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The definition of a first line manager ie: the profile of the individual who will benefit from the Effective Management or First Line Management qualifications is clearly defined by ILM.

The First Line/Effective Manager

  • may engage in some of the tasks performed by their fellow team members, but this is not their primary function

  • are practising managers who engage more extensively in managerial tasks in which other team members do not engage

  • have a wider span of control, responsibility, authority or power and a greater degree of autonomy than a team leader

  • have to make decisions which have some resource implications

  • have to initiate actions in relation to the employment of others (eg, be involved in, but not decide about recruitment decisions or disciplinary matters)

  • have to operate with less supervision and control by others

  • plan work looking several weeks or months ahead (the team leader’s time horizons tends to be days or weeks ahead at most)

  • have a greater knowledge than team leaders of specific requirements of customers or suppliers (conversely they are not likely to make decisions about varying terms of trading with customers or suppliers)

  • may deal with similar problems to team leaders, but require superior technical knowledge and more subjective judgements that demand understanding of relationships between people working together (this may extend to the relationship between customer or supplier and the employing organisation or other market related criteria)

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