An Advanced Certificate in Economic Development, created by the Institute of Economic Development (IED) as it ramps up its accredited CPD for experienced public and private sector professionals, gets underway later this month.
The nine-module Advanced Certificate – spanning 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 – is delivered entirely online by leading sector experts.
The programme 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, which is already up and running.
One of the first IED members to sign up to the Advanced Certificate is Kinga Grabarczyk, Senior Economic Development Officer at Sedgemoor District Council. Kinga has eight years’ experience in economic development, including three years in her current role, and is seeking further peer-peer professional development.
“As we are a small team my job involves a range of activities and responsibilities – from implementation of Gravity Enterprise Zone and working with businesses delivering benefits from the Hinkley Point C project, to inward investment, property searches, business support, grants, events and general enquiries,” she explained. “The workload can vary from small local projects to multi-million investment and funding bids.”
“As a team we take on those opportunities and it is vital that we have the right skills. In order to respond to the issues we face or make the most of the opportunities that are presented to us, I want to gain as much knowledge and expertise as possible. I have a Masters’ degree in Economics, but learning from others in the field is much more beneficial. The Advanced Certificate in Economic Development condenses various areas of economic development which although can be looked at separately, create interdependencies that we all need in the successful delivery of our projects and programmes.”
“Through the Advanced Certificate, I am hoping to widen my knowledge in the areas that I have had minimal involvement in so far and bring new skills to the team. We are better at delivering programmes that integrate various parts of the council, that bring real change to communities and businesses, and we can no longer work in silos. Therefore having a wide range of skills will help make me better at my job.”
Meanwhile, West Lindsay District Council’s Claire Hill is working towards achieving the Certificate in Economic Development, also comprising nine modules and delivered entirely online. “I joined the economic development team as Economic Growth Officer towards the middle of last year,” she said. “This role supports the wider team with the preparation and delivery of the Council’s plans and strategies for growth and economic development.”
“Whilst not new to working within local government, economic development is a new discipline to me and the content of the Certificate in Economic Development fits well with providing a broad overview of the different elements of this work area, supplementing my on-the-job learning with formal content from a recognised body. This will allow me to better support the wider team as all modules are directly relevant, give access to best practice examples, and provide an increased understanding of the policy/funding landscape that we work within.”
Modules on the Certificate in Economic Development are: Introduction to Economic Development; Business support; Future of town centres; Inward investment; Skills development; Regeneration; Funding and policy landscape; Housing; and Community development.
IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock said: “The Institute is absolutely committed to supporting economic development colleagues in their professional development and we have been working to formalise our current CPD offering as we enter our 40th year as a professional body. The topics in both the Certificate and Advanced Certificate are designed to meet the key economic development challenges of today and have been developed in consultation with our Board and members, including through our annual member survey in which we have specifically asked about their areas for development.”
Nigel added there is no requirement for IED members to work towards these certificates and all individual CPD modules will continue to run, with new ones being added as demand requires, and these can signed up to on an ad-hoc basis. The Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Economic Development are available to both IED members and non-members.