As a CIPD training provider, we are asked many questions about the best qualifications to take as an L&D professional, HR manager or team manager. These are the questions that are important in deciding what qualification is best for your personal and professional development. Here we list the most commonly asked questions and our answers to those questions. If you have a question that is not answered here, please do get in touch.


What does CIPD stand for?

It’s the name of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the professional body for HR and people development. It is a trusted career partner for more than 140,000 members around the world.

Why do I need a CIPD qualification?

It demonstrates a level of understanding and competence in HR and L&D at the level of qualification that you attain. It opens up career opportunities – helping you to start a career in HR, to progress to the next level or to make the move into a different area of HR or L&D.Over 70% of employers ask for candidates to be CIPD qualified. Therefore, this qualification is essential for all HR and L&D professionals.

There are different CIPD qualifications – what are they?

There are three types of qualifications at different levels. There is the Level 3 Foundation, which is an introductory qualification for those entering the profession or with only a little experience. There is the Level 5 Intermediate, which is at undergraduate level. Then there’s the Level 7 Advanced, which is at postgraduate level.

What is MCIPD?

MCIPD stands for Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. If you have completed a Level 7 qualification and have the relevant work experience, you can apply for a membership assessment (assessing your workplace activities and behaviours) and if successful, you will be upgraded to Chartered Member (MCIPD). It can also be awarded after a number of years’ experience in the field.

How much do employers care about CIPD membership?

It’s important to them. It gives employers the confidence that they are recruiting the best talent. This is evident from the number of job adverts that state that applicants must have a CIPD qualification or be working towards one.

How will doing a CIPD qualification benefit me?

It will increase your skills set, network and employability. Beyond that, it is hard to quantify, partly because the degree of business applications varies greatly depending on the CIPD provider. At DPG, we work really hard at making sure our qualifications are up to date and meet the needs of the current marketplace.

I’ve been a successful HR professional for many years, so why do I need to be CIPD qualified?

It gives you added status and credibility. A CIPD qualification increases your employability. It helps you if you want to move to a role in another organisation, progress your career upwards or sideways into a different part of HR or L&D. It will give you a more strategic understanding of HR, L&D and business. Plus, most job adverts stipulate that candidates have to be CIPD qualified – without it, you may not be considered.

What qualifications do I need to be an HR manager?

Our recommendation is that you take a CIPD Level 5 qualification. This programme is right for you if you are an existing or aspiring HR manager, or if you have taken the Certificate in Personnel or HR Practice.

What is the difference between the CIPD Diploma and Certificate?

With the Diploma, you can cover an extra two modules. This gives you a higher grade.

Why is CIPD membership good from a professional perspective?

You have achieved professional recognition from the largest HR, leadership and development body in the world. You have access to the wealth of CIPD research, which keeps your professional knowledge up to date. Branch membership provides great networking and development opportunities.

How do I become CIPD qualified?

You successfully gain a CIPD qualification, at foundation, intermediate or advanced level. You do this by enrolling on and completing one of those qualifications.

Where can I become CIPD qualified?

You can become CIPD qualified through any CIPD centre that delivers the qualification, including DPG. We have qualified over 20,000 learners and currently hold a 4.8 Feefo rating.

How can I get CIPD membership?

You will find all the details on the CIPD website , or you can call them on 020 8612 6208.

How long will it take me to get CIPD qualified?

This varies according to which programme you are doing. Typically, it will take six to eight months to complete a Level 3 Foundation programme in HR and L&D, eight to 10 months to gain a Level 5 Intermediate qualification and two years to gain a Level 7 Advanced qualification. On our new Level 5 online programme, you also have the option to fast-track your progress to complete within as little as four months.

What makes DPG different from any other CIPD provider?

With us, you gain a significant qualification. But on top of that, you become a member of an award winning community of likeminded professionals – peers who will support you throughout your career.

Will this help my salary?

Being CIPD qualified is a must for aspiring HR and L&D professionals. In many cases it’s mandatory. Because it opens doors and increases your employability, it can lead to greater fiscal reward. Why not try out our salary calculator to see how much you could earn?

Do you offer flexible payment plans?

Yes, we offer payment plans that can be spread over anything up to 48 months with a competitive APR. We also have an interest free payment plan.

How many venues do you have in the UK?

We currently run workshops in nine high quality venues throughout the UK, including Manchester, Milton Keynes, London and Bristol. As a participant you can attend workshops at the venue of your choice and you have the flexibility to move between venues. Lots of people really value the increased networking opportunities to be gained from attending different venues.

Where can I start my programme?

We schedule start dates throughout the year – spring, summer and autumn usually. So you should be able to join a programme that suits your needs soon after you choose it. Call our advisors on 0330 660 0220 and they will be able to find something that’s right for you.

Are there any extra hidden fees?

Everyone studying a CIPD qualification must be a member of the CIPD and you can join as a student member. This gives you access to a range of benefits to help with your studies and career. Membership fees vary depending on the time of year that you join. For further details, visit the CIPD website.Level 7 participants incur an extra cost – you will sit two exams, so fees of £64 per exam are paid directly to the CIPD.