Distinction in Digital Marketing

In conversation with Martin Chandler, our Digital Engagement Manager, who achieved a distinction award for an apprenticeship in Advanced Digital Marketing.

Martin, please tell us about your journey in achieving this fabulous accolade?

At the time of commencing the Advanced Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, I was the Manager of Advanced Learner Loans at Pathway Group – having been with the company for several years, I had been involved heavily in the marketing and recruitment of learners to courses across the West Midlands. During this time, I developed an awareness and keen interest in Digital Marketing and conventional Marketing, which often allowed me to call upon my design skills and understanding of the industry to create campaigns for several projects.

Were you always a creative person, with an interest in design?

Looking back, I have always had an interest in graphic design, branding, marketing, and promotions. Therefore, this opportunity was quite exciting. Finally, however, I realised that the apprenticeship would allow me to demonstrate my knowledge and skills and develop my understanding of digital marketing.

What persuaded you to go down the apprenticeship route?

Having completed apprenticeships before, I knew this would be the best route. In early 2019, I was made aware of the plans to launch into Digital Marketing apprenticeships, and after a discussion with the Apprenticeship Manager, I was instantly intrigued by the opportunity. I spoke to the CEO, Safaraz Ali, and together we decided that it would be a significant next step for me.

What was involved in you undertaking the apprenticeship qualification, the level of activity and commitment?

I was provided with information about the apprenticeship and was able to speak with the Digital Marketing Tutor in detail to ensure this was suited to me. I completed a skills assessment to ensure I would benefit from the programme and introduced the apprenticeship standards.


Each month I attended hands-on workshops on different topics, including:

The workshops are structured on what skills I would be learning at that time in my apprenticeship and allow me to work, discuss and learn from others. In addition, we’d undergo several examinations throughout the apprenticeship to reaffirm our understanding of these topics.

During my apprenticeship, I confirmed my understanding of the various subject areas and enhanced my knowledge considerably. The workshops allowed me to learn new skills like search engine optimisation, develop my existing knowledge and provide unique experiences of Digital Marketing practice whilst enabling me to grow in confidence and the opportunities available to me. I was supported by the Digital Marketing Tutor, who would check in regularly via email and text. If I ever needed additional support, I could reach out to him.

Please share any thoughts and views on learning as an Adult, mature apprenticeship learner?

I am a firm believer of ‘lifelong learning, not only learning through formal education but gaining knowledge and skills by experiences lived throughout our lives. Therefore, I am always looking for ways to develop myself. It is evident we live in a constantly changing world, and this can cause our knowledge to become outdated.

Talk to us, Martin, about the EPA assessment process and what was involved?

In the end, I had to undergo the End Point Assessment, a new process, something different from my other apprenticeships. First, the EPA required me to complete an assignment to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard that I had developed over the 18 months. This was then followed up with an interview by an EPAO Assessor. Finally, I was asked to explain the practices that I complete within my role and demonstrate my understanding of Digital Marketing. This was quite a nerve-wracking time, as I had committed myself to achieve a Distinction grade early into the apprenticeship.


Following the EPA, I was notified by an email from BCS that I had indeed achieved the Distinction grade that I had hoped for. The skills I obtained will help me in my role as Digital Engagement Manager at Pathway Group. I can create a new marketing concept across the business, envision campaigns and implement these across our provisions. In addition, I can now take the suggestions, ideas, inspirations, visions of others and turn them into an effective marketing campaign to promote the business and our brand.

Martin Chandler

Please share any final thoughts and words of advice to anyone considering this route?

I would genuinely recommend an apprenticeship to everyone and anyone. Many regard me as an ambassador. I am always championing the benefits and opportunities that apprenticeships provide. They are great opportunities for young people, adults, and businesses and their many advantages, one being that they support our society and the economy. In the past, I have been able to complete three apprenticeships:


I am very grateful for the opportunity that apprenticeships have given me to learn new skills, develop knowledge and grow as a person and I would recommend this route at any opportunity.

What impact, difference has this qualification made to you and your work?

Almost 12 months on, now I am confident to go into senior-level meetings and articulate with authority and experience relating to marketing activities, championing innovation and creativity, which are something I would not have been able to do before completing my apprenticeship.


Upon reflection, one of the immense rewards for me is being able to help others, educating them in marketing practices, and taking them onto a journey – this is something I would not be able to do without having the opportunity of completing the Digital Marketing apprenticeship.