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Ladder of Success

Education is the route to greater professionalism, and the BPMA offers a clear pathway to skills development.

The BPMA education programme is growing from strength to strength with just over 100 learners registering in 2016 alone. The demand for a structured industry-specific training programme that can be integrated into each business is rising steadily.

Education and training is firmly on everyone’s agenda for 2017. Daniela Arena, BPMA’s Head of Education & Best Practice gives us an insight into the programme and what can be expected later in the year.

1) Tell us more about the BPMA education programme.

Our education programme is an online continuous professional development training tool with optional introductory seminars and factory visits. As a trade body, we strongly believe that no matter how many years’ industry experience you may have, you can always learn more. It is a training programme that can enhance and support a company’s existing training and development programme or can be used as a standalone training tool.

There are three courses on offer.

The TPM Qualification (Trained in Promotional Merchandise) is aimed at individuals who have up to three years’ industry specific experience. Most of our learners – 85% – start at this level and work their way up through the tiers.

The CPM Qualification, (Certified in Promotional Merchandise) is aimed at individuals who have three to five years’ industry specific experience. 

The MPM Qualification, (Master in Promotional Merchandise) is aimed at individuals who have five or more years of industry specific experience. Some of our MPM learners are reaching the end of the qualification by working on a written dissertation.

2) Who is the education programme targeted at?

It has been created to suit every person within any size company whether they are a supplier or distributor business. With more than 70 videos there is something within the education programme for everyone to benefit from. Managers can use this constantly evolving programme as a training and development tool, and some are already using it as part of their staff induction.

3) How does the education programme work?

Each tiered qualification has a credit goal. Credits are obtained by studying a series of mandatory and elective video content which is enhanced by pdf material. The learner must gain 80% in the subject related quiz to be awarded credits. Credits can be accrued by attending BPMA led seminars and events, organised factory visits and the BPMA Education Day too. Once the credit goal has been achieved they are eligible to sit the exams.

4) Can you give us an insight into the depth and breadth of content?

The education programme offers 14 subject categories. These include customer service, decoration, HR/legal, ethics, marketing and product compliance. Within each subject category, you can expect to find between three and 12 related videos of five to 35 minutes’ length. 

5) What are the costs?

This is a cost-effective training tool which allows business owners to enrol their staff as part of an ongoing development and training programme. It also attracts individuals within the industry who wish to further their skills independently. A TPM qualification can be gained for £150+VAT and can be completed within three to six months. Access is renewed on an annual basis.

6) How will delegates be expected to study online?

Regardless of which course you are working towards, each learner will be expected to study a series of mandatory content. The course then becomes tailored individually as you will be required to select content to suit you, your needs and your business. Most managers allow their staff to study at work, allocating one hour a week, but many of our driven learners prefer to study in the evenings and weekend when there is less interruption.

7) What can delegates expect once they have registered?

Delegates will have access to a clear, current and easy to navigate online platform. Content is categorised into TPM, CPM and MPM Mandatory and suggested content, and also within one of the 14 subject categories. Videos have been created to be visual and engaging and to give an alternative learning method. Under each category, there are related written downloadable documents for those that like to study in the more traditional manner. They will be encouraged to attend a free BPMA education programme introductory seminar for group tasks and industry specific training. 

8) Is there an exam?

Each level has its own exam. The exam process is the first of its kind in the UK. Timed multiple choice question exams are invigilated by webcam. An exam can be taken at a time and place to suit each learner. Our exam invigilators will be checking that no papers or persons are near to help during the exam and watch while you take the exam. This enhances the industry qualification’s weight and credibility. Should anyone fail, there will of course be opportunities to sit the exam again. CPM and MPM levels will also have a written exam to take under the same strict exam conditions. When learners are successful and have passed, they are invited to a celebratory a logo to use after their name. The BPMA team will support the learners through this and ensure they are fully prepared for the exam.

Anyone interested in progressing their skills is encouraged to visit education.bpma.co.uk and sign up. Demonstrations of the online platform can be given – contact Daniela Arena at the BPMA for details. Daniela@BPMA.co.uk or call  0203 7935690

What is new for 2017?

The education programme is getting a makeover and will soon be moving to a new online platform that enhances the learner experience. More details on this in the next issue of Product Media magazine.

New content is currently being developed and will be released throughout 2017. Learners can expect to see new product categories, an introduction and in-depth content on legislation and directives to be available within the next few months.

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