Feb 2023 / Learners News

After gaining her Level 5 ILM qualification with ACT, Nicola Turner, 58, from Newport, is now Head Orthoptist and Head of Department of Orthoptic Services at the Royal Gwent Hospital. 

“If I hadn’t undertaken the management qualification ahead of me applying for the management role, I wouldn’t have gained the role I did. I stood out from other candidates, thanks to this qualification.” 

ACT’s Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) Level 5 Diploma in Management enables learners to develop their essential leadership skills, manage strategic change and design business processes to maximise organisational effectiveness. 

Nicola adds, “In interview, the ILM helped me as there were questions that I could link back to my apprentice assessments. It enables you to think differently. It makes you stand out and gives you the edge over others.”    

Nicola chose to undertake her Level 5 ILM qualification in order to develop her skills in the workplace further and ensure her career progression. 

“With the Health Board I knew in order to progress in my career, I needed to keep growing and learning my skills. I knew I’d be going into a new managerial role and I wanted support to help me with that, so I was aware of the kinds of things I needed to know.

Nicola found an apprenticeship was the ideal way to learn alongside working. Not only was the qualification fully-funded, but she was able to practically apply what she was learning to her work role.  

Apprenticeships are amazing. Cost can often be a barrier to learning, so the fact I could gain the qualification for free through work was amazing. I’m lucky that the health board are huge promoters of apprenticeships and really encourage staff to upskill. It benefits both them and their staff.

In addition to securing a promotion, Nicola gained a wealth of skills following her apprenticeship and feels the qualification has made her a better manager overall.  

“The qualification has shown me how to have broad shoulders, multi task as well as helped develop my emotional intelligence around wellbeing and work life balance. It’s really helped me as I can support my staff in a much better way and offer work templates that work for them as individuals. The apprenticeship has given me clarity – I know the type of manager I want to be!” 

Initially, Nicola was a little nervous about undertaking the qualification, but her fears were soon put to rest.  

“ACT were amazing and so supportive. I got to meet people from all walks of life – it’s like a networking experience. Assignments were gone through with a fine-tooth comb which was so helpful as you knew exactly what was expected of you. The teaching was so comprehensive I very rarely needed additional support. However, I knew it was there if I needed it.” 

Now she has completed her qualification, Nicola is keen to promote apprenticeships within her team as she feels they are a great tool for upskilling and confidence building.  

“In work, the Directorate know I’m competent and able to get on with the task at hand. The qualification has really given me the confidence to speak up and say what I think in board and directorate meetings and share what I think.  I manage a young team so I’m encouraging upskilling as I want them to gain the knowledge and qualifications needed to progress themselves.” 

If you want to find out more about our ILM Level 5 qualification and how it can benefit your career or business, head here.