The Institute of Administrative Management (IAM) offer professional qualifications and membership programmes that help Armed Forces personnel to develop skills in business management while they are preparing for civilian roles

The thought of changing your career while in service may be daunting. The Armed Forces is known for its regimented structure and one that supports you and your family. You have worked hard to achieve your rank. You know your peers. You understand language and behaviours that are unique and often alien to the civilian world. It is understandable to feel anxious at the thought of leaving, or changing your role in the Armed Forces. But it is important to know, that preparing for change is vital.

Support from a professional Institute

There are professional Institutes that help serving and resettling servicemen and women to enhance and build their careers. Here at the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), we offer professional qualifications and membership programmes that help Armed Forces personnel to develop skills in business management while they are in-service and preparing for civilian roles.

IAM Trustee, Charles Wilson, had a long military career before focusing on management development and leadership. As an international HR consultant, he is now Director and business owner of The Consultancy. “The valuable legacy of a military background and the quality of military training did not strike me until I became a manager in industry,” he says.

“Your training, particularly in the so-called ‘soft skills’ such as leadership, motivation, delegation and communication will be way ahead of your civilian counterparts. I believe IAM qualifications will help you enormously by giving you credibility as a supervisor and manager. A well-recognised, essentially civilian, qualification will illustrate that you have taken serious professional strides to cross the bridge from the military,” he says.

As a professional member, you also have access to business resources and networks which help you stay at the top of your game. “Membership of a professional body, such as the IAM, puts you into a network allowing contact with a range of people,” Charles adds.

Why choose business management?

Armed Forces personnel are organised and disciplined. After all, they are trained to the highest standard and offer valuable skills to business. “They are trained to cope in exceptional circumstances. They are dedicated professionals who understand deadlines, management, and motivate staff,” says a representative, who works in the Adjutant Generals Corps (Staff and Personnel Support) in a specialist branch of the Army.

“They are trained in leadership. They understand responsibility and can follow direction and orders from their managers. They are dedicated, reliable, and inspirational managers, ” they add.

Whole Life Development policy at AGC (SPS) ensures that servicemen and women have the opportunity to train and get recognition for managerial skills in civilian life.

“Many military staff undersell their skills, generally because they are not formally accepted in industry. The IAM offers accredited qualifications in administration and business management, and allows vocational experience as well as purely academic qualifications, so it gives you worthwhile certificates confirming every individual’s competence.”

Our qualifications cover a range of disciplines including:

  • Facilities and office management
  • Project and event management
  • Human Resources
  • Information and knowledge management
  • Business planning
  • Finance
  • Administrative services

plus a range of other important business fields

Roles our qualifiers achieve:

  • Operations Manager
  • Office Supervisor
  • Office Manager
  • Business Development Executive
  • Business Support Executive
  • Executive/ Personal Assistant

Bespoke qualifications for serving Army personnel:

  • IAM Level 2 Certificate In Army Team Leading
  • IAM Level 2 Certificate for Military Personnel Administrators
  • IAM Level 3 Certificate for Military Personnel Administrators
  • IAM Level 3 Certificate In Command, Leadership and Management of a Section
  • IAM Level 3 Diploma For Military Personnel Administrators
  • IAM Level 4 Certificate in Command, Leadership and Management
  • IAM Level 4 Certificate for Military Personnel Technical Administrators
  • IAM Level 4 Certificate for Regimental Accountants
  • IAM Level 4 Certificate for Systems Co-ordinators
  • IAM Level 4 Diploma for Detachment Commanders
  • IAM Level 5 Certificate in Command, Leadership and Management
  • IAM Level 5 Certificate for Imprest Officers
  • IAM Level 5 Diploma for Regimental Administrative Officers

Bespoke qualifications for serving Royal Marines:

  • Level 3 Certificate for Human Resources Royal Marines Administrators

For more details about our qualifications and membership, visit

If you have an enquiry, please email [email protected] or call 020 7091 2600

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Case Study

Having served for twenty three years, and attained the rank of Warrant Officer Class One in the Adjutant General’s Corps, Iain Herron MInstAM left the Army and developed a career in operations management. After being ‘ill prepared’ to re-enter civilian life, he transferred his skills from service to business where he ‘commercialised’ his skills with the IAM.

Why I prepared for a second career

I had not planned to leave the Army when I did, as I could have served for a further five years. It was not until 2009, that I began investigating for professional bodies that I could join in order to translate my military experience into a viable commercial ‘badge’ to make myself more attractive and marketable in the commercial world.

As with most people, right up to the point of leaving the services, I was employed in a demanding role which required commitment and dedication. Therefore it was hard to think about dedicating the time to prepare for resettlement.

But you must find the time. Having returned from Afghanistan in 2010, I found myself about to leave a career to embark on another. I had to buy a house, move my family and learn a whole new commercial language.

Service personnel should be preparing for ‘civilian life’ as early as possible, even after a full career. The majority have a substantial number of years to go allowing them to have a successful second career.

My journey in the Forces

I joined the Army in 1987 as a Junior Leader with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. During 12 months of training, I was taught not only the basis of soldiering, but also the principles of leadership in order to progress throughout my military career.

During 23 years of service, I was fundamentally an administrator, but I was always a soldier first. I served in a variety of regiments and on numerous operations including twice in Bosnia, three times in Northern Ireland, the First Gulf War and Afghanistan.

With the exception of Corporal rank, I was promoted at the earliest opportunity which led to my promotion to Warrant Officer Class One in 2008. I left the Army in 2010 to pursue a career in the commercial world because I felt I had achieved all I could during my military career.

Finding out what kind of manager I was

In 2003 I attended an Education for Promotion course where I was first introduced to the IAM. After my MA in Management, I turned to the Institute who helped me consider what type of manager I was and pointed me in the direction of being a successful manager.

They also provided information and guidance for being successful in business, which has allowed me to build on my management skills honed in the Army and develop into an effective manager.

I am now Operations Director at J1 Consulting Ltd. As part of my role, I am always advising service personnel to use their previous experiences and knowledge to gain recognition with organisations such as IAM to demonstrate their ability and assist in their subsequent careers.

I believe that professional bodies like the IAM complement the excellent training provided within the military and give a commercial edge to allow individuals not only to be effective within the military – but prepare them for life afterwards.

The value of military skills in management

I sell the core virtues that service personnel bring to a civilian organisation every day. Anyone who has served for a reasonable period has these in abundance and can often bring more to an employer than their civilian counterpart.

However, I see service personnel come up against the ‘no industry experience’ element all too frequently. This is true, but because of their adaptability in that they have a new role every 2/3 years in the services, they can very quickly assimilate and be much more effective because they are backed up with their military virtues.

These virtues include adaptability, resourcefulness, ability to accept responsibility and being a team player, not only those that are regularly associated with the military such as punctuality, appearance and loyalty.