The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has been operating for over 70 years and is the benchmark professional body for standards in leadership and management. Submit an application with the acronym ‘CMI’ amongst the details and you’ll have the attention of any organisation that’s recruiting new management professionals or is looking to promote existing members. 

In this blog post, we discuss the history of this most prestigious of leadership and management industry bodies. We start by explaining what the CMI is and what it does, and then from there, we look at some of the major milestones in the organisation’s history.

What is the CMI?

The CMI describes itself as ‘the Chartered Body for Management and Leadership’, which it is, and is the only organisation that can award Chartered Manager status to a professional in the industry. 

Any manager who studies for a CMI qualification can feel confident in their ability to overcome the challenges that arise in the execution of their duties while leading their team successfully. 

CMI courses equip participants with the skills and knowledge to achieve exceptional leadership, allowing them to implement new strategies and tactics from the moment they leave the training room or switch off the Zoom camera and return to their duties.

You can study for three different types of CMI qualifications: award, certificate, or diploma. 

Award courses are short, concise, and take approximately three months to complete; certificates teach a broader range of skills and will require an estimated six months to complete; and diploma courses are comprehensive and extensive in the learning they provide, and they’ll involve between six and twelve months of study.

Achieving status as a Chartered Manager, meanwhile, illustrates your commitment to your own professional development and to furthering that of others. It also serves as a form of reassurance to your employer that you comply with a strict professional code of ethics.

A history of the CMI 

The CMI started up following a realisation that, despite the existence of professional bodies for functional activities, there was no formal body for general management development and accreditation. The absence of a professional institution to promote and evolve the development of various aspects of management and leadership led to the formation of the CMI.

Below we review some of the main milestones in the history of the CMI, starting with the formation of the institute.

1947 – Foundation as the British Institute of Management (BIM)

Originally, the organisation formed under the name of the ‘British Institute of Management’. The idea had been to help rebuild British industry following the Second World War. 

Throughout its history, the institute has pursued the same central aim since those earliest days: to raise the quality and standard of management in the workplace. It also seeks to increase the number of professionally qualified managers.

1951 – The development of the first management diploma 

This was another big year in the history of the organisation. In conjunction with the Ministry of Education, the British Institute of Management developed the very first diploma in management studies. 

This set the standard for the organisation to become an industry leader in management training and development. Ultimately, this course established the British Institute of Management’s authority in the management industry.

1987 – Two seminal reports

In this year, the British Institute of Management issued two reports that would change the future of management education for the better: ‘The Making of British Managers’, by John Constable and Roger McCormick, and ‘The Making of Managers’, by Charles Handy. As a result of these reports, the formation of the National Forum for Management Education and Development (NFMED) was launched. Following this, the Management Charter Initiative (MCI) was launched in 1988. The MCI aimed to improve the quality of management education in the UK and raise the status of management as a profession.

2002 – Award of the Royal Charter 

2002 was a major year in the history of the organisation. This is the year the British Institute of Management received status as a Chartered Institute. On 12 February, the Privy Council granted the institute the Royal Charter, and on 1 April, the institute dispensed with its identity as the British Institute of Management and became the Chartered Institute of Management.

2005 – First national CMI convention

On 27 and 28 October, the CMI held its first-ever national convention at The Queens Hotel in Leeds. One of the highlights of the event was a keynote speech by the chairman and founder of the famous beer brand Cobra, Lord Bilimoria. The peer is also the President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and a Chartered Accountant.

Book a CMI level course with us

The CMI is an eminent professional body, and qualifications that carry ‘CMI’ in the title will prepare you well for the challenges of management. They’ll also convey your potential to prospective employers, and to superiors within an organisation, proving to them you have the skills and knowledge required to lead successfully. 

We offer CMI-accredited qualifications at levels 5 and 7 in a range of subjects within the field of management and leadership. To find out more about our CMI-accredited courses, visit our Courses Page and click on the relevant course, or send us an email to, send us a message using the form on our Contact Page or call us on 0161 826 3139. We welcome your questions and look forward to assisting you on your journey.

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