Welcome to theAspiring Leaders Diploma

Now in its 12th year, the Aspiring Leaders Diploma (MIALD) is one of the most sought-after hospitality qualifications in the industry, offering junior-level supervisors and managers the opportunity to develop their skills and further their career prospects.

The programme has long held the prestigious Princess Royal Training Award for its contributions to hospitality training and development, an award that highlights the outstanding training and skills provided by the MIALD programme.




Applications for the Aspiring Leaders Diploma 2024/25 are now closed.

The Aspiring Leaders Diploma offers ambitious hotel managers a 12-month development experience like no other. Comprised of eight key learning modules that take place every six to eight weeks across the UK in several esteemed hotel properties and are headed by hoteliers with extensive knowledge and experience in the industry.

Endorsed by the Institute of Hospitality and linked to the Institute of Leadership & Management Level 5 Award, successful applicants will become studying members of the Institute of Leadership & Management.

Members will also receive access to a vast array of online resources to support them in their studies, including e-books, e-journals and over 400 digital learning resources. They are also entitled to invites and discounts to unique events, including the annual Hotel Leadership Conference and MIALD exclusive events. 

Click the image below to watch the Aspiring Leaders Diploma 10-year Anniversary Conference 2022:

The Programme

Every six to eight weeks, members will enjoy an action and information-packed two-day workshop across several exciting topics, including:

  • Professional Development
  • Professional Management
  • Marketing for Managers
  • Finance for Managers
  • People Management
  • Service Operations Management
  • Managing and Motivating Teams
  • Leadership Development

Sessions are composed of various learning opportunities, including group workshops, project work, guest speakers, private study and more. Alongside these sessions, successful candidates will also undertake three written assignments which will help reaffirm the knowledge and skills gained on the programme.

Delivery of these sessions is undertaken in a residential setting at a range of attractive venues, with such iconic hotels as The Dorchester, the London Edition and the Vineyard at Stockcross amongst those hosting sessions in previous years.

The dates of the 8 modules for 2024/25 are:
Sunday 28th to Tuesday 30th April 2024
Monday 10th to Tuesday 11th June 2024
Monday 8th to Tuesday 9th July 2024
Monday 9th to Tuesday 10th Sept 2024
Monday 21st to Tuesday 22nd October 2024
Monday 25th to Tuesday 26th November 2024
Monday 3rd to Tuesday 4th February 2025
Sunday 16th to Tuesday 18th March 2025

The Aspiring Leaders Diploma programme 2024/25 is now available to download here.



How to Apply

Applications for the Aspiring Leaders Diploma 2024/25 are now closed.

Download the Application Form here to begin the application process. These should be completed and sent, along with a CV and recent photograph, via email to hilary@merlin-consultancy.com.


Cohort 2020

Although the programme is subsidised by the Master Innholders and the Master Innholders Charitable Trust, those attending the course are required to make a financial contribution to meet its costs. The employer of each successful applicant will be required to contribute £1,750 towards the overall cost of the programme.

The overwhelming conclusion of employers involved to date is that this level of investment has been more than matched by the benefits their businesses have accrued from having a more highly motivated and well-trained member of their junior management team.

For further details and enquiries concerning the Aspiring Leaders Diploma, please contact: Wallace Vincent MBA FIH, Executive Secretary, The Master Innholders.


Cohort 11

Thank you to everyone that took the time to submit an application this year. After a record-breaking number of entries, say hello to our 2023 Aspiring Leaders! A huge congratulations to:

  • Isabela Ash, Restaurant Coordinator, The Ritz London
  • Niels Bouter, Assistant Front of House Manager, One Hundred Shoreditch
  • James Cocking, Conference & Banqueting Manager, The Manor House
  • Jess Counsell, Deputy General Manager, Talbooth Restaurant
  • Kostadin Dimitrov, Deputy Hotel Manager, Hotel Brooklyn Manchester
  • Robert Fairbairn, Food & Beverage Operations Manager, Homewood Bath
  • Daisy Gallacher, Trainee Hotel Manager, Wildhive UK
  • Barbora Holevova, House Manager, Brown’s Hotel
  • Daniel Johnson, Restaurant Manager, The Grand
  • Josh Jones, Front of House Manager, Dormy House Hotel
  • Warryn Lloyd, Operations Manager, Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
  • Vesna Markovic, Head Receptionist, The Painswick
  • Alisha Mora Stege, Assistant Front Office Manager, London Hilton on Park Lane
  • Shannon Moylan, Restaurant Manager, Fairlawns Hotel & Spa
  • Kasia Nitek, Front of House Manger, K West Hotel & Spa
  • Carlota Rodrigeuz, Meetings & Events & Afternoon Tea Manager, The Rubens at the Palace
  • Lara Venables, Senior Event Manager, Clevedon Hall Limited
  • Paige Weaving, Assistant Reservations Manager, Calcot & Spa