Our story

SPA Professional Academy was developed out of my passion for marketing, and giving people the ability to become better marketers through qualifications and training, sharing this passion with others.

Although the journey started earlier*, after graduating from Huddersfield Polytechnic with a degree in marketing with engineering I always intended to work for myself.

Whilst working in the engineering sector in roles combining sales and marketing I completed my Chartered Institute of Marketing Diploma (the highest qualification they offered at the time, the Postgraduate label only appearing much later), becoming a full member of the Institute.

When CIM introduced the “Registered Marketer” scheme to recognise those who continually developed themselves as marketers I immediately signed up for it and, through activities carried out to perform better in my work role, was recognised as a Registered Marketer.

Work developed into a role of training distributors in product knowledge to understand what they were selling, and sales and marketing knowledge to enable them sell it better – this was the spark that started a change in career direction.

At the same time that the Registered Marketer scheme developed into the current Chartered Marketer status I finally set up my own business, attending the first ever Chartered Marketer award ceremony in London during the first week of self-employment, not realising how important CIM would become!

SPA Professional Academy came whilst teaching CIM courses elsewhere. With a marketer’s hat on I realised there were students needing help with revision for exams (through which everything was assessed at the time), and also wanting, and asking me to deliver, full teaching sessions at weekend rather than evenings which are often difficult for busy marketers.

Seeing students learn through the courses, apply the learning in their job roles, and developing their careers is fantastic and really satisfying – it takes a lot of work to ensure I am up to date and understand how marketing is changing, but it is well worthwhile.

This has led to where SPA Professional Academy is now – the leading independent CIM qualification course provider in Yorkshire. Delivering courses in Leeds and, since 2014, Sheffield means that it is not possible for me to teach everything so I am now supported with carefully selected tutors who share the passion for marketing and helping others develop their marketing careers and organisations – and they are also Chartered Marketers.

So if you want to learn from people who are passionate about marketing, and want to not just gain a qualification but really learn how to be a better marketer with skills you can apply in your career to make a significant difference, get in touch and we will be delighted to help you.

*The start was a recognition from an early age of how important service, and looking after customers is. When on a family holiday in Cornwall aged 6 or 7 my Dad gave me money each morning to go on my own to get him a newspaper, after about 3 days of visiting the same shop and not getting any recognition from the shopkeeper that they had seen me before I decided the shop wasn’t good enough and started walking further to the other shop where I did then become recognised. I still go out of my way to receive better service, and also to provide it.
Andy Sherratt

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