Narinder Uppal has been confirmed as the new Head of Awarding Body at the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) – the only chartered professional body providing support for managers and leaders across the UK.

Narinder, from Fennay Bridge Park in Huddersfield joined CMI in March 2009 as Companions and Ambassador Manager. She was responsible for the development and implementation of a programme designed to build a business leaders’ network promoting best practice management within UK organisations.

In her new position, Narinder will focus on enhancing the quality and recognition of CMI’s management and leadership qualifications in line with regulatory and external accreditation requirements. She will also be responsible for the integration of CMI’s qualifications with the EU framework as the organisation develops its international position and has been tasked with building cohesion across CMI’s network of Approved Centres – the further and higher education establishments and private education providers that support delivery of CMI qualifications to more than 34,000 mid and senior level managers each year.

Reporting to CMI chief executive, Ruth Spellman, Narinder will use her role to drive debate about the key issues affecting performance, productivity and employee engagement within UK organisations. She will call for:

– the development of the UK’s leadership community to made a national priority. With the number of managers set to rise by 900,000 between now and 2017, Narinder will argue that having 1 in 5 professionally qualified is unacceptable for the UK’s future competitiveness

– employers to require their management teams to get qualified. Against a backdrop where 4 in 10 people leave their jobs because they are not given the training they were promised, Narinder will focus on the enhanced retention rates that come about with more qualified staff

– individuals to take responsibility for their own skills development. With 85 per cent of individuals acknowledging that professional qualifications ‘improve chances of employment’ and evidence suggesting that a professional qualification makes someone 9 per cent more employable, Narinder will urge managers to boost their career development opportunities by ‘getting qualified

With almost 20 years experience across the business education sector, Narinder brings extensive knowledge and a highly successful track record to her new role. As Interim Director of International Development at the London School of Business and Finance, for example, she oversaw a growth strategy generating revenue in excess of £1 million in little over one year. Narinder also spent 5 years as Head of Education Networks at the Chartered Institute of Marketing where she restructured the Accredited Study Centre Network, accounting for 40 per cent of total organisational revenue.

Prior to her role at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Narinder began her career in the education sector as a Programme Leader for Huddersfield-based training providers, S&S Training. She moved from there to become Assistant Head of Faculty for the business and professional department within Calderdale College, in Halifax.

Commenting on her appointment, Ruth Spellman, chief executive of CMI, says: “I am absolutely delighted that Narinder has taken on the challenge of developing our Awarding Body. As CMI’s Companion & Ambassadors Manager she has demonstrated energy levels and commitment that will drive the Awarding Body forward, Her background, which combines an appreciation of education from both the teaching and technical development perspectives, also makes Narinder ideally placed to succeed.

Narinder Uppal says: “In a climate where managers and leaders are often the first to be blamed, it is imperative that they take steps to develop the skills which other criticise them for lacking. Developing management capability isn’t just the domain of the employer. It should be everyone’s business and the opportunity to drive home this realisation and, at the same time, make a difference to the quality of the UK management community is something I cannot wait to begin.”