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First cohort of Certificate in Economic Development complete IED-accredited CPD programme


The first cohort of the Institute of Economic Development (IED) Certificate in Economic Development have successfully completed the programme. 

Launched at the start of last year, the nine-module Certificate – spanning Introduction to Economic Development; Business support; Future of town centres; Inward investment; Skills development; Regeneration; Funding and policy landscape; Housing; and Community development – is aimed at professionals who are new to economic development.

IED Executive Director Nigel Wilcock said: “Congratulations to our public and private sector professionals who have ‘graduated’ from our Certificate in Economic Development. It is an extraordinarily cost effective way for practitioners to continue their development and we have already got nearly 30 individuals registered for the Certificate’s 2024 cohort. Members and non-members can sign up for the full programme, or still take individual modules if they prefer. Everything we do is online, which increases accessibility.”

Claire Hill, Economic Growth Officer at West Lindsey District Council, said: “It feels great to complete the IED Certificate in Economic Development. It has been a really interesting professional development experience, and the spacing between modules has meant it did not feel too overwhelming. The Certificate programme structure has given me an ability to self-serve in terms of learning and provided greater insight into the work of others within my team. I have been able to use examples of best practice from the course with the wider team to challenge our outputs and thinking. I would definitely recommend the Certificate to anyone new to economic development. It has been really helpful to gain the theory behind the doing, in small bite-sized pieces.”

Joel Pailes, Community Infrastructure Officer at South Norfolk and Broadland Council, agreed: “The IED Certificate in Economic Development has been a real positive injection of knowledge and understanding of both broad and specific issues affecting this wide-ranging sector. I signed up for the Certificate following a recommendation from a colleague, already an IED member and already crediting and using her qualification and learnt skills, and it seemed like a great fit to progress my development in this field. 

“When I looked a little closer at what the Certificate offered, it was easy to be persuaded. Each module set out was both an area of interest as well as an area that traversed what my day-to-day role engaged in. My employer was pleased to support this via the internal training budget, not just on an individual basis but also on the premise that I would feedback and share learning with the wider team which has worked really well. 

“From a CPD perspective, the guest speakers from both public and private sectors provided insight that would not have been available internally to me. It is the ability to compare and be presented with best practice from the UK and beyond that is so valuable. I would certainly recommend this Certificate to others, whatever stage of your career and experience you have, as this course will provide you with something extra.”

Amanda Maxwell, Business Engagement Officer at Salford City Council, added: “Our Head of Business and Inward Investment suggested the IED Certificate in Economic Development to me as I was fairly new to the role. The course gave me a good overall understanding of economic development. I found the sessions on inward investment particularly useful, especially the examples of good practice and websites such as Invest Glasgow, as I am currently working on the Invest Salford website so I could apply some of the knowledge I gained from that. I am really pleased to have completed the course and would recommend it to others. It was pitched at the right level and useful to learn from experienced professionals.”

The first cohort of the Advanced Certificate in Economic Development, targeting professionals who have a relevant degree and at least five years’ experience working in this field or who have completed the Certificate in Economic Development, are due to complete their final modules shortly. The Advanced Certificate covers Green Book business cases; Successful funding bids; Stakeholder consultation exercises; Bid appraisal and post-funding evaluation; Clean growth; Inclusive growth and social value; Place-based issues – rural, coastal, left-behind places; R&D backed growth; and Finance and funding in economic development.

Full details of the Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Economic Development programme are available here.


Contact: Phil Smith, Institute of Economic Development PR consultant, on 01778 218180 /07866 436159 /


The Institute of Economic Development (IED) is the UK’s leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners. Established 40 years ago, the IED's key objective is to represent the interests of economic development practitioners and ensure their views are widely expressed and noted. The IED is committed to demonstrating the value of economic development work for local and regional communities; the pursuit of best practice in economic development and the attainment of the highest standards of professional conduct and competence.