October 19, 2016

The benefits of getting CIPD qualified

As we all know, the CIPD (the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, to give it its full name) is the main professional body for anyone working in HR or L&D. Its qualifications are recognised as the industry’s professional standard, with thousands of students signing up to its programmes each year. Over 18,000, in fact, according to the CIPD’s website.

Although having a CIPD qualification isn’t a prerequisite for working in either HR or L&D, it can often be the difference between getting that job or not. A lot of employers like candidates to have at least one CIPD qualification and some view it as an absolute must. Either way, having a CIPD qualification on your CV helps to open doors. It’s not just a career-enhancing tool though. The idea is that studying for a qualification and the interaction with other professionals at the same level as you makes you better at your job. You should be a better, more rounded and more knowledgeable HR or L&D professional when you gain a qualification than you were when you began your studies.

With that in mind and after the success of our Online Level 5 launch in September, we have set out some key information on the range of CIPD qualifications. This includes what qualifications are on offer, how anyone who either works in HR or L&D or wants to work in HR or L&D can gain a qualification, what opportunities it would create and what benefits you can expect to enjoy.

Firstly, what qualifications are on offer?
There are three types of qualifications, set at three levels of experience. There are the award, the certificate and the diploma qualifications and they are offered at foundation, intermediate and advanced levels.

Level 3 Foundation is the introductory level for those who are either entering the profession or have a little experience behind them. This level, which is equivalent to an A-level, will give practitioners a wide range of practical skills in HR and development. Students can choose to go down the HR or L&D route. The certificates and diplomas also come with a professionally recognised qualification and professional level of CIPD membership. Students can also choose to enhance their HR and L&D knowledge with individual foundation level awards.

Level 5 Intermediate level is the next step up. It is set at an undergraduate level and builds on the skills, knowledge and experience already attained by practitioners. It puts the role of HR and L&D in a wider organisational context. This could suit someone wanting to pursue a career in HR management, for example. Again, practitioners can top up their knowledge in key areas.

Level 7 Advanced level is aimed at experienced HR and L&D professionals and is set at postgraduate level. The advanced level is for those in strategic positions. These qualifications are the highest level offered by the CIPD and the most widely recognised in the profession.

Most of the CIPD qualifications set individuals on the pathway to becoming a CIPD professional member.

How do I get a CIPD qualification?
The first thing is of course to work out what qualification you want, what level you are at and how it would benefit your career. Then think about if you can commit to a location or would want to do the studying online. Some of the courses are a mix of online and face to face, although there is a swing towards more online provision, such as DPG’s new CIPD Level 5 Certification in HR Management, which is 100% online.

In terms of location, a range of places – universities, colleges and training providers primarily – deliver CIPD qualifications throughout the UK and Ireland. There are increasing numbers of international providers as well. The CIPD’s website includes a ‘Qualification finder’ page, with a location search facility.

Studying can be done full time, part time, via distance learning, in chunks – whatever suits the candidate on the whole.

Then, talk to DPG today or one of the CIPD’s other approved centres.

The benefits of CIPD qualifications
As said earlier on in this post, some employers like candidates to have at least one CIPD qualification and some expect it as a prerequisite. Being CIPD qualified is a definite career enhancer as it adds credibility in the eyes of employers and business leaders. However, there are lots of other benefits too.

The CIPD sets out six key benefits on its website. They are: valued by employers, HR in a business context, flexible to meet your needs, HR and L&D study paths, boosting your earnings potential and the knowledge for professional membership.

Studying for and gaining a qualification can and should help practitioners move their career forward, particularly if they want to move into a specialist area or into a more strategic role. The study will not only focus on HR and L&D, but also their application within a wider business context. This is an important benefit and one that gives HR and L&D practitioners more credibility and clout. That is always going to be a good thing.

If you would like to find out more about DPG’s CIPD qualifications, call 0330 660 0220 to speak to one of our Programme Advisors or visit www.dpgplc.co.uk