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Chartered Manager Bootcamp


Stuart Darney

Stuart Darney
MIMechE, fCMgr, FCMI

The Bootcamp course is enlightening. It brings out thoughts in you that you just wouldn’t have had, otherwise. It has helped me become more appreciative of why people act the way they do and that has helped me as a manager.

Verified by an engineer

As a teenager, Stuart studied for a GNVQ Advanced in Engineering but found the classroom style of learning didn’t suit him. He decided to join the Army and worked as an Aircraft Technician on helicopters and drones. Stuart left the Army after seven years to build a career in civilian life. It took some time to find the sector that inspired him. “I had a few short-term roles in different sectors, such as an Engineering Surveyor on lifting equipment and pressure systems. There was just something missing from them all for me.” His first job in the rail sector was with Bombardier. Suddenly, it all made sense, he says: “Rail was where I wanted to be. It was something I was passionate about.” After 18 months, Stuart moved from Bombardier to Eurostar for four-and-a-half years and then joined Porterbrook, five years ago. Stuart’s first role at Porterbrook was as a Fleet Engineer, managing a fleet of over 1000 rolling stock vehicles on lease to GTR, and he has now risen to Project Manager. Porterbrook is a rolling stock leasing company that owns and maintains rolling stock and freight vehicles, which are then leased to the train operating companies that run the trains. Porterbrook currently own around a quarter of the national passenger rail fleets.


Why the Chartered Manager Bootcamp?

The Chartered Manager Bootcamp is an intense four-day course. I already had a taste for these kind of courses – three years earlier, my line manager had booked me on to the Essential Management Skills event also run by the IMechE. He did it without really asking me, not that I was complaining! I really enjoyed the content of that course and found it fascinating – leadership management, different ways to communicate and so on. Through that, I gained the CMI level 3 certification. This Chartered Management Bootcamp course allows you to get to CMI level 5 and is a natural progression from the Essential Management Skills event and New Engineering Manager course.

“I had explored trying to get the CMI level 5 elsewhere and there was a lot involved. However, if you are an Incorporated IMechE member, like me, or a Chartered member, you will have gained some management experience and that means you’ve already completed nearly half of what is needed to reach CMI level 5 elsewhere. The IMechE Chartered Manager Bootcamp allows you to get that Level 5 certification more quickly.”

What was your experience of the bootcamp?

“The four-day, residential style of the course really suited me. I prefer it when it’s an intense period of work compared to more drawn-out courses. You know it’s only going to last a few days and you’re going get something out of it at the end.

“There were eight of us on the course, which was just the right size. The trainer was really good at bringing anyone who was a little shy out their shell and making sure that they were supported and participating. I am someone who likes to talk anyway, so I didn’t have a problem with that!

“The course was structured into manageable chunks, with breaks in between each topic. You are split into groups to do exercises, and you work with different partners throughout the day. It’s quite concentrated but I really enjoyed the content and that makes it easier. In the evenings, we’d all go for dinner together and, though the course did come up, it was more social.”

What are the key reasons someone should attend the Chartered Manager Bootcamp?

1. “The CMI Level 5 is a decent qualification that can only help your career as a manager in engineering.”

2. “It’s great to meet others working in different engineering sectors. It’s fascinating. You can spin ideas off each other.”

3. “I’ve learned so much about communication. Previously, if situations were awkward, I might have thought, ‘Oh well, just a personality clash.’ Now, I’ve learned how to adapt my style of communication to the individual and the situation, to get the best result for everyone.”

What’s been the impact?

“I have found both the Essentials course and the Bootcamp course enlightening. It brings out thoughts in you that you just wouldn’t have had, otherwise.

“I’ve become more understanding of the way people are and what they have been dealing with in the past. The course has helped me become more appreciative of why they’re acting the way they do. That has helped me, as a manager, to relay my message to people in a way that works for them.

“It's also enabled me to understand my senior managers better and what they are trying to achieve. Not that I am trying to manage them! But it has helped with communicating upwards, too. I wasn’t expecting that.

“It’s also helped in my family life. Really! When I’m trying to explain homework or something else to my 11-year-old son, rather than just say the same thing again, I now take a step back and ask, ‘What is it you don’t understand?’ Then I try to approach it a different way, thinking ‘How will he best understand this?”

Three pieces of advice you’d give future attendees

1. “There is a bit of pre-course reading and a few videos to watch.  Don’t leave it till the last moment – do it earlier to let it sink in.”

2. “Try to be open about your own management issues. The other delegates are in engineering management, so they are talking about real engineering experiences and there are challenges we all share. You can relate them to yours.”

3. “Have a think about some current challenges you are having in your management role and be ready to share them. There are some excellent coaching lessons which need real life examples to be worked through. There is a good chance you can walk away with some interesting solutions.”

What’s next?

“We must complete three additional assignments over the next 12 months, each of about 3000 words to get the final qualification. The assignments are related to areas we covered in the course such as implementing organisational change, what factors affect change and so on. It’s applying the learning from the course, along with our notes and the supporting material we were given. It’s a bit daunting for me but all the delegates on the course connected on LinkedIn and we are there to help each other.”

Chartered Manager Bootcamp

  • Duration:
    4 days
  • Location:
  • CPD Hours:
  • UK-Spec:
    C, D, E