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Digital Marketer vs Multi-Channel Marketer – The demise of DM level 3 is neigh

The times are changing for marketing apprenticeships and Digital Marketer Level 3 is being retired. Move aside for Multi-Channel Marketer.

The iFate announcement that DM and MA are retiring.

It’s the end of an era…

It is official. With the inevitable demise of Digital Marketer Level Three and Marketing Assistant Level Three comes the rebirth of the phoenix, and that firey bird is called Multi-Channel Marketer. It’s been announced that on the 11th of December 2023 these two standards will be no more and MCM (Multi-Channel Marketer) will take their place. And, to be fair, we at The Marketing Trainer are all for this change. Don’t get us wrong, DM level three has been good to a lot of organisations, but it’s very old, being one of the first of the old-style standards and one of a small group of those still standing. As they say, it’s time to put DM level 3 out to pasture.

So why is this a good thing?

Change is difficult but inevitable, and as human beings, we’re incredibly resilient to change, having been involved for a short period in the trailblazer for MCM I can attest to the collective outrage when this process was conceived. However, change is good and this is definitely a positive change for the industry when it comes to marketing apprenticeships and here’s why:


The quality bar

Anyone who works in End-Point Assessment will tell you that the new way of assessing these standards is very different to the old ones. Assessments are more structured with pre-defined questions and tasks, etc. This means, that the bar of difficulty is set at a similar level for everyone and is slightly higher than the old competency-based standards. All training providers are going to be starting fresh and won’t know how to “game” the process. What this means is that the Training Providers will need to up their game in order to ensure learners pass their qualifications. And this is a very good thing for the industry and everyone involved.


How they’re different from a delivery and assessment standpoint

Evidence of work

The DM standard used the old-hat approach to EPA (End-Point Assessment). This process involved assessing a portfolio, an employer reference, a synoptic project, and an interview. As a side note, to all your employers out there, you’ll be glad to hear that the new assessment method does away with the awful employer reference, whey! Multi-Channel Marketer also gets rid of the idea of competencies and replaces them with something called KSBs or Knowledge, Skills, and Behaviours. We could argue that that’s very similar to The What, The How, and With Whom, but bear with us. Ultimately, learners will still need to go through training and complete a portfolio, but to slightly different requirements.

EPA and assessment

The assessment methods at EPA are also different and actually slightly more streamlined. Instead of submitting all those documents for DM level 3, learners will now submit a portfolio which contains evidence towards the KSBs which they will have an underpinning interview around. They will also complete a work-based project after Gateway which is accompanied by a presentation element and questions from an Assessor. We’ll write a guide later down the line around this approach so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Ultimately, this form of assessment could be seen as a more difficult approach but also a more “real-world” reflection of competence. It will require solid support and training from employers and training providers and this is a great thing!


What does Multi-Channel Marketer cover?

Whereas the Digital Marketer Level 3 focused on digital technologies and communications, Multi-Channel Marketer is a much more all-encompassing qualification. It combines digital and traditional marketing theory and techniques and as such is quite flexible when it comes to the scope of an apprentice’s role. It has more emphasis on initiative, autonomy, and getting involved in more areas of planning, execution, and evaluation of campaigns and projects. Which, again, is only a good thing. This doesn’t mean they have to be leading projects and teams worth thousands of pounds, but that they’ve been given the chance to utilise what they’ll be taught by the apprenticeship provider. You can find out more by checking out the standard information on the Institute of Apprenticeships website.


What sorts of organisations will benefit from MCM?

Well, feasibly any organisation. Marketing is a crucial part of any business’s operations and this qualification is trying to appeal to as many variables as possible by giving apprentices and employers as much flexibility as possible. So, if you’re looking for someone to do some Social Media marketing as well as some print collateral, or some PPC with some billboard advertising design then Multi-Channel Marketer sort of has you covered. As with all apprenticeships though, I’d always recommend talking to your training provider about the ins and outs of what is required by the standard and the scope of your role to ensure a good fit.


We’ve nearly finished building it

We’ve been following the development of this standard for some time and as of October 2023 have actually already built out quite a lot of materials and curriculum around this standard. As we say, we like change. We’ve also partnered with the CIM as our EPAO and will be embedding CIM qualifications into our programmes. The good thing about that is that the CIM training actually covers and combines incredibly well with the requirements of the KSBs. So, without being too salesy, if you’re interested in discussing the standard more, drop us an email to or contact us via this website with the form below.

Register your interest today!

As the Multi-Channel Marketer apprenticeship is due to launch soon, we’re building a list of prospective employers and learners who are looking to start the apprenticeship as soon as it goes live. If you’re interested in finding out more or signing up in general, get in contact and one of our team will be happy to sign you up on the waiting list for the Multi-Channel Marketer apprenticeship. Here’s what the standard covers:

  • Social Media marketing;
  • Brand management;
  • Data analysis;
  • Campaign management;
  • Digital and traditional marketing;
  • And much more!

As an employer, you’ll benefit from having an all-around marketing apprentice who can bring value to your entire marketing function. But, at the same time, if you need specific elements, this course can cater to your needs due to its flexibility.

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