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Formerly known as the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM), ISM is the UK’s only qualification-awarding body specialising in sales. It offers courses at five different levels on the UK’s Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF), suitable for all candidates. These are:
- Level 2 – for candidates wishing to learn more about the industry, have little to no sales experience and are still in education (studying either full time, part time or completing an apprenticeship).
- Level 3 – for those in their first or second sales role looking to deepen their knowledge of the industry and gain a qualification equivalent to an A-level or BTEC.
- Level 4 – for aspiring or practising sales managers, or any role that requires managing others. An ISM Level 4 qualification is equivalent to a Higher National Certificate (HNC).
- Level 5 – for practising sales managers looking for a qualification equivalent to a Higher National Diploma (HND) or foundation degree. This includes the Diploma in Sales and Account Management (see below).
- Level 6 – offering a qualification equivalent to a full Bachelors degree, ISM Level 6 is aimed at senior sales managers, directors or those aspiring to progress to senior level.
These are ‘nested’ qualifications – each level is comprised of ‘bitesize’ qualifications of a few credits each, meaning you can start small and see whether you’re suited to the course, building on your studies to gain higher qualifications as your sales career progresses.