Building an Online Community for CIMA

Posted by
Jenny Jahans on 11 Dec, 2013

As specialists in creating online communities for the education sector, we are pleased to announce a new student-based online community project with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. After having completed projects with schooling and education institutes such as Teach First and British Council, and universities such as Cambridge, we’ve now expanded the fort to include an adult education in the roster (or, a bit more specifically, a global management accountancy qualification body).

CIMA is the world’s largest professional body of management accountants – their overall mission being to help people and businesses to succeed in the public and private sectors. This aim has been referred to throughout all the initial processes of the project and has been used to help us work out the high-level aims for the build.


Discovering CIMA’s user needs

Throughout our Discovery Phase workshops, we looked at user aims and scenarios to map out exactly what students and other CIMA associates would need from the site. With an expected user base of 100,000 global users, this had to be a very detailed insight – BrightLemon never underestimates the number of user types and aims there might be for a site or online community. We have made every effort to adhere to all possible user goals helps to ensure that no audience is left out, helping CIMA to maintain and expand their membership base. This discovery phase helped us decide what specific features and functions the site would need in order to equip this potentially very large amount of users with all the resources and results they hoped to achieve via their membership and site visits.

Some users of the CIMA online community will cater for:

  • management accountant students (obviously!)
  • employers who require their employees to become more qualified
  • CIMA staff
  • examiners and examination bodies


Using an online community to boost student study progress

The ultimate goal of this project is to provide CIMA students with a platform to help them progress through their accountancy qualification via an online community. Social communities become even stronger when their audience has one key focus; in this instance, the united focus is to study successfully and pass management accountants exams.

Some of the online community features we will install in the build:

  • discussion forums
  • blogs
  • ‘Ask the expert’ and ‘Ask a tutor’ live sessions
  • individual user profiles


Easily accessible study resources and e-learning

As well as networking features, we are going to include facilities where students can access study guides and resources, read blog posts and receive learning support from online tutors – these will form a part of the community area, but can also be studied individually.


Helping CIMA maintain their worldwide leading position

Extensive, ongoing communication with CIMA has helped us to adapt our knowledge and belief in tailored online communities to their specific company needs. Studying isn’t easy, no matter what level you’re at, so we want to help CIMA maintain their lead in their field and continue to be able to provide a smooth examination and qualification process for their students.

Tags: Learning, Online Communities, Education, Membership management, Online learning, Continuing professional development, Accountancy