Finding the right CIPD qualification for you

By Richard Goldsbrough, Student Development Manager, CIPD 

No doubt if you have stumbled across this blog it’s because you’re interested in studying a CIPD qualification. Maybe you fancy getting into HR, or are looking to get a professional qualification to support your knowledge. Maybe someone has suggested you get yourself ‘CIPD qualified’…

So which CIPD qualification should you do?

The first thing to think about when deciding which qualification to choose is how you want to study. There are three different ways:

  • Face to face – where you attend lectures or seminars and complete assignments set by the tutor. Traditionally, these would require attendance on a regular basis, like a day release scheme, and are most often taught in local Colleges or Universities. Generally the time frame for the course would be fixed, such as nine months or one year.
  • Online – where you study through a series of webinars and online tutorials and submit assignments via an online portal. Generally, these courses are run by training providers and give you the flexibility to study in your own time and at your own pace.
  • Blended – Simply a mix of the two options above. Some online activities and some face-to-face sessions. Again, these are more likely to be delivered by a Training Provider, although several colleges and universities also offer a blended approach.

The next thing to think about is the ‘level’ you would like to study at. CIPD qualifications are available in three different levels:

  • Level 3 Foundation – equivalent to A-level standard, this level is for you if you want to gain the essential knowledge and skills required to move into HR or L&D, or are working in the sector but do not hold any formal qualifications.
  • Level 5 Intermediate – equivalent to the second year of an undergraduate degree and ideal for you if you are already working in HR or L&D and wish to study a professional qualification that will develop your knowledge and help you progress in your career.
  • Level 7 Advanced – a postgraduate level of qualification that is aimed at those responsible for implementing and developing HR strategy and policy or if you want to develop your career further.

Finding your Centre

Use our tool
to find centres close to you who can deliver the sort of qualification you’re after. If you’re not sure which level is right for you or want to know more about delivery methods, then simply contact a few of the centres and have a chat with them. They’ll be more than happy to talk you through all the options.

How much does it all cost?

Each centre will charge a different price for their programme, so it’s a good idea to make sure you know all the costs up front to help you with your decision. Be sure to ask about payment plans too. I’d also advise speaking to different centres until you find the right course for you.

All of our Level 3 and Level 5 qualifications are eligible for Advanced Learner Loans. You can find out more about these here.

As ever, if you want to chat to us about anything call on 020 8612 6208. We’ll be happy to help with your queries.

Thank you for your comments. There may be a short delay in this going live on the blog page as we moderate the comments added to our blogs.

  • Hi everyone, my name is Angela And I just moved from Italy to Edinburgh. I realized that CIPD community is very important to work in HR and I am looking for an online course (CIPD approved) that may help me to approach at this job in Scotland. I have 3 years experience in HR, so people suggested me to attend a Level 5 Intermediate. Is there anyone who could suggest me any online school for online HR course? What do you think about online courses? Are they really useful? Have they got a good consideration in HR world? Thank you all!

  • Thanks for posting this, Richard. Useful for our Community members.