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Something for every learner at every level

The bpma education programme continues to go from strength to strength, with over 150 learners on the programme in 2016. The demand for a structured, industry-specific training programme that can be integrated into each business is rising, with education and training firmly on everyone’s agenda. Daniela Arena, the bpma’s professional development manager, gives an insight into the programme and what can be expected this year.

Q. Tell us more about the bpma education programme.

Our education programme is an online continuous professional development training tool with optional seminars and factory visits. As a trade body, we strongly believe that no matter how many years industry experience you may have, there is always more to learn.

Education and continuous professional development inspires individuals and business owners to achieve more. It is a training programme that can enhance and support a company’s existing training and development programme, or be used as a standalone training tool.

Three courses are offered:

  • Trained in Promotional Merchandise: The TPM Qualification is aimed at individuals with up to three years’ industry specific experience. 85% of our learners start at this level and work their way up through the tiers. New staff embrace the learning opportunity, recognising their managers have invested in them and their development within the company.
  • Certified in Promotional Merchandise: The CPM Qualification is aimed at individuals with between three and five years’ industry specific experience.
  • Master in Promotional Merchandise: The MPM Qualification is aimed at individuals with five years or more industry specific experience. Some of our MPM leaners are reaching the end of the qualification by working on a written dissertation. It has been a long development journey for them, but they are soon to reap the benefits and achieve personal and career goals.

Q. Who is the education programme targeted at?

It has been created to suit every employee, in any size company, whether they are a supplier or distributor business. With over 70 videos, there is something in the education programme for everyone to benefi t 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 process. The bpma training team can offer guidance on how to integrate this programme within your business.

Q. 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.

Q. Can you give us an insight into the depth and breadth of content?

The education programme offers 14 subject categories. Categories include Customer Service, Decoration, HR / Legal, Ethics, Marketing and Product Compliance. Within each subject category you can expect to find anything from 3 – 12 related videos varying from 5 – 35 minutes. 

There are over 70 videos to study from, offering over 20 hours of online video content. Learners are expected to accrue 125 credits by studying mandatory content and a selection of suggested and/or elective content of their choice. Our TPM course content comprises of:

Q. 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 Trained in Promotional Merchandise (TPM) qualification can be gained for £150+vat and completed within 3 – 6 months. Access is renewed on an annual basis.

Q. How will delegates be expected to study online?

Regardless of which course they are working towards, each learner is be expected to study a series of mandatory content. The course is then tailored to the individual, who is required to select content to suit their needs and 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.

Q. What can delegates expect once they have registered?

Once 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 offer 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. Our next session starts on Friday April 15.

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 questions 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 they take the exam. This enhances the industry qualifications weight and credibility. Should anyone fail, there will, of course, be opportunities to sit the exam again. 

CPM and MPM levels also have a written exam to take under the same strict exam conditions. When learners are successful and have passed they are invited to celebratory event and will be awarded with letters and 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.

What is new for 2016?

New content is currently being developed and will be released throughout 2016. Learners can expect to see new product categories, an introduction and in depth content on legislations and directives to be available within the next few months.

Anyone interested in progressing their skills we encourage them to visit and sign up.

Demonstrations of the online platform can be given – contact Daniela Arena at the bpma for details: or call 0777 5938709.

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