in the subject, by another recognised Awarding body and (b) has passed the examination/s set by the alternate body.
The Institute operates an 'Open Entry' policy in respect of most of its Certificate Level vocational programmes, subject to appropriate work experience, but prospective students should note that the following qualifications are recommended for those wishing to undertake ICM Certificate Level programmes:
Entry to an ICM Certificate Level Programme (NQF Level 4)
Entry to an ICM Certificate programme requires completion of secondary education or equivalent. For example:
- One GCE A-level plus three GCSEs (or equivalents) or 5 GCSEs
- A suitable BTEC National Award
- Any qualification equivalent to one or more of the above
The minimum age for registration for the majority of programmes is 18. Applicants over the age of 20 who do not hold one of the recommended entry qualifications may also register for some Certificate Level programmes providing they have been in full-time employment for a minimum of two years and can produce a letter from their employer to confirm this.
Entry to an ICM Diploma Level Programme (NQF Level 5)
Entry to an ICM Diploma Level programme requires completion of the relevant ICM Certificate Level of the programme.
Entry to an ICM Advanced Diploma Programme (NQF Level 6)
Entry to an ICM Advanced Diploma programme requires completion of the ICM Certificate and Diploma programme Levels of the selected programme.
Entry to an ICM Graduate Diploma Programme (NQF Level 6)
Entry to an ICM Graduate Diploma requires completion of the ICM Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma in the selected programme.
Entry to an ICM Post Graduate Diploma Programme (NQF Level 7)
Registration for an ICM Post Graduate Diploma is accepted from those
- who have completed and qualifying ICM Graduate Diploma
- who hold any Level 6 business or management Award and from
- holders of business and management degree level qualifications
Mature Candidates. Applications from those over the age of 25 who do not meet the standard Entry Requirements will also be considered providing they:
- are over the age of 25
- have been in employment of 5 years - a letter of support is required from the applicant's employer; and
- hold a management or senior supervisory position
Examinations and assessments are externally set and marked by the Institute. Examinations are held each year in March, June, September and December. Candidates must be registered and paid-up Student Members of the Institute at the time they undertake their examinations.
Examination papers are securely distributed to ICM Approved Centres and scripts are assessed and moderated in the UK by ICM Appointed Examiners.
Full details of Examination dates can be found on the ICM website.
Examination Entry Fees and Forms
Examination Entry fees are shown on the appropriate Examination Entry form for the subject/programme you are undertaking. In general, the standard Examination fee is £20.00 per subject. There are however some specialist programmes where a higher subject fee may be payable. If you have any queries relating to fees please contact your Teaching Centre.
In order to undertake any ICM Professional or Single Subject examination you must be a Registered and paid-up ICM Student Member.
To enter for an examination you need to complete the relevant Examination Entry form and submit it to the Institute, together with the appropriate examination entry fee/s.
ICM examinations take place four times each year, in March, June, September and December (Republic of Ireland: March, May, September and December). The Timetable for each year states the Closing Date for receipt of entries for each examination Series. Click here to view the ICM examination timetable.
Examination grades and re-marking
You can request that your examination script is re-marked if you are unhappy with your result.
The fee for this is GBP £35.00 per script. The Institute operates a triple marking and moderation system. In the event that the moderator increases the original marks awarded, the fee for re-marking your script will be refunded to you. Should the Grade awarded remain the same, you will be issued with a full Examiner's Report detailing your examination performance. The Institute retains answer scripts for a maximum period of six months. Examination scripts/answer books are not returned to candidates under any circumstances.
Although ICM Examinations are held every twelve weeks it should be noted that it takes an average of twelve weeks to mark the scripts after each Examination Series
If you sit, for example, for one or more subjects in March you will not receive your results until June. This means that if you were to fail a subject in March you would not be able to re-sit the subject in June as you will have missed the Closing Date for the June Series
Our advice is that you try to split your subject examinations between two consecutive Examination Series e.g. if your programme has four subjects you could take two subjects in one series and two in another series.
On this basis, were you to fail one subject in March you would be able to re-sit it in September, giving you plenty of time for revision
Examination Closing Dates
There is a Closing Date for receipt of Examination Entries and candidates entering for examinations must ensure that their completed Examination Entry forms and fees reach the Institute before the Closing Date for each Examination diet. Examination Timetables indicate the Closing Date for receipt of entries for each sitting and this information also appears on the ICM website. Entries received after the Closing Date are automatically carried forward to the next Examination Series.
Results are distributed within twelve weeks from receipt of scripts. Candidates are advised not to telephone the Institute for results as this information is confidential and cannot be disclosed over the telephone.
Should you wish to re-sit any examination to improve your previous Grade, please note that the latest Grade you obtain will stand.
Transcript of Academic Results
You may request a transcript of your Academic Results, however please note there is a charge of GBP £10.00 for each Award transcript requested.
There is a fee of GBP £10.00 per subject should you wish to defer your examinations to another Series for health or for any other reason. If you are unable to undertake your examinations, it is essential you advise ICM before the appropriate examination date, otherwise the full entry fee of GBP £20.00 will be applicable. Please note that you may only defer examinations on one occasion. The full entry fee of GBP £20.00 per subject will become due if you defer on more than one occasion.
Subject Exemptions for Professional Programmes
Students holding relevant recognised qualifications from other professional bodies or recognised Higher Education institutions may apply for Subject Exemptions, on a subject-for-subject basis. It may also be possible, subject to qualifications held, to obtain exemption from a Level within a programme. Documentary evidence is required before any decision can be made in connection with the granting of Subject/Level Exemptions. No exemptions are given for case studies or assignments. Internally awarded school certificates and diplomas are not accepted for exemption purposes.
Single Subject Candidates
Registered ICM students who do not want to complete a full ICM programme may study individual subjects. Single Subject candidates receive a Single Subject Diploma on successful completion of the relevant subject examination. Single Subjects qualify, on a subject-for-subject basis, for subject exemptions from ICM professional programmes.
|Note:||1.||Case Studies, Assignments and Projects do not qualify for Single Subject Awards.|
|2.||A student who undertakes, on a Single Subject basis, subjects within a Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Diploma or Post Graduate ICM programme will not be entitled to a professional Award unless they are exempted from or have completed all lower Levels of that Award.|
Teaching Centres are provided with a detailed syllabus and Reading List for each subject area. Each Unit Syllabus clearly defines the areas that you will be required to cover for each subject and your examination questions will be based on the areas and topics detailed for each unit. It is important to ensure that you obtain a copy of each unit syllabus from your Teaching Centre. Alternatively, this information can be obtained online at www.icm.ac.uk, in the 'Single Subject' section.
Each Unit Syllabus is normally linked to one main textbook and the examiners base their questions on the contents of the nominated core text.
The Unit Syllabuses also give details of 'Alternative Texts' and texts recommended for further reading. It is advised that you should refer to the 'Alternative Texts' in order to develop your skills and broaden your knowledge of the subject area.
Registration and Examination fees can be paid by any one of the following methods:
- By British Postal Order or Money Order
- By a Bank Draft or Cheque drawn on a UK bank
- By Credit or Debit Card. Please be aware there is a GBP £5.00 Pounds Sterling Administration Charge and this form can only be accepted as a hard copy by post. (Click here to download the form)
- or, by Western Union. If you wish to use Western Union the payee's name is 'Alistair Somerville-Ford'. It is ESSENTIAL that you provide us with the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) you are given by Western Union. If payment is made for examinations, the Money Transfer Control Number MUST be clearly written on your examination entry form. If you propose to send your fees through Western Union please confirm by email to firstname.lastname@example.org that payment has been made by this method.
Choosing your Course of Study
As an ICM Student Member you can work towards obtaining either a recognised Professional qualification or study for one or more of the 200 Single Subject Awards from the list of subjects offered by the Institute. The choice is yours.
ICM Approved Centres
Tuition leading to the Institute's examinations can only be provided by Institutions which have been granted ICM 'Approved Centre' status. Please note that some ICM Teaching Centres specialise in particular subject areas and not all ICM Centres will necessarily offer tuition for every ICM course programme. Click here to find an ICM Approved Centre near you.
The recommended textbooks for each subject are shown on each subject syllabus. Examiners base their questions on the contents of the recommended texts and it is therefore important for you to ensure that you have access to the appropriate texts. You can obtain the full list of books available to purchase from ICM and/or place orders by either contacting your Centre or complete the Book Order Form and send it to ICM's Book Sales Manager, Ron Saunders, at: email@example.com.
Students with specific learning difficulties
If you are diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty you may be granted special arrangements for your examination/s. We will require a copy of an Assessment Report issued within the last three years. The amount of additional time and any other arrangements will be determined on the basis of the Report relating to your circumstances. It is possible that you may also be granted permission to use a computer or laptop without internet connection in your examinations.
Replacement certificates are available on payment of a fee of GBP £10.00 per certificate. Please include your Student Registration Number together with your current postal address and indicate which certificate is required.
The ICM website, www.icm.ac.uk, provides a database of recent examination papers, assignments and Case Studies. These can be found in the Student Resources section of the website.
Subject advice, educational guidance and student support
You are expected to be independent and to take responsibility for your own academic and personal life. However, your study Centre should also provide appropriate help and assistance. Your tutors will direct your studies and ensure that you know what work you need to cover in any given unit. Seek advice from academic staff either during or after class or see them during their office hours.