The first students to enrol on a pioneering business leaders’ course have graduated from the University of Chester with flying colours.

Executives from around the country have qualified with a postgraduate certificate in business administration.

The PG Certificate forms part of an Executive Mini MBA programme devised by leadership and management training company In Professional Development and delivered in collaboration with the university’s Centre for Work Related Studies.

The programme covers strategic and contemporary management and leadership ideas and techniques, and looks at best practice from across the private and public sectors.

It aims to help students apply the best in management thinking to their own companies and organisations so they make better decisions and improve their strategic, business planning and communication skills.

Delegates undertaking the PG Certificate attend an intensive five-day programme which is run at venues across the country. They then apply their learning at work and complete three assignments with the aid of webinars and support from tutors. Successful completion of this course earns 60 credits, which can be used towards an MBA.

Dr David Perrin, director of the Centre for Work Related Studies, said: “The programmes we have with INPD are highly popular with delegates and are evaluated very positively.

“They address a gap in the market for executive education and our Centre specialises in this type of accreditation work with quality clients.

“We are delighted that the first delegates to complete the accredited programme have now received their awards.”

Dave Hall, director at Wigan-based INPD, said: “Our partnership with the university’s Centre for Work Related Studies has enabled us to bring innovative, engaging and industry-focused programmes to the market.

“Our learners are looking for high-quality, challenging executive education that fits around their personal and professional commitments.

“Our accredited Executive Mini MBA provides the flexibility and quality they are seeking. Congratulations to our first successful graduates and good luck to those currently completing our programmes.”

The first 10 PG Certificate graduates include Cliftin Bower, 46, managing director of Coventry-based Rossi Gearmotors, which assembles and distributes geared motors to sectors such as materials handling, quarrying, oil and gas and food production.

Cliftin said: “I have a natural inquisitive streak and have always been interested in the theory behind the decisions people make and the strategies they have used.

“I found the course to be extremely worthwhile. It was challenging at times, but I learned a lot and have already used some of the insights I gained during the course and through my research assignments in the business.”

Another graduate is Nicola Howard, chief executive and director of 1st Place Children and Parents Centre, a charity which provides early-years education and family support services to the community in the north west of the London Borough of Southwark.

Nicola said: “I found the course really interesting and worthwhile, and it encouraged me to make time through study to consider some of the strategic issues we were working through as an organisation.

“It’s led me to better understand aspects of my role and how as a charity we can look to improve.”