This article is structured as follows:

  1. Introduction
  2. Defining Command, Leadership and Management
  3. Value of the CLM Programme
  4. NAT Rank Codes and UK Service Designations
  5. Operational Performance Statements
  6. CLM Programme Levels
  7. CLM Elements
  8. Accreditation
  9. Defence Learning Portal
  10. Useful Links
  11. References

From October 2020, the Army CLM programme will be replaced by the Army Leadership Development Programme.

1.0     Introduction

The UK military has a long tradition of providing training and educational opportunities for its personnel. In common with its civilian brethren the UK Military has long provided a variety of educational opportunities for its Officers (i.e. graduates) in the form of mandatory training through modules delivered at the various Officer academies as part of initial (Phase 1) training and as post-graduate training facilitated by universities and/or accredited Defence Training Establishments (e.g. the Joint Defence Command and Staff College).

However, unlike their civilian brethren the UK military also has a long tradition of providing its Other Ranks (i.e. entry level jobs, team leaders and junior managers) with educational opportunities again in the form of mandatory training. This training was in the form of the Education for Promotion (EFP) programmes, Parts 1 and 2 for promotion to OR-6 (Sergeant/Petty Officer) and OR-8 (Warrant Officer) respectively.

While for many years personnel attending the old EFP programmes had opportunities to gain civilian qualifications, there were few, if any, such opportunities for those preparing for promotion to OR-3 (Lance Corporal) and OR-4 (Corporal/Leading Rate).

This changed during 2004/2005 when the UK military introduced the comprehensive Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) programme of courses across the Services. The new CLM programme of courses created courses at new levels (e.g. the PNCO CLM) and revamped and integrated with existing courses (e.g. the SNCO CLM).

This article will provide a definition of each element of CLM then briefly outline the value of the CLM programme of courses before describing the NATO Rank Codes and their UK Service Designations equivalents. The article will then provide some background information about Operational Performance Statements and the levels and elements within the CLM programme. Finally, the article will look at the two accreditation bodies linked with CLM before providing some useful links.

2.0     Defining Command, Leadership and Management

Before looking at what Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) training is all about, we must first define, in a military context, what the three elements of CLM are:

  1. Command: Command is a position of authority and responsibility to which military men and women are legally appointed. Leadership and management are the key components in the successful exercise of command. Successful management is readily measured against objective criteria but commanders are not leaders until their position has been ratified in the hearts and minds of those they command.
  2. Leadership: Military leadership is visionary. It is the projection of personality and character to inspire those they command to do what is required of them. Skill in the techniques of leadership is the foremost quality in the art of command and contributes very largely to operational success. There is no prescription for leadership and no prescribed style of leader. Military leadership is a combination of example, persuasion and compulsion dependent on the situation. It should aim to transform and be under-pinned by the ethos of Mission Command and a balance of military qualities and skills. Successful military leaders are those who understand themselves, the organisation, the environment in which they operate and the people that they are privileged to lead.
  3. Management: Management is a facet of command. It is about the allocation and control of resources (human, material and financial) to achieve objectives. Management requires the ability to deploy a range of techniques and skills to enhance and facilitate the planning, organisation and execution of the business of defence. A successful commander combines these management skills with those of leadership to achieve the desired outcome.

3.0     Value of the CLM Programme

The UK Military is committed to ensuring that its Other Ranks (Table 1 below) have the training and skills required for promotion. As such, the CLM programme is mandatory for those selected for promotion to the rank of Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO).

3.1     Aim of the CLM Programme

The aim of the CLM programme is to improve the performance of individuals both in barracks/ship/air station and on operations by developing leadership and management skills as individual’s progress through the ranks.

3.2     Role of the CLM Programme

The role of the CLM programme is to prepare individuals for the tasks that they will undertake during their military careers through basic skills support, a ‘Skills for Life’ package, and the development of military knowledge.

3.3     Transferable Skills

The skills and qualifications that individuals gain are accredited and transferable to civilian life when they leave the armed forces.

4.0     NATO Rank Codes and UK Service Designations

The NATO rank code system allows comparisons to be established between the various countries military systems and across the Services. Table 1 provides the reader with the NATO rank codes and their UK Service equivalents.

5.0     Operational Performance Statements

The CLM programme provides generic training and education (T&E) for promotion purposes for Other Ranks across the Services. Although inter- and intra-service differences occur due to Service, Corps and Trade requirements, the general aim and underlying principles of the CLM programme remain the same.

Each service has written specifications (known as Operational Performance Statements, OPS) which describe the generic tasks that must be performed by individuals at a given rank. For example, the British Army CLM programme provides generic T&E for all promotion to Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant and Warrant Officer Class 2 through OPS, for Potential NCO (PNCO), JNCO, SNCO and WOs. The OPS also specify the conditions under which the tasks will be undertaken and the standards that are to be achieved. These are further detailed in Instructional Specifications (ISpecs, published on the CLM website) and Assessment Specifications (ASpecs).

6.0     CLM Programme Levels

CLM training is developmental and provided at three/four distinct levels depending on Service requirements:

  • Level 1: Pre Non-Commissioned Officer (PNCO), 2-weeks;
  • Level 2: Junior Non-Commissioned Officer (JNCO), ?-weeks;
  • Level 3: Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO), ?-weeks; and
  • Level 4: Warrant Officer (WO), 1-week.

Some Arms and Services incorporate the PNCO level directly into initial (Phase 1) training or immediately after, but before specialist (Phase 2) training.

Table 2 provides the reader with an outline of the CLM programme by Service and title.

For information on the CLM programme by Service use the following links:

From October 2020, the Army CLM programme will be replaced by the Army Leadership Development Programme.

7.0     CLM Elements

The T&E elements of the CLM programme are delivered using various modes depending on the requirements of the individual Service. They are designed to prepare individuals for promotion to the next rank by giving them the attitude, skills and knowledge they will require in order to operate effectively when in command. Each course builds on the previous one, while introducing new material as appropriate. The programme of courses cover:

  • Leadership;
  • Management;
  • Communication;
  • Professional knowledge;
  • Personal development; and
  • Physical training.

All levels of the CLM programme count as credits for civilian qualifications, whereby individuals can gain:

  • Professional and vocational qualifications in management;
  • Degree-level modules and credits; and
  • Membership of professional institutions.

8.0     Accreditation

8.1     Chartered Management Institute

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is a professional and awarding body for UK management and leadership qualifications, dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. The CMI encompass a membership community more than 100,000 strong and is the only body that awards Chartered Manager.

Table 3 outlines the eligible CMI qualifications by the CLM course an individual has completed.

CMI provides an 18-month window of opportunity for military personnel to register for qualifications that are accredited directly to career development courses.

8.1.2  Additional Work and Fees

  • British Army and RAF: No additional work, apart from successfully completing your in-service course, is required to gain the qualifications.
  • Royal Marines and Royal Navy: No additional work, apart from successfully completing your in-service course, is required to gain the qualifications. No fee is payable to gain the qualifications; fees will be automatically paid from central service funds. Your service is paying for you to gain the qualifications.

Individuals can top-up their nationally recognised vocational qualification to a higher nationally recognised vocational qualification, by paying the appropriate fee and completing extra work as directed by the CMI.

8.2     The Institute for Leadership and Management

The Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) is the UKs largest management body and is an independent charity that forms part of the City & Guilds Group. The ILM has approximately 35,000 members and over the past ten years more than 750,000 managers have benefited from an ILM qualification or accredited training programme.

Table 4 outlines the eligible ILM qualifications by the CLM course an individual has completed.

8.2.1  Additional Work and Fees

Individuals can gain a nationally recognised vocational qualification, after paying the appropriate fee, if they have successfully completed one of the courses in leadership and management highlighted in Table 4. The reader should note that some qualifications require extra work to be completed.

9.0     Defence Learning Portal

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) wanted to deliver training in a way that would reduce cost and the impact on frontline duties. The solution, provided by BT (2009), was the Defence Learning Portal (DLP) which is the MOD’s primary source of distance learning. The on-line training system enables training to be delivered where individuals are posted at whatever time is convenient.

10.0   Useful Links

Listed are some links which the reader may find useful:

11.0   References

BT (British Telecommunications) (2009) Case Study, MOD Defence Learning Portal: Transforming Ministry of Defence Training. Available from World Wide Web: [Accessed: 23 September, 2013].


9 thoughts on “UK Military Command, Leadership & Management (CLM) Programmes

  1. Thanks Andrew.
    I do not have any certificates anymore due to someone “cleaning up” while i was on leave. Can i get more certificates or should i just accredit what i have and improve on the qualification?

    1. Hi Sean,

      Can I get more certificates?
      A1. Your military qualifications will be noted on your record of service (inside the red book you receive on discharge). You may wish to contact the DTE that issued your certificate.
      A2. With regards to civilian qualifications, you can apply for a re-issue of your certificate but you may be charged a fee.
      Improve on qualifications? This depends on the level of qualification you currently have and what level of job you are going for. Having higher level/better qualifications than other candidates for the same job is a ‘feather in your cap’.

    1. Hi Sean,

      01. If you were awarded the civilian qualification as part of your military leadership course, then just put the title and level of the course within your CV.
      02. If you don’t have the civilian qualification but have completed the newer versions of the military leadership courses, you could put ‘equivalent to’ name and level of civilian qualification.
      03. If writing about CLM, you could put:

      P/J/S/NCO-WO Command, Leadership & Command (CLM) training is designed to equip personnel with the generic skills required of a [WHAT], the [WHAT] level of command in the British Army, and is the [WHAT] of four levels of training that personnel may undertake. CLM training focuses on theoretical command principles and the practical application of these principles during a mixture of classroom-based instruction and Infantry-based field exercises; being designed to develop the leadership qualities of personnel in all conditions. These principles are covered in eight topics which include: Command and Lead; Develop Subordinates; Manage Activities; Perform Duties; Communicate effectively with peers, subordinates and seniors; Improve Own Learning and Performance; Lead Individual and Team Training; and Operate within UK Defence Policy. Upon successful completion of this course I was awarded a CMI/ILM Level [No.] Certificate/Diploma in [TITLE].

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