Creating a unique and tailored programme for the commodities industry.

The International Cotton Association (ICA) has been regulating the sale and purchase of raw cotton for over 170 years, The vast majority of the world's cotton is still traded internationally under ICA bylaws and rules. ICA now has over 550 members spanning the globe, representing all sectors of the supply chain and see delivering value, expertise, knowledge and training for their members as key to their continued success, something which led them to approach the University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS).

Following a thorough assessment of ICA members' needs, and working collaboratively with the ICA, ULMS developed an online academically accredited programme which allows delegates to develop their understanding of the commodities industry worldwide. This bespoke course is a first for any commodity organisation and provides delegates with a broad and practical introduction to the key knowledge needed in today's commodity industry. A mutually supportive partnership has been established between ULMS, ICA and the delegates as they move through the modules of the programme.

Bill Kingdon, Managing Director or the ICA said, "We've enjoyed developing the modules for young leaders in the cotton industry in collaboration with ULMS. The established distance-learning systems and rigorous approach to collaborative learning have benefitted those young professions, and the ICA too. Distance learning means that there are no visa requirements - something that can often be a barrier to learning for international organisations."

Sue Minten, programme leader "Working with the ICA has been really interesting, in terms of creating an innovative e-learning programme that will make a critical contribution to delegates' careers and the future success of the cotton industry. The positive feedback on the leadership module highlighted how it has given them a strong foundation from which to critically reflect on and develop their future leadership practice."

Delegates' feedback confirm that they have enjoyed applying the module theory to their real-world careers. One delegate said "The course is very well structured; it's an excellent way to grasp the fundamentals."