Foundation Certificate – Online

30 hours of online learning + online exam (2 hours)

This training provides junior industry people, regardless of discipline, with the knowledge to perform their roles with confidence and expertise. Exclusive access for Members ONLY.

Exam Dates:  25 April 2022  |  27 June 2022  |  26 September 2022
Refer to qualification policies.


The IPA Foundation Certificate allows learners to experience a seamless journey through its online programme. It is being built mobile device first, so the content is easily accessible for practitioners on the move. The content has been designed in a wider blend of resource-based learning, mobile learning and social learning. It will consist of live webinars, PDF, e-learning, 1-2 minute animations, expert opinion videos, interactive videos, podcasts and simple web pages that will refer the learners to recommended reading materials.

What to expect

30 hours of interactive online learning, over 7 modules, designed with accessibility and variety in mind, further to this: 

  • IPA app to access learning on the move
  • Quick Quizzes throughout to test the learner’s knowledge
  • Discussions to engage with other learners
  • Resources for additional recommended learning
  • Dedicated online tutor
  • Technical support
  • Formal offline exam
  • Case studies
Who’s it for?

ENTRY LEVEL, 0-2 years experience
The qualification is aimed at individuals with less than a three year’s experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role: from recent graduates in their first year to people moving into marketing from other industries or professions.

Course Content

The online content has been split into seven learning paths, designed to provide an in-depth grounding in the brand communications process, from its position within marketing through to the final execution. Each learning path consists of a number of e-lessons, key readers, assignments, walk throughs, videos, discussions and quizzes.

Module 1: The Business of Creativity
Authored by Coral Cranmer, Head of Strategy and Planning, McCann Leeds and Gavin Shore, Executive Creative Director, McCann Leeds

  • A perspective on Creativity’s history and tradition.
  • Creativity and advertising
  • How creativity has evolved over the years
  • The business of creativity
  • The future of creativity

Module 2: The Communications Landscape
Authored by Adele Burns, Strategy Director, the7stars

  • Evolution from traditional full service to a more fragmented and polarised agency landscape (and possibly back again)
  • The arrival and influence of newcomers such as Facebook and Twitter
  • Emergence of different agencies including: : types; ownership models, and an overview of the global communication groups
  • The significance of the Communications industry to both culture and the economy.
  • The regulatory system

Module 3: The Client and Agency Roles
Authored by Tom Darlington, Global Group Strategy Director, PHD

  • Understanding the Marketing Director’s role and significance.
  • Working with your client and understanding their needs and priorities.
  • Overview of agency functions and roles: Account Handling, Planning, Creative, Creative Services, Comms and Media
  • Paperwork and processes

Module 4: Theories, Tools, & Techniques 
Authored by Emerson Bramwell, Data Partner, Wavemaker and Neil Godber, Joint Head of Strategy, Wunderman Thompson London.

  • The theories that underpin our business including: : systems of thinking; behavioural economics, the role of memory
  • How these theories help brands grow
  • The different ways in which advertising can work
  • Developing strategy, the planning cycle and the role of data
  • Understanding people: insight & getting under the skin of your audience.
  • The importance of briefs
  • Strategy toolkit – the key models, tools and techniques in an agency toolbox

Module 5: Comms Review
Authored by James Hankins, Strategy Director, Manning Gottlieb OMD

  • Creativity and media
  • Channel planning considerations
  • Role and inter relationship p of POE /media channels
  • Media and media buying basics
  • The future of media

Module 6: The Creative Development Process
Authored by Debs Gerrard, EMEA Creative Director, LEGO Group

  • Fostering creativity in your working environment
  • The Creative Communications Development process from start to finish
  • Briefs – Why they exist, who they are for, what makes a good one; and a focus on creative briefs
  • The importance of the briefing meeting
  • Judging Creative ideas
  • Giving creative feedback

Module 7: Evaluating Effectiveness
Authored by Tom Roach, Executive Strategy Director

  • What is effectiveness s and why it is important
  • Leading theories of effectiveness including the link between creativity and effectiveness
  • Embedding effectiveness: from objectives to measurement
  • Examples of best in class IPA Effectiveness Award

A certificate of completion is awarded to all delegates who successfully pass the exam.

Besides the amazing mix of speakers, coming from a small independent agency, it was really good to get amongst the other delegates and hear their experiences, challenges and successes.

Besides the amazing mix of speakers, coming from a small independent agency, it was really good to get amongst the other delegates and hear their experiences, challenges and successes.