April 2, 2019

What is a CIPD Qualification?

What is the CIPD?

The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) is the professional membership body for HR and L&D professionals. It provides HR, L&D and management qualifications that are considered gold standard in the industry. Some roles and organisations specify that candidates have to be CIPD qualified.

What are these CIPD qualifications?

There are a number of different CIPD qualifications, depending on the stage that you are at in your career. There are three levels – Level 3, Level 5 and Level 7 – with each level including three different types of qualification – diplomas, certificates and awards.

So what is each level?

The first level, known as the foundation level, is the CIPD Level 3. This is entry level for people who either have no HR/L&D experience or very little. It’s appropriate for those wanting to break into the industry or are working in a support/administrative type role and want to progress their career by getting their first HR/L&D professional qualification. In terms of difficulty, it’s roughly equivalent to an A-Level. An example of a Level 3 programme is the CIPD Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in L&D.

Level 5 is the next level up and this is the intermediate level, equivalent to a degree. This is for people who are already working in HR or L&D who want to develop their skills and knowledge. Anyone who gets a Level 5 certificate or diploma automatically becomes an associate member of the CIPD. An example of a Level 5 programme is the Level 5 Dual Award. This includes the ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) Award.

The most advanced level is Level 7, equivalent to a postgraduate degree. Level 7 is for HR and L&D professionals who want to improve and develop their strategic capabilities and/or to specialise in a particular area of HR or L&D practice. With a Level 7 qualification under your belt, you qualify for professional membership of the CIPD. An example of a Level 7 programme is the CIPD Level 7 Human Resource Development Advanced Certificate.