Advanced Certificate in Economic Development cohort celebrate CPD ‘graduation’

Following the first ‘graduates’ of the Certificate in Economic Development, eight public and private sector professionals have now completed the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Advanced Certificate in Economic Development.

The 12-month programme, which is aimed at professionals who have a relevant degree and at least five years’ experience working in this field or who have completed the Certificate in Economic Development, concluded last month.

Spanning nine modules – Green Book business cases; Successful funding bids; Stakeholder consultation exercises; Bid appraisal and post-funding evaluation; Clean growth; Inclusive growth and social value; Place-based issues – rural, coastal, left-behind places; R&D-backed growth; and Finance and funding in economic development – the Advanced Certificate is delivered entirely online by leading sector experts.

One of the first cohort to complete the IED’s Advanced Certificate is Daniel Harper, Head of Economic Development at Barnsley Council.

“I signed up to the Advanced Certificate because it covered all the aspects of economic development that relate to my role and interest, and as the courses the IED has put on have always been relevant, of good quality, and delivered by industry experts,” he explained.

“I wanted to build on my knowledge and continue my professional development. The key benefits to myself are that I have refreshed my learning on many aspects of economic development, plugged gaps in my learning – in particular, through the Clean growth and Inclusive growth and social value modules – and got up to speed with the latest industry thinking. For the organisation I work for the key benefit has been the impact of putting my learning into practise on the projects I am working on and the sharing of the learning to other members of the team. Of particular benefit to me in doing the programme were the Green Book business cases and Successful funding bids modules.

“It gives me a rounded overview of all aspects of economic development. It feels great to have completed the programme, particularly as time pressures do not make doing these courses easy, but it is well worth the commitment. I have, and will, recommend the course to others.”

Maria Cotton completed both the IED’s Certificate and Advanced Certificate, and even changed roles during the programme after seven-and-a-half years at Barnsley Council, most recently as their Urban Centres Group Leader.

“I had been studying for my MSc in Place Management, and had promised myself a break from studying once completed,” she said. “The opportunity to attend the Certificate and the Advanced Certificate came up just as I handed in my dissertation, and looking through the content of each I felt would really complement the learning and research I had undertaken in the previous two years. With the routine of balancing study and work firmly established I opted to sign-up to complete both courses in tandem.

“The variety of the individual modules on both courses really cut across the breath of our role in economic development. I found some subjects useful refreshers, with added context, and some subjects that were less familiar provided valuable learning for me. Some of the case studies and examples shared in the sessions were useful to me to research in more detail, and to make contact with some of the people delivering in particular areas. The knowledge and experiences shared by fellow attendees were helpful in giving some different perspectives to the challenges we tackle in economic development, and I am sure I will be reaching out to my fellow delegates in the coming months.

“Towards the end of the course, I changed roles, moving to Oldham Council to take up a new role as Head of Place Making within the Economy Directorate. The learning from the course has given me a solid understanding of a wide range of economic development topics, and that has definitely helped me in taking on a broader portfolio of responsibilities. I have once again promised myself a rest from formal studying, however the importance of finding time to learn, listen and share thoughts and knowledge with peers is one I will continue to prioritise. I really would encourage people to attend the course, the sessions were well paced, well timed and really manageable within in a busy work life.”

IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock added: “Many congratulations to our first cohort of colleagues who have successfully completed their Advanced Certificate in Economic Development. Thanks also to our course deliverers, including Copper Consultancy, Rose Regeneration and Keele University on the Advanced Certificate, and Lambert Smith Hampton, Lightcast and other IED Directors on the Certificate. There is still time to sign up to this year’s Advanced Certificate and more details can be found here.”