With the UK job market becoming ever-more competitive, candidates need to bring their ‘A game’ to interviews and ensure their CVs are as strong as possible. Qualifications and experience help candidates to stand out, but there’s a growing requirement – especially for younger candidates – to demonstrate commitment to their continuing professional development. “You’ve graduated, got a year or two under your belt, but now what?”
One way to demonstrate commitment to your career, and prove that you keep your knowledge up to date, is through membership of the APMP – the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. More employers are asking for candidates to be APMP certified, and APMP Foundation is a mandatory requirement for some companies.
Recent figures from the APMP show that there are now over 7,000 people worldwide that are certified to Foundation level. This is great news for our industry, but what percentage of bid and proposal professionals does this represent? If you have Foundation, it’s possible that you are part of the elite club – the ones with the advantage at interview. But if you don’t have it, then you’d better think about adding it to your CV.
Nigel Hudson is Senior Professional Development Consultant for Strategic Proposals – one of only three APMP Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) in the UK. An APMP Professional, he’s worked his way through each level of certification and will be co-delivering the APMP Foundation training at this year’s APMP UK Conference. We asked him what he thinks about the growing need for certification. Here’s what he said:
“The trend is inevitable. Employers seek the best talent, especially people who can bring best practice into their company. Research conducted on behalf of APMP demonstrates that organisations that employ ‘appropriately competent professionals’ in proposal management roles win significantly more business than those that do not. But demand has to start with individuals realising that they own their development, that they should proactively be seeking new skills and knowledge.”
“With APMP Foundation, we’ve run six public courses in the UK this year, and many more in-house sessions. The thing I’ve noticed most is the attendees’ proactivity, maturity, energy and desire to perform. They’re markedly more ‘switched on’ than people who shy away from proving or bettering themselves. They know that certification gives them the edge. They’ve honed their skills, topped up their knowledge, and understand how to recognise and demonstrate best practice. Which has to be appealing to their current or would-be employers. And it’s motivating for them, too. Gaining tangible proof of competency as a proposal professional attracts respect and credibility from colleagues. Which is a good thing on a great many levels.”
Nigel concluded by saying that the new APMP syllabus is encouraging the uptake of latest best practice. Places for Strategic Proposals’ September public course sold out in record time, but places are thankfully still available for their pre-conference Foundation course at Wokefield Park on 18th October. Tickets are priced at £495.00 plus VAT, and can be purchased here.