Level 7, worth it ?

Hi all I have been level 5 qualified now for 4 years, only been in HR for 5 1/2 as I came in later in life Anyway, I would be really keen to hear from anyone with their views on whether the Level 7 would be worth doing ? I am currently 53 but there “may” be a chance of progressing to Head of HR within 2-3 years I guess it’s about me personally and if, at this stage of life, I want it However, I would love to hear your thoughts too Thank you
  • I'm currently doing the Level 7, combined with a Masters. Personally I am finding it useful and I'm enjoying the learning. It is a step up from the Level 5 in terms of covering theory and going in-depth so I have gained new knowledge. I am doing it as an Apprenticeship so funding isn't an issue. Finding the time can be.

    Overall I am glad I'm doing it though. I'm not sure how useful it will be career-wise but I feel more confident having the background to current HR practice. I think having solid experience is the most important thing for Head of HR progression but some employers do like to see that backed up with a qualification. I'm doing it because I like learning rather than with any specific career goal.
  • Depends on whether you are staying with your current employer? If they don't value it then its unlikely to make any difference.
    If you want to/need to leave then definitely worth doing.
    Having said that many employers would not know the difference and will like you/your experience.
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    Just to add:
    There is no such thing as a secure job and age discrim still exists so the more marketable you are the better.
    if you do it find one that does employment law as a full part of the course.
  • In reply to Harriet :

    How are you finding the apprenticeship route Harriet? Its an option I'm considering at the moment.
  • In reply to Gemma:

    The main advantage is not having to pay for it as it comes from the Levy. Technically I get 20% of my week to work on it but that largely depends on what else is going on at work. The more I can align my assignments with what I am actually working on the better. Overall I'm pleased that i'm doing it though. I did the Level 5 through an apprenticeship too and that helped as I knew roughly what to expect.

  • In reply to Harriet :

    This is really helpful, thank you everyone - my main concern is, as you state Harriet, the time and whether I can balance a busy week with research, reading and module writing.

    Peter, I will definitely look for one with Employment Law as this is one of my main interests.

    With regards to the work it takes to complete, is it very different from Level 5 ?

    I am also considering the apprenticeship option too but put off by the "end point assessment" and yet another report to write and presentation to deliver

    Thanks again everyone, really helpful
  • In reply to Cliff:

    I don't think there was so much more to do Level 5 to 7 but I've found that the material is denser so needs more concentration. I do a lot of reading and researching anyway as I have an unquenchably inquiring mind. It helps to give it some focus.

    The End Point Assessment is basically writing up what you've been learning and then talking about it. In my role I do a fair amount of writing things up and talking about them so that didn't feel so hard.

    I don't think you'll regret gaining the extra knowledge and a qualification whichever path you choose. Good luck with it all!
  • Hi Cliff - well done on your Level 5. For transparency I am biased as I work with a CIPD study centre :) In my role I speak to lots of people about this - we have some really great stories of people who have taken or are taking their careers to the next level by studying their CIPD Level 7. It really helps you to build on the Level 5 qualification and if you look at it as a project towards achieving your Head of HR level in your 2 to 3 years timeframe then it will support your growth into that role, help you build on what you already know and do, bring your learning with other learners in different companies back into your organisation immediately, demonstrate your commitment and build your confidence so you are in a great position to get the role. We say a minimum of 8 hours a week for 32 months or the equivalent if you want to study faster so it's a lot of work but very rewarding and our Level 7 learners enjoy networking and discussing topics together on webinars to build on the self study, research and reading elements. If you can make the time to do it then great - if you're not sure you could try a taster unit perhaps to check for yourself how you feel before you commit to the full diploma. Happy to chat through if you have any questions or want to explore in more detail.
  • In reply to Jackie Allen:

    Hi Jackie

    Thats great, thank you for this.

    A taster unit night actually be the way forward, just so I can see what sort of things I need to cover and what sort of research is required. Moreso, in what depth I may need to go.

    Please let me know how we might be able to go about this

    Thank you in advance

  • In reply to Cliff:

    Hi Cliff - yes of course - suggest you message me and we can arrange a call or I can send some information over.
  • If you are looking at it purely in terms of career progression I would seek out job adverts of the kind you are interested in and see if it is a criteria. I would think unlikely as many roles tend to focus more on level of experience and potentially level of CIPD membership.
    I have Level 7 myself (both the PG Dip in Personnel and Development as it was then, and a top-up MSc) - I was fortunate to study very early in my career when I worked for a University and because I had a (unrelated) degree I studied at Level 7 only rather than working up the levels. I think at that stage, when I had limited experience but a lot of ambition, my qualifications probably helped tip the balance in my favour in a few early progression roles, as well as being open to taking fixed term contracts. Along the way I've acquired a few other qualifications in management and coaching - I'm never sure how much difference they make to hiring decisions, it feels quite industry specific. Best of luck whatever you decide.
  • Hi Cliff, I took on a Level 7 at the beginning of 2023 but due to the "terrible" learning provider combined with some personal circumstances I aborted half way through. I am not one to give in easily and don't like starting something and not finishing. I am also very unhappy about having nothing to show for the cost which I paid myself but on hindsight I would not have gone that route had I given it more thought before signing up and am glad I made the decision not to continue so I could concentrate on my CPD in other ways rather than text booked HR theories that may be no use at all!! I also came later to HR but I find that my work experience and my Level 5 have catapulted me through from HR assistant to Manager roles in a short 5 year period - within that time I deliberately took on some FTC in HRBP, People Officer and now Talent & Culture post. Reading some of the forums here also gave me perspective in the area of HR I want to stay within which is Manager / Director roles which I would qualify for without a level 7 and am in one now. However we are not one size fits all and what's right for you - only you will know! Good luck and make sure you vett the learning provider well and look at reviews....there's some awful ones out there without mentioning any here!!
  • I'm not sure if it helps at all but for my first 7 years I never had a CIPD qualification, I did work in a large business with multiple HR people so had some great support around me and fundamentally learned on the job. I then did experience assessment to get my level 5 as I wanted to ratify my own knowledge, I found this really rewarding but I didn't "learn" anything as I'm sure you would appreciate from self assessment. Since then I've change roles a couple of times and none of the employers have asked if I'm level 5 or 7 qualified frankly.

    17 years in HR and I'm a HRD with still only level 5 as I've never prioritized the time to do my next experience assessment process.