Learning Hub

If you’re considering taking part in a Professional Diploma or Short Programme, you might be interested in approaching your organisation to fund the programme for you.

The combined strength of our academic rigour and commercial focus is the core compelling reason for choosing IMI above other purely academic bodies. For this reason, participants are often successful in securing financial and other forms of support from their organisations due to the practical business-oriented nature of our programmes.

When approached with a request for funding, an organisation may ask key questions like ‘why should we make this investment?’ and ‘what’s in it for us?’ This guide can help you answer these questions, clearly identifying the benefits associated with the programme, the return on investment and the direct positive impacts to your role.

If you need additional support, you can contact a member of the team on programmeadvisors@imi.ie or 1800 22 33 88 and we will be happy to reach out to your organisation directly on your behalf.

What to Consider

Your personal development

Use your regular reviews or catch ups with your manager to start the conversation around your professional development. You should ensure that this is kept top of mind with your manager, so that when you’re ready to apply for your programme, it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Know the policies

Many organisations have policies in place around funding professional development. You might get a certain allocation per year, or you might need to motivate why your employer should invest in your. You can approach your HR team to find out whether your organisation usually offers funding for employee learning. If so, convincing them to fund yours will be easier.

Know the programme

Research more than one programme, and make sure that the one you pitch is the right option for you. You should be able to present your manager with an outline of the programme, as well as the cost and the time commitment, especially if you’ll need time off work to attend in-person sessions.

Think about the ROI

You’ll need to be able to demonstrate exactly what you want to learn, and why this programme is the most suitable, compared to other options. Select specific processes which you could improve, or strategic goals which your learning will enable you to achieve, and show how this will benefit the company.

Investment for the future

Discuss with your manager the types of knowledge and skills you are hoping to attain through your chosen IMI programme. No doubt these skills will be transferable in the future, and you’ll be helping to equip future generations of leaders for the best performance.

Different types of learning

If your organisation is unable to fund or part-fund a major programme like a Professional Diploma, discuss what funding they can provide and investigate short programmes or micro-credentials which require a smaller investment. 

Corporate membership

Your organisation might be interested in IMI Corporate Membership. As a member, the organisation has access to IMI facilities and exclusive events like webinars and in-person Masterclasses. Our Membership team is always available for a call to discuss membership benefits and options.

Team of advisors

Let your manager or HR department know that our Programme Advisors are available to guide you or your employer through any information they need to know about the programme, or the IMI experience. You can contact the team via phone on 1800 22 33 88 or email programmeadvisors@imi.ie.

The foundations of your case for sponsorship

When approaching your organisation to provide financial sponsorship, you might be asked to prepare a business case. A business case requires you to be structured, and to consider your audience carefully. The objective of a business case in this instance, is to give your line manager or HR department the information needed to be able to make a positive decision regarding your sponsorship. It is likely that you will already be familiar with writing comprehensive reports and analyses, so you’ll be able to apply these principles when preparing your case.

Your organisation should aim to develop your skills as a leader

Leaders need solid knowledge of all the functional areas of an organisation and how those functions interrelate, so that they can design and carry out strategic plans.

Participants on IMI programmes learn to think broadly about their organisation’s challenges across functional areas and industries. To become a more confident and well-rounded leader with broad knowledge, individuals must have concentrated exposure to the full range of topics and applications. IMI programmes provide that foundation.

Your organisation should provide you as a manager with a senior management prospective

A senior management perspective means thinking across functional lines when you make decisions.

IMI programmes help newer leader develop senior management perspective in two ways. First, participants interact with experienced leaders from other organisations and industries, engaging in significant peer learning and co-mentoring opportunities. Second, projects, case studies, discussions, and applications develop strategic and integrative perspectives throughout the programme to expand the mindset and capabilities of the participant.

Your organisation may improve employee retention

More and more employees are citing continuous learning and development as a major factor when applying for new roles, or deciding whether or not to stick with their current organisation. When a company decides to fund a learning experience like an IMI programme, team members will see that as a true investment and might be more likely to stay in the organisation for longer.

Your organisation’s commitment to developing senior managers from within

When organisations sponsor high potential employees on an IMI programme, they are committing to develop the human capital that will lead their business into the future. To allow employees to become the next leaders, organisations need to invest in their high-potential staff today, to allow for effective succession planning.

Case studies and business experience have proven that it is highly cost effective for an organisation to develop its talent from within rather than to recruit from outside. When an organisation does promote from within, it needs to first build up those future leaders to empower them to succeed.

Forge a partnership with IMI

When an organisation sponsors a participant on an IMI programme, it’s the beginning of a relationship with IMI. Our participants and their sponsoring organisations have a wide range of options for tapping IMI’s expertise: from developing tailored programmes in partnership with us, to engaging faculty members as advisors and consultants, to accessing our Knowledge Centre resources and attending our events. IMI presents opportunities for business collaboration to our corporate partners worldwide, and IMI programme sponsorship is often just the beginning of far deeper and highly productive business relationships.



If you’re ready to find the right programme for you, you can explore the range of Professional Diplomas, Short Programmes, and Micro-Credentials from IMI.