Knowledge is King

Knowledge is King

If, like Karen Bates in Chester, a career in Market Management was not a path you originally set out on, professional training may be something worth considering. Karen explains how the NABMA Diploma Course was great value in more ways than one!

Karen Bates, Chester Markets, told us,

When the market manager left and the head of service offered me the role, I found myself stepping into their shoes, taking over the running of four markets. Before that I used to look after the staff and performance management and any work that the market manager delegated to me like events, but I didn’t have the knowledge about the operational and strategic side of market operation.

Given my background, I got a lot out of the Diploma course, especially the opportunity to network and build relationships with other people. You become aware that you are in the same boat as everyone else. They have the same type of political challenges, the same types of traders and the same challenges.

One of The assessments involved setting a street market. Which was  really interesting and a practical case study that I’ve actually gone on to use. I was able to deal with things like risk assessments, environmental factors and dealing with internal and external shareholders.

Steve Picking who runs the Diploma is a master of bringing a group together. There’s a passion about him, because he knows what he is talking about. He has so much knowledge and experience and the way he delivers the course is interesting because he uses lots of real life scenarios, painting pictures and involving the group in sharing their own stories.

After the course, we invited Steve to come and do a couple of free health checks on Chester and Ellesmere Port Market. Having a fresh pair of eyes is always a good idea. We can all develop our knowledge by utilising expert advice

From my own personal point of view, I never want to become stagnated. I’m always looking to improve and develop and that’s happened. For Chester Market my objective was to change public perception. Many traders left in September 17 due to not meeting the criteria to move into our new market to be built 2020. It was a challenge howeverI’ve only got 2 vacant units to let and we are attracting high end, good quality products , niche businesses and lots more food.  Our market was built 50 years ago so it wasn’t built to incorporate food. We have had to deal with lots of practical things like gas and electric supply, extraction etc . Having the confidence and knowledge that the course offered has assisted me with market situations and to incorporate best practice ideas

The Course is good value for money £1000 and what I don’t think is recognised enough, is that it’s the equivalent of an HND.  I updated Linked-In on receiving my diploma, although being a market manager doesn’t need a piece of paper to say that, it enforces your position! I’m proud that I’ve achieved it.

Knowledge is power. I am so much more confident now. From a career point of view there are few people in councils that arrive in markets by design, usually doing lots of other roles first and so this is a great way of skilling up fast, networking and having people to call which brings more strings to your bow. I’ve been encouraged to stand up and speak at the NABMA events and conferences to share what I’ve learned and I’ve found that my personal profile and development has increased, with people now contacting me for advice.

To find out more about the NABMA Diploma Course and our training programmes, visit here

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