Remote professional development has taken a step forward with Cranfield School of Management’s Cranfield Live Online, an extensive suite of digital executive development programmes.

COVID-19 has fast-tracked the development of online programme design at Cranfield, condensing what would have taken many years into just a few weeks of intense progress. Since the early stages of COVID-19, the business school has been running seminars and lectures online with the School’s Knowledge Hub blog, providing vital information and advice for businesses struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic.

Professional development is critical

Online Executive Development programmes are flourishing, as businesses find positives from online learning and invest in staff development. Home-working has brought more flexibility in the level of delegates that can attend from across the business and there are cost savings from not needing to pay for travel and accommodation.

Cranfield Live Online is the largest collection of Cranfield Executive Development programmes to date hosted online, covering the full suite of the business school’s expertise including marketing and sales, project management and performance, finance, leadership and strategy and business growth.

Mark Threlfall, Director of Cranfield Executive Development, said: “The role of professional development has never been more critical than during these unprecedented times. Everyone has had to learn to adapt and for professionals that is essential in ensuring their businesses survive and even thrive.

“At Cranfield School of Management, I’m really proud of how quickly we reached out to our learners and clients with advice and support through the Knowledge Hub and the Business Growth Response Programme. I’m delighted at the feedback we have had on our online programmes already. The launch of Cranfield Live Online is taking that support to the next level with our most comprehensive offering of online learning to date.”

Interactive, collaborative, flexible

One client who has benefited from Cranfield’s online delivery is Muayed Almadani, Business Development Manager, from Higher Institute for Water and Power Technologies (HIWPT). Describing his experience of one of the programmes, he said: “When I saw the email about the programme being delivered online, I was very sceptical, and it was evident for me that, at best, we would only be able to cover the theoretical components of the content. However, on the very first day it was clear that this is completely different to what I thought an online programme looked like.

“Cranfield broke all the conventional wisdom associated with virtual programmes including the delivery, the content, the structure and the design. The programme included several interactive exercises, and the facilitators leading the sessions kept the energy levels high. Random breakout rooms were very effective, and we had great fun as we continued to learn in a collaborative environment. For me the virtual platform presented more flexibility as I had the comfort of my home while I undertook one of the best programmes with a top-ranked University.“

Graham Bell, Director of Digital Education at Cranfield School of Management, added: “We have worked hard as a team to develop a digital learning experience that encapsulates some of the things that people say they value from face-to-face learning. For example, we actively leave the chat rooms open during breaks to encourage those valuable interactions around the virtual coffee machine. I’m tremendously proud of what we have achieved in developing Cranfield Live Online and the positive feedback we have received from our clients.”

Further details for Cranfield Live Online can be found at