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Everything You Need to Know About Professional Qualifications

Everything You Need to Know About Professional Qualifications

What are professional qualifications?

Professional qualifications are qualifications in vocational fields which provide tuition in specific areas. They can be taken by anyone, at any point and should be a useful way to obtain understanding or further your experience and skills.

Are professional qualifications different to academic qualifications?

There is some overlap between academic and professional qualifications. The main difference is, professional qualifications are more vocational and are generally used as a route into a certain field of work. Whereas academic qualifications are about deeper educational learning.

What type of professional qualifications are there in the UK?

You can do a professional qualification in practically any field. Many professional qualifications are ‘chartered’ qualifications in the UK. Here are some examples:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Institute of Civil Engineering
  • The Royal College of Surgeons
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
  • And many more…

What are the benefits of having a professional qualification? Do you have to have one?

Professional qualifications aren’t essential to having a thriving career, however they do have some benefits:

  • It gives you greater knowledge of one industry, giving you a higher chance of being employed.
  • Has the potential to increase your salary.
  • It gives you the upper hand against others who don’t have the same.
  • It allows you to expand your career options.
  • You gain a chartered qualification, and are then a member of the professional body you qualified with.

You don’t have to have a professional qualification in order to be successful in a certain field of work. Many people have had booming careers without them. However, they do have their benefits.

How do you do a professional qualification?

You can have both full-time (approx 40 hours a week) and part-time study (in the evenings and on the weekends). You can take it at your own pace, as people have different work and family commitments and the institutes understand and try to accommodate accordingly.

Learning can be through face to face, and online. As a result of Covid, people have become more easily adaptable and willing to vary how courses are taught.

How long do professional qualifications take to complete?

The number of hours they take to complete really varies from course to course. They can be anywhere between a few weeks up to a few years.

How much does it cost?

As with the length of courses, the cost of courses will also vary considerably. It’s impossible to say exactly how much it will cost, but should be accessible on the qualification websites.

If the course is essential for your job, and career progression, then your employer may be willing to pay for you to complete your qualification.

 Where to look for professional courses?

Online there is so much information out there. Check out the GOV.UK website which has a list of professional qualifications which can be taken in the UK. Next, check out the institute's website and list of courses, for more specific information about the qualification you want to do.

Word and mouth is also a great way to obtain info. Additionally, if you have access to careers advisers they would be able to help. However, if you don’t know of anyone there is always LinkedIn, which is a great way of communicating with a wide group, who would most likely have advice or information for you.

We hope this was a helpful introduction to professional qualifications, and the best way to go about researching them.

Stay safe,

Team Affecto.



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