The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is an independent professional body for individuals associated with logistics, supply chains and transport. With around 20,000 members, the institute offers professional development and qualifications through both mentoring schemes and training courses. The institute is also home to Europe’s largest logistics and transport library and publishes a regular industry magazine.
Undertaking training and personal development, in any field, can help individuals to grow in both a professional and personal capacity. The institute has a progressive logistics and transport programme, designed to help develop skills and ultimately enhance careers – but is a qualification really a necessity? What role does this accredited training play in securing a new logistics job?

Do employers demand qualifications?

As the institute states on its website, their professional qualifications are “recognised within the UK and Europe, through UK government and European accreditation, and worldwide as a statement of professional achievement, knowledge and competence through QCA accreditation.”
With this in mind, many employers in this sector will look favourably on any relevant training and qualifications achieved by potential candidates, but not all employers will insist on specific qualifications where relevant experience will suffice. Having said this, a quick scan over the logistics jobs that Michael Page handles reveals that the phrase ‘ideally CPC qualified’ crops up quite frequently and some employers will be looking for specialist training to help them secure top talent in the selection process. A good mix of hands-on experience and a relevant qualification should help you to reach the shortlist.
Do bear in mind that some employers are now choosing to test cognitive abilities for themselves rather than simply relying on accredited courses. In this case, your performance in the selection process could override any certificates you have listed on your CV.

How can a qualification help your job search?

Qualifications will never guarantee you job success and, unless specifically asked for in the job advert, won’t guarantee you an interview. Instead, it’ll be how you market both your experience and training  to ensure you’re viewed as a desirable employee ‘package’ by a potential employer. For example, you might use a training course to fill a knowledge gap in your already solid skill set or to build upon experience you already have. You might choose a mentoring scheme to nurture your network or gain more insight into a particular area.
Emma Green, associate director of Michael Page Executive Interim, comments on the debate:
“Training and an accredited qualification will certainly never hinder your job search – unless you rely solely on it to secure an interview. A qualification alone won’t make you stand out; it’ll be how you can reflect on your learning and demonstrate a practical application of your training.
Some employers may ask for institute membership, but many will not consider this to be essential. Although, when employers are faced with numerous candidates of a similar calibre, a qualification may give you the edge over your competitors – providing you have robust experience to back it up.”
We also posed this question on our LinkedIn group. To join in the discussion, please join us at Michael Page Logistics – UK.
For more information on Chartered Institute qualifications, visit the CILT site.