Members who joined before 20th March 2018 follow 2 concurrent training programmes at Toastmasters. The first is the communication track, and the second is the leadership track.
Members who join after this date elect to follow one of 10 educational paths from the new Pathways program. If you have recently joined, the information on this page is not relevant to you. You can find out more about the Pathways program by clicking here.
The foundational programme: Competent Leader
The Competent Leader (CL) manual is the first step on the Toastmasters International leadership track. Members working on this track learn and practice leadership skills by serving in club roles.
It features 10 projects, which you complete while serving in various club meeting and administration roles. An evaluator will give you feedback on each project, helping you to improve.
Completing the Competent Leader manual
The Competent Leader award is recognition of a member’s accomplishments within the club environment. (N.B. activities for the Area, Division or District cannot be counted for CL projects)
Once all 10 projects are completed you can apply for this award. This is done by completing the application form in the Competent Leadership manual and passing it onto your Vice President of Education (VPE), who will submit it online to World Headquarters on your behalf. You will receive a Competent Leader certificate and, if you wish, World Headquarters will send your employer a letter about your achievement. A fitting reward for a significant achievement.
Do I have to follow the leadership track?
It’s worth mentioning that if a member does not want to follow a particular educational track because it does not suit their needs, that’s absolutely fine. At the same time, we think members have a lot to gain by doing both. In particular participating on the Leadership track provides lots and lots of additional opportunity for members to get onto the lectern and demolish any lingering anxieties about speaking to an audience! The more you get up onto the lectern, the less intimidating speaking in public becomes. 🙂
Taking it further: The Advanced Leadership Program
After receiving your Competent Leader award you can further refine and develop your leadership skills by working on the Advanced Leadership projects. There are two awards in the Leadership program:
Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB)
To be eligible for this award, you must have:
- Achieved Competent Leader award
- Achieved Competent Communicator award
- Served at least six months as a club officer and participated in the preparation of a Club Success Plan while serving in this office
- While serving in the above office, participated in a District-sponsored Club Officer Training programme
- Conducted any two programmes from:
*Please note that Success Communication, Success Leadership, Youth Leadership and The Better Speaker Series programmes do not count towards this award.
Advanced Leader Silver (ALS)
To be eligible for this award, you must have:
- Achieved Advanced Leader Bronze award
- Served a complete term** as a District officer (District Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Public Relations Officer, Secretary, Treasurer, Division Governor or Area Governor)
- Completed the High Performance Leadership Programme (see below)
- Served successfully as a Club Sponsor, Mentor or Coach.
** Please note that a complete term is defined as having served at least from July 1 through to June 30. Those assuming office after September 1 do not qualify as having served a full term.
High Performance Leadership
This programme features five projects offering instruction and practice in such vital leadership areas as developing a vision, goal-setting and planning, developing plans and strategies and team-building. It also gives feedback on your leadership skills. The programme may be completed within your Toastmasters Club, Area, Division or District, and even within your company or community.
Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)
The Distinguished Toastmaster award is the highest Toastmasters International bestows, recognising both communication and leadership skills. To be eligible for this award, you must have:
- Achieved Advanced Communicator Gold award
- Achieved Advanced Leader Silver award
On completing this award, you will receive a Distinguished Toastmaster plaque and, if you wish, World Headquarters will send a letter to your employer about your achievement. Less than 1% of members ever achieve DTM so it’s a big deal!
Applying for your advanced Awards
Once you have completed the requirements for the relevant awards, here is what you do:
- To apply for any of the Advanced Leader awards, supply the information required in the appropriate section of the AL/DTM application form to your VPE who will submit it online to World Headquarters. You will receive an Advanced Leader certificate and, if you wish, World Headquarters will send a letter to your employer about your achievement.
- To apply for the Distinguished Toastmaster award, supply the information required in the appropriate section of the AL/DTM application form to your VPE who will submit it online to World Headquarters.
As you can see, the leadership programme is a huge part of your Toastmasters journey. Taking on meeting roles on a regular basis is a fantastic start towards achieving your leadership awards.