Why should I study for a CIPD qualification? (2022)

The CIPD's qualifications are the recognised professional standard for HR and training specialists working across the UK's public, private and charity sectors.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) is the main professional body to accredit and award professional human resources (HR) qualifications. The CIPD's qualifications are the recognised professional standard for HR and training specialists working across the UK's public, private and charity sectors.

Read our job description to learn more about the skills, qualifications and experience that will help you become a HR officer .

CIPD qualification types and levels

The CIPD offers three types of qualification – the award, the certificate and the diploma – at different levels:

  • The foundation level is an introductory level for anyone with relatively little experience or newcomers to the profession.
  • The intermediate level is set at an undergraduate standard, building on your skills and experience.
  • The advanced level, on par with postgraduate study, is developed for experienced practitioners and strategic HR decision makers.

Most CIPD qualifications are available with either an HR or learning and development (L&D) focus – allowing you to tailor your options to your particular professional interests.

(Video) Why should you study for a CIPD qualification in HR? | Julie Heslington - CIPD Tutor | ICS Learn

Foundation level CIPD qualifications

Foundation qualifications offer an entry point if you are new to HR or for support staff without L&D/HR qualifications to formalise their experience. Covering a wide range of practical HR and L&D topics, foundation qualifications are set at level 3 on the UK Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) – the same as an A level.

There are three different types of foundation level qualification available:

Award Bite size options on different HR topics. Offered as the:
20–120 hours of study
Choose between 2–12 credits
One month–six months
CIPD level 3 foundation award in human resource essentials
Certificate The most popular entry-level qualification. Offered as:
280 study hours (half as independent study)
28 credits
Nine months
CIPD level 3 foundation certificate in human resources practice
260 study hours (half as independent study)
26 credits
Nine months
CIPD level 3 foundation certificate in learning and development.
Diploma The most in-depth and comprehensive of the qualifications available at foundation level. Offered as:
370 hours of study (half as independent study)
37 credits
12 months
CIPD level 3 foundation diploma in human resource practice
380 hours of study (half as independent study)
38 credits
12 months
CIPD level 3 foundation diploma in learning and development practice

The human resource practice certificate and diploma share the same core units: developing yourself as an effective HR or L&D practitioner; understanding organisations and the role of HR; recording, analysing and using human resources information. There are five optional HR units and five optional L&D units to choose from for the remaining credits – covering topics such as developing mentoring skills in the workplace and resourcing talent.

The L&D specific qualification is based on six core units that make up the certificate with an additional two (chosen from six) optional units for the diploma.

Intermediate level CIPD qualifications

Set at undergraduate level, intermediate qualifications build on your knowledge of HR or L&D, evaluating different models and the effectiveness of organisational practice, as well as developing your contextual critical thinking, planning and problem solving.

CIPD level 5 qualifications are set at QCF level 5, the equivalent of undergraduate level at university. Completing the certificate or diploma at Intermediate level qualifies you to become a professional member of the CIPD (Assoc CIPD).

(Video) Why Study a CIPD qualification? | Expert Advice on CIPD | ICS Learn

The following awards are available:

Award Short course options at CIPD level 5.
30–120 hours of study (15–60 guided learning hours)
Choose between 3–12 credits
1–6 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate award in human resources
60–120 hours of study (30–60 guided learning hours)
Choose between 6–12 credits
1–6 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate award in learning and development
Certificate The certificate is available on either the HR or the L&D pathway. Offered as:
320 study hours (half as independent study)
32 credits
12 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate certificate in human resource management
300 study hours (half as independent study)
30 credits
12 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate certificate in learning and development
Diploma The most involved of the level 5 qualifications with both core and optional units including employment law and employee engagement for HR specialists. Offered as:
440 study hours (half as independent study)
44 credits
18–24 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate diploma in human resource management
900 hours qualification time (450 as independent study)
90 credits
12-18 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate diploma in applied human resources.
420 study hours (half as independent study)
42 credits
18–24 months
CIPD level 5 intermediate diploma in learning and development.

Not all study centres offer all of the options available at intermediate level, so check with the centre before you commit if you are interested in particular options.

Advanced level CIPD qualifications

These have been developed for HR and L&D professionals who are looking to develop their strategic understanding or specialise/consult in a particular area of practice. Advanced level study requires a considerable amount of professional experience and is ideally suited to practitioners with operational, tactical or strategic responsibility.

CIPD level 7 advanced qualifications are set at QCF level 7, the equivalent of postgraduate level studies at university. Completing either the certificate or diploma at advanced level qualifies you to become a professional member of the CIPD (Assoc CIPD).

Qualifying with the advanced diploma also demonstrates that you’ve the technical knowledge to progress from associate membership to chartered membership (Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow) if you’ve the required professional experience at a strategic level.

The following awards are available:

(Video) Studying a CIPD qualification

Award The advanced level award is made up of one unit worth 15 credits (with 16 different units to choose from). Offered as the:
150 hours of study (half as independent study)
15 credits
Three–six months
CIPD level 7 advanced award in human resources
Certificate The certificate qualification is made up of 60 credits from four (15 credits each) of sixteen modules offered (varying subjects from employment law to reward management). Offered as the:
600 study hours (half as independent study)
60 credits
9–12 months
CIPD level 7 advanced certificate in human resources
Diploma The highest qualification offered by the CIPD. Two diplomas are available at Level 7; both share core units worth 60 credits, with a choice of optional units in a variety of professional areas to make up the other 60 credits. Offered as:
1200 study hours (half as independent study)
120 credits
24–30 months
CIPD level 7 advanced diploma in human resource management
1200 study hours (half as independent study)
120 credits
24–30 months
CIPD Level 7 advanced diploma in human resource development

Not all study centres offer all of the options available at advanced level, so check with the centre before you commit if you are interested in particular options.

CIPD membership requirements

Membership of the CIPD isn’t compulsory to study for a CIPD qualification. But if you’re studying for a CIPD certificate or diploma qualification (or approved equivalent), you’re eligible to join the CIPD as a student member and use the online student resource area (which includes access to research data and employment law support).

Becoming a professional member

The CIPD has three different levels of professional membership: associate member, chartered member and chartered fellow.

CIPD certificate and diploma qualifications cover areas of technical knowledge needed to become a CIPD professional member at associate level. The most in-depth qualification offered by the CIPD, the level 7 advanced diploma, covers topics and understanding required for chartered membership.

If you’ve joined as a student member, you’ll be automatically upgrade to professional membership of the CIPD as an associate member once you’ve successfully completed your certificate or diploma. If you complete the advanced diploma you can apply to upgrade to chartered membership (provided you meet the other membership criteria).

Registering to study with an approved course centre

To study a CIPD course, you’ll need to register with one of universities, colleges or private providers approved by the CIPD to deliver its courses. There are approved centres in the UK, Ireland, Europe and internationally.

(Video) CIPD qualification – Welcome from the CIPD

You can study part time, full time, in block format, mixed mode or via digital learning – depending on what suits you best – but not all approved centres offer every study mode option.

Other ways of studying CIPD qualifications

A number of university undergraduate and postgraduate courses are approved by the CIPD. These courses, for example, include CIPD accreditation or approved equivalency as part of the undergraduate or postgraduate programme.

  • London Metropolitan University's MA in human resource management qualifies students with the MA in HRM as well as the CIPD’s advanced level associate membership certificate. You can then apply to upgrade to achieve chartered status.
  • The Alliance Manchester Business School's MSc in human resource management and industrial relations is approved at CIPD advanced level.
  • Liverpool John Moores University's human resources management MA includes CIPD level 7 components.
  • The BA in human resource management offered by Middlesex University is approved by the CIPD as the equivalent of the intermediate diploma.

Fees

Course fees vary slightly from provider to provider and from study mode to study mode, but as a rough guide, the advanced level certificate costs between £3,500 and £4,500 and the advanced diploma costs between £6,000 and £7,000.

When choosing an approved centre, check the length of time you’ll be supported for when comparing fees, and whether membership and exam fees are included. If you choose a study mode with a residential component, expect those costs to be added on top of the other fees you will need to pay.

Some accredited course providers offer monthly payment plans to split the cost of fees. If you’re working in HR already, consider asking your employer if they will sponsor you.

The benefits of studying for a CIPD qualification

The main benefit of studying for a CIPD qualification is that they are recognised across a number of different industries. HR and L&D departments are found in all sectors, so those with CIPD qualifications are not at all limited to one area.

(Video) 5 Things You Need to Know About CIPD’s New 2021 Qualifications

Even at the foundation stages, those studying for a CIPD qualification will be taught about business principles. This means that they can contribute to initiatives and strategies that improve businesses from early on in their career.

Furthermore, courses can be very flexible – meaning that students can generally fit their work around their study. All candidates have access to a learning portal where they can ask practitioners and other CIPD members questions directly. This is also an excellent networking tool.

Next: search graduate jobs and internships

  • View our HR graduate jobs

FAQs

Why is a CIPD qualification good? ›

CIPD is a Globally Recognised Qualification

CIPD qualifications have become a benchmark for career development and are highly regarded in the HR industry, covering topics related to talent acquisition, performance management, employment law, and business strategy – to name just a few.

What do you gain from CIPD? ›

By becoming a CIPD member, you get access to a community of like-minded people professionals, tools and support to kick-start your career journey, including our member-only LinkedIn group - an effective way to put you in touch with relevant people networks.

Are CIPD qualifications worth it? ›

To put it simply, CIPD certified candidates don't just have the potential to earn more money than their colleagues – they actually do. Entry level salaries for CIPD Level 3 certified HR Administrators and HR Assistants, for example, start at around £25,000, a full £10,000 more than their unqualified counterparts.

Is a CIPD qualification hard? ›

It's roughly equivalent in difficulty to an A-level. You can choose the HR pathway or the Learning & Development pathway (or a mixture of the two). If you qualify with a Certificate or Diploma, you'll become an Associate Member of the CIPD and be able to add Assoc. CIPD after your name.

What is the best CIPD qualification to have? ›

The CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diplomas are the highest-level offered by the CIPD and are equivalent to postgraduate study. They are designed to equip you with the knowledge required to develop and implement strategic and innovative solutions to support organisational growth and performance as a HR or L&D professional.

Why is HR important CIPD? ›

Through the people professionals who work within it, the HR function helps an organisation deliver its corporate strategy and objectives by effectively recruiting and developing people and managing their performance.

What skills knowledge do you expect to gain from HR course? ›

What soft skills are required to work in HR?
  • Organisation. Being organised is imperative to succeed in an HR role. ...
  • Time management. Time management plays heavily into the organisational skills required of HR professionals. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Confidentiality. ...
  • Adaptability. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Problem Solving. ...
  • Leadership.
20 Jan 2020

Why do you want to build your career in HR? ›

HR professionals have a unique perspective into the businesses they work for due to the nature of their jobs. Not only do they have a strong understanding of an organization's priorities and challenges, but they also have the ability to influence the future of the company based on the employment decisions they make.

What skills do you gain from working in HR? ›

13 In-demand human resources skills
  • Employee relations.
  • Onboarding.
  • Human resources information software (HRIS)
  • Performance management.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Scheduling.
  • Payroll processing.
  • Customer service.
5 Sept 2022

Is CIPD pass or fail? ›

Level 3 HR Support

The available grades are: Fail, Pass and Distinction which are determined based on a combination of the two assessment methods.

Can you fail CIPD Level 7? ›

Ensure you have enough time to complete all the questions. The CIPD will not mark your paper if you only complete four out of five questions and so you will fail even if the rest of your answers are brilliant.

Will CIPD help me get a job? ›

It's clear to see that a CIPD qualification could really help you to get ahead in your career, especially if you're looking for a senior role.

Can you work in HR without a CIPD? ›

While there's no legal requirement for you to have a CIPD qualification to have a HR role, most employers don't consider candidates who aren't CIPD accredited.

Can I put CIPD after my name? ›

When you're an Associate Member, you can use the designation Assoc CIPD after your name. The Associate Member grade is aligned with the corresponding level in the Profession Map.

Is CIPD equivalent to a degree? ›

CIPD Level 7 is the most prestigious qualification you can attain as a HR or L&D professional. It's an advanced diploma equivalent to a postgraduate/masters degree and the only level where you can apply for Chartered CIPD membership.

What is the best HR qualification to have? ›

20 Most Popular HR Certificates and Courses
  1. HRCI Certification. ...
  2. SHRM Certification. ...
  3. George Brown College. ...
  4. Certificate in Human Resources Management. ...
  5. Human Resources Certificate Program. ...
  6. Human Resource Management. ...
  7. Human Capital Institute. ...
  8. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

What does it mean to be CIPD qualified? ›

A CIPD qualification is a certificate or diploma in people practice, people management or learning and development awarded by the governing body CIPD. CIPD qualifications are the easiest route to becoming a member of the CIPD and developing your credibility within the HR and L&D professions.

What is the lowest level of CIPD? ›

The Foundation Certificate is designed to give you the essential operational skills that you need to launch your HR or L&D career and take on entry-level roles. It's the lowest level of qualification offered by CIPD and is roughly equivalent in difficulty to A Levels.

Why are human resources important any 2 points? ›

Human resources, or HR, is important for every organization that has employees, as HR handles a wide variety of tasks related to business operations. HR can help recruit and retain high-quality employees that make a business more effective. HR also ensures compliance in ways related to company, state and federal rules.

Why is learning about human resources important? ›

A human resource department is also in charge of keeping employees safe, healthy, and satisfied. With proper HR management, workplace policies keep up with necessary protective measures and implementation and provide solutions to issues between team members, avoiding risk for the company and its employees.

Why are human resources important 2 points? ›

Human resources are crucial for ensuring the development of a nation as they put other resources to use and help in utilizing them to generate productivity. Explanation: Human resources are defined as the set of individuals who together constitute the workforce of an organization or economy.

What is the most important or useful thing you've learned in this HR course? ›

Managing people and client relations is an important skill to acquire in business, and this is just one aspect of HR that you can apply to any job. Other useful skills you will learn include organisation, administration, multitasking, presentations, reporting and communication.

What is the most important skill for HR? ›

The most frequently mentioned skill in HR job openings is communication. Communication skills are essential in Human Resource Management, as the HR professional is the link between the business and the employee. On the one hand, you are an activist for employees, and on the other hand, you represent the employer.

Which are the three most important skills needed to work successfully with HR? ›

3 Skills you need to be a successful HR professional
  • Active Listening. HR teams act as a bridge between the senior leadership and employees and are responsible for driving key policies and decisions. ...
  • Critical Thinking. ...
  • Empathy.
29 Mar 2022

Why did you choose HR as your course? ›

it is very good platform to build my career in life and enhance my skills,knowledge and abilities. As per my view to be a good HR person we need to hava excellent interpersonal skills, good friendly attitue, decision making skills etc. HR is back bone in an organization .

Why are you passionate about a career in HR? ›

What I love about HR is that the profession is ever-changing to make things better—whether it's new strategies to help employees with their development, effective training plans, new HR technologies and tools, or partnering with top-level managers to find ways of improving processes to help the company reach its ...

What makes you qualified for this position answer? ›

Interviewer: “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” OK answer: “I am qualified for this position because I have the skills you need and the experience to back it up.” Better answer: “I believe I am the most qualified for the job because I have completed 15 years in this field.

What are 4 common human resource duties? ›

Human Resources manages 5 main duties: talent management, compensation and employee benefits, training and development, compliance, and workplace safety. An HR department can help provide organizational structure and the ability to meet business needs by effectively managing the employee lifecycle.

What does working in HR teach you? ›

HR specialists help employees understand their value at work as well as how their interests align with those of the employer. HR specialists also work on recruitment and develop compensation plans and training programs to give employees the chance to keep learning and growing on the job.

What happens if I fail in CIPD module? ›

If you fail a module twice you will not be able to continue on your course. You will have to withdraw or see if it is possible to transfer to a different course.

How long does it take to study CIPD? ›

On average, the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate takes around 7 to 9 months to complete. The CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma generally takes around 9 to 12 months to complete. The CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma usually takes between 18 to 24 months to complete.

How long does it take to pass CIPD? ›

This qualification typically takes learners anywhere from 7 to 9 months while working full-time, and is designed to arm you with the practical skills and knowledge you need to kickstart your HR or L&D career and stand out from other people professionals.

Can I self study CIPD? ›

In these challenging times, you can achieve your CIPD qualification from home by studying 100% online. Or you can choose a face to face or blended study mode. CIPD qualifications are delivered by Study Centres around the world which can be found via the CIPD Centre Finder tool.

How quickly can you complete CIPD Level 5? ›

A CIPD Level 5 qualification will take you 12 months – or with our self-paced On Demand programme you'll have up to 24 months to complete.

How many hours a week is CIPD Level 5? ›

The CIPD suggests guided learning hours for each unit but it depends on the unit size. On average for levels 3 and 5 you should be allowing about 30 learning hours per unit.

How do you put CIPD qualification on resume? ›

Education & qualifications

For HR qualifications, include the examining body (for example, CIPD), the start date, date of completion and the exams you passed. For education, ensure to include any degrees you have, stating the University name, the dates of your course duration, your subject title and grade obtained.

Why should I study CIPD? ›

No matter where you are in your career, a CIPD qualification gives you the strategies you need to build your skills, boost your career and make your mark within the people profession. A CIPD qualification enhances your impact – and connects you to the professional future you've always dreamed of.

How do I break into HR with no experience? ›

How to get a job in HR
  1. Earn a degree. The first step to getting a job in human resources is earning a degree. ...
  2. Look for internships. ...
  3. Get certified. ...
  4. Build a network. ...
  5. Work on your resume. ...
  6. Take on other roles. ...
  7. Volunteer your time. ...
  8. Look for temporary opportunities.

What is the best HR qualification to have UK? ›

2022 Top 10 Human Resources Courses
  • Performance Management. ...
  • HR Support Apprenticeship. ...
  • Human Resource Management HRM. ...
  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion. ...
  • Employment Law for Line Managers (England and Wales) Essential Insights. ...
  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Associate Diploma in People Management. ...
  • Employee Relations.
5 Jul 2022

Is CIPD necessary? ›

Professional body

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is the professional membership body for HR and L&D professionals and as such, it's the most common route to HR accreditation. It is also very high regarded – CIPD qualifications are considered by many to be the gold standard.

Can you fail CIPD Level 5? ›

The CIPD Level 5 Diploma is a pass or fail course so you will not receive a grade for your work.

What is the highest CIPD qualification? ›

Chartered Fellow

To recognise exceptional leaders, we have a Chartered Companion grade which is the highest level of recognition awarded by the CIPD.

Is the CIPD qualification equivalent to a degree? ›

CIPD Level 7 is the most prestigious qualification you can attain as a HR or L&D professional. It's an advanced diploma equivalent to a postgraduate/masters degree and the only level where you can apply for Chartered CIPD membership.

Is CIPD useful in recruitment? ›

For potential employers, a CIPD qualification demonstrates a level of professional ability, willingness to develop and underpins experience with theory, all of which go a long way to instilling confidence that a candidate is right for a job and that they should be paid at the higher end of the salary scale.

Is CIPD good for recruitment? ›

It can additionally ensure specialist knowledge of the latest theory, plus insight into best practice HR and development. With this in mind, many employers typically hold a fully CIPD-qualified candidate in high regard when recruiting for a key HR position.

Can you fail CIPD? ›

The CIPD Level 5 Diploma is a pass or fail course so you will not receive a grade for your work. You do however need to show in your assignment that you have met all the learning objectives for that module. You will be able to resubmit an assignment once if you have not met all the criteria.

What is the best qualification for HR? ›

Becoming an HR manager requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree and around five years of experience. To accelerate your career and stand out from other candidates, pursue a master's in human resources.

What are the benefit of studying HR? ›

The Benefits of studying Human Resource Management are:
  • Improved Proficiency.
  • Develop Universal Relevance.
  • Better Promotion Prospects.
  • Job Security.
  • Better Personnel Management Skills.
  • Have Job Satisfaction.
5 Jul 2021

How quickly can I get CIPD qualified? ›

This qualification typically takes learners anywhere from 7 to 9 months while working full-time, and is designed to arm you with the practical skills and knowledge you need to kickstart your HR or L&D career and stand out from other people professionals.

Videos

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3. Expert Advice on studying CIPD Level 7 Qualification
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4. Becoming a CIPD professional member after study
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