Diploma competency descriptions
AKAM Key Account Manager Diploma competency specification
The document below details the competencies you are required to demonstrate to gain the AKAM professional Diploma in Key Account Management (KAM). The Diploma offers a qualification for experienced working key account managers, i.e. people who manage a key account. It is designed around competencies learned through application at work but also requires some self-study of underlying theoretical concepts. AKAM provides a list of books you can read, plus KAM reference materials in a variety of forms in Member Resources (available after registration and to members) and recorder lectures on relevant theory as an option at extra cost.
There are four grouped areas, with a total of 14 competencies. You must submit evidence of having acquired at least 12 of these in order to gain the Diploma in Key Account Management. Please see ‘How to get a Diploma in KAM’ for details of how to submit your evidence.
You can offer a variety of evidence for each competency in the form of documents or other materials that demonstrate how you have exercised the competency. You must also demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of underlying theory and show how it has been applied. To hold a professional qualification, it is important to have knowledge of the theories and concepts in the field which can and should drive pragmatic application).
- You will need to write a document that describes how you have fulfilled the competency and how the action was aligned with relevant theory. As a guide, for each competency area this may be between 1500 - 2000 words.
- You can however write a shorter, linking document if you also provide the 'raw materials' as evidence that you are exercising that competency. e.g. for 1.4 Strategic planning for key accounts, you can include an actual customer plan that you have written. Please indicate in your linking document how such materials, which must be your own work, support the competency (you can use our writable pdf workbooks).
- Up to a point, if there is a good reason why you were unable to act correctly at the time, an explanation of what you should have done and why that would have been more appropriate, together with reflections on why what happened was inappropriate, may be accepted. Under this approach it will need to be clear that you would now be competent to act differently.
- Confirmation of participation in formal training will be accepted where relevant.
- Please be assured that all information submitted will be treated as confidential.
- If in doubt about whether a piece of evidence will be accepted by AKAM, please ask.
Submission documents should be ‘signed off’ by your line manager or other senior manager as being factually true, according to their observations: by so doing they are not being asked to judge whether the submission will pass the competency; this is the role of AKAM’s Academic Board.
If the candidate’s experience relates to an earlier employment and has not been tested in the current employment, or if for any other reason the current manager cannot sign-off the submission, please contact AKAM for guidance on validation.
Each required competency is specified below in the following way:
- Rationale: why the competency is needed by key account managers.
- Competency requirement: description of competencies that you should demonstrate.
- Relevant theory: so, you can search for background where you need it.
- including a link to lists of related papers and books to help if you need to know more about underlying principles.
- Evidence: some suggestions on what kind of evidence you may include. Other materials may also be acceptable. If in doubt, please check with AKAM.
The rest of this document describes the competency requirements in considerable detail, in terms of what is good practice in key account management and therefore, what the Diploma Board will be looking for in your submission.
You are strongly advised to use each competency description as a structure for your submission. It will help you to explain your competencies clearly and show the AKAM Board that you have achieved the competency according to the AKAM criteria.
We strongly recommend that you complete your submission for one competency and send it to AKAM for review and feedback before completing any others. This will help you to present your competencies in the right way and at the right level.