Born in starbucks

IoIC’s accreditation programme was born in Starbucks at Farringdon, near where IoIC (then known as CiB) held Board meetings at that time.

There were just three of us in that first discussion, all Steves (Knight, Nichols and Doswell), meeting at Steve K’s suggestion that as a professional body, we’d been talking about the need for accreditation for long enough and it was now time to do something about it. So we did. Steve K wrote the curriculum for the first Foundation Diploma and I wrote the Advanced curriculum. We designed the delivery programme together, agreed the terms with the Board at the time and launched it. That was in 2007-2008.

Those first Foundation and Advanced diploma cohorts were, frankly, guinea pigs, but between us we had a good blend of internal comms know-how, project management experience, and a knowledge of academic process gained through our links with what was then the Kingston Postgrad Diploma (now the Masters). Plus a sheer determination to make a success of something we both saw as fundamentally important for the progress of internal comms and the future of our association (it became an institute in 2010). 

As a membership body, we’d long offered training, but this was something new – qualifications in internal communication, evidence-based, grounded in professional practice. And the candidates’ reactions on those first cohorts told us that we’d created a programme of potentially lasting value, both for the individuals who completed the diplomas and for CiB/IoIC, of which Steve K and I had both been members for around 20 years apiece.

Both diplomas have been updated and strengthened during the last ten years and IoIC’s reputation has grown substantially, especially under Suzanne and Jen’s leadership. But I like to think that by creating the accreditation programme back in the noughties, we put professional development at the heart of what IoIC has been able to become since then. I’m really proud of that.

Steve Doswell
Past Chief Executive & Board Director

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