In Pursuit of Excellence

From Monday to Wednesday next week I’m in Oxford for the final module of the IPA Excellence Diploma. It’s the sixth section, which marks the end of the ‘taught’ part of the course (we’ve also got to write a dissertation between January and March next year).

It’s been a gruelling 12 months, with most weekends impinged on (at the very least) by thinking, reading, noting, and writing (we’ve had to produce 5x 2,000 word essays throughout the course). Some modules have been better than others (IMHO there have been a couple of semi-flakey ones) but this is always going to be the case with any qualification course, especially one as embryonic as this (January ’07 will see the third wave of intakes).

It’s been hugely worthwhile – I’ve read more than I ever would have done (will try and keep this up too) and have met some great people. It really has opened up my thinking and because of this I would recommend it to anyone – providing you can tackle the daunting workload.

And above all, I think it’s highly commendable that the IPA are trying to do something to professionalise the industry (in which formal training is obscenely sparse). Many will argue about this, but the bottom line is, they’re trying to raise overall standards, and indisputably, that is a good thing.

NB. I’m certain I’ll be posting soon about my forthcoming dissertation, so if you’re interested (!!!) watch this space.

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