Nicola started the Level 5 programme in September 2017, working her way through the modules, achieving great results and applying her learnings to her role. In May 2018, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour and took a break in learning.
By September 2018, Nicola felt well enough to continue her studies and was due to complete her programme at the end of July 2019. She also found out she was pregnant and due to start her maternity leave in June 2019.
Nicola worked with her coach, Richard, to submit her work into the End Point Assessment gateway in June, completing her knowledge test, online multiple-choice test and work-based project report and presentation. The Chartered Management Institute expedited Nicola’s portfolio, so that she could have her final interview eight days before she gave birth to baby Freddy.
During this period Nicola was also project managing the consolidation and relocation of her HR function, from London to Chelmsford, planning the move, employing new staff and preparing for maternity leave.
Completing the programme alone would have been a great achievement, but Nicola achieved full marks for her portfolio, work-based project and competency-based interview, only dropping 2 questions out of 30 in her Knowledge Test.
Nicola’s work-based project involved producing new guidance and training around how line managers handle sickness and to help improve levels of support when people return to the organisation. This project centered around designing and implementing a line managers’ guide for managing staff absences which can be used as a tool for managers to refer to when they are unclear what action they should be taking. The aim was to contribute to the reduction of sickness absence across her company in order to reduce sickness absence from 8.42 to 6 days per person, and a reduction of related costs such as agency cover. Having laid the groundwork for this new tool before she went on maternity, it is being worked on by others in her team whilst she is away, and Nicola hopes that it will be rolled out across the company before she returns to work.
Sean Williams, CEO at Corndel describes Nicola’s story as ‘truly inspirational. We are fortunate to work with a lot of dedicated, hard-working learners, but to hear a story about someone who has overcome the challenges that Nicola has had to face, during the course of her programme and still retain that focus on her studies, is an example to us all. Her result is extremely well-deserved, and we couldn’t be prouder of her.’
Find out more about our Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management and other Corndel Diplomas.