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 Certificates (equivalent to NQF Level 4 Diplomas)

ICM Certificates are awarded to those who have passed Part 1 (the first four or five subjects, depending on the course) of an ICM Diploma programme. See below for ICM Diploma Entry Requirements. 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 here.

ICM Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 5 Diplomas)

Entry to an ICM Diploma programme requires completion of secondary education or an equivalent and recognised programme of study.

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 here.

ICM Advanced Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 6 Diplomas)

Entry to an ICM Advanced Diploma programme requires completion of the ICM Diploma in the selected programme. Students holding other relevant and equivalent qualifications which contain ICM 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 here.

ICM Graduate Diplomas (equivalent to NQF Level 6 Diplomas)

Entry to an ICM Graduate Diploma programme requires prior completion of the ICM 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 here.

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, or a degree level qualification in an appropriate discipline.

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.

Relative Positioning of ICM Qualifications
National Qualifications Framework (Levels and example vocational qualifications) Framework for ICM Levels Framework for Higher Education Qualification Levels (FHEQ)
Level 8
Specialist awards
ICM professional programmes under review D (doctoral)
Doctorates
Level 7
Professional Diploma in Translation
ICM Post Graduate Diploma
(Level 7 Diploma)
M (masters) Masters degrees, Post Graduate certificates and diplomas
Level 6
Diploma in Management
ICM Graduate Diploma
(Level 6 Diploma)
H (honours)
Bachelors degrees (BSc /BA)
ICM Advanced Diploma
(Level 6 Diploma)
I (intermediate)
Diplomas of higher education, foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas
Level 5
BTEC Higher National Diploma in 3D Design
ICM Diploma (Level 5 Diploma)
C (Certificate)
Certificates of higher education
Level 4
Certificate in Early Years Practice
ICM Certificate
(Level 4 Diploma)
Level 3
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
Level 1
Certificate in Motor Vehicle Studies
NVQ in Bakery
GCSEs Grades D-G
Entry – eg. Entry Level Certificate in Adult Literacy