The cost of a CIPD Qualification.....


| 2 Posts


10 Dec, 2014 16:06

Hi All

This is my first post and I feel I am doing this out of desperation and it really is something I am passionate about. I chose to study with the CIPD as when I started my career in HR it was seen as good practice to be a member of the CIPD . I joined CIPD as a student member in 2010 and studied Level 3 & Level 5 at college funded by myself 1 night per week, each of the courses I took in their 1st year of delivery at the college - this itself had its issues and I really only persevered in order to gain the qualification as I learned very little and it almost avoided dealing with the issues HR deal with in daily life, but that is another matter.

 My issue now is that I wan to continue on to further study but I have hit a brick wall....

To study the next recommended course, level 7 and in order gain Chartered membership I would need to complete the diploma. It is great having a clear path to gaining the qualifications and how you progress your membership. But my question is who are courses aimed at?

I am married with children and we earn a reasonable wage but the cost of the course is still way out of my reach - my employer cannot afford to put me through this training either - our training budget is very limited. I applied for a Career Development loan through the bank but we had just brought a new house so that was turned down.

I decided to look at the degree route as ultimately I would come out of this with a higher qualification - the university was great! They said I could start in the second year - even better!

 So I logged on to the student finance website ready to apply for my uni fees - hold on! The second year was a level 5 and I already have a level 5 qualification, which means I cannot get student finance, so I asked the uni about starting in the 3rd year, which is a level 6 (also worth remembering that CIPD accept people onto the level 7 course after level 5) but I was told that the level of content in the CIPD level 5 course was not adequate enough to take me straight into the 3rd year.  

So now I am stuck, held to ransom, over a barrel - Is my only option to study one module at a time (my employer could afford to do this) and qualify level 7 in 4-6 years? 

I am hugely passionate about HR but my passion is waning as I am a keen learner and I am currently not able to fulfill this need. I want to progress in my career but for the next level I need to have Chartered Membership.

If anyone has any help or advice I would very much appreciate it! 

  • Cathryn

    | 27 Posts

    Chartered Member

    11 Dec, 2014 09:35

    Hi Lou, that is frustrating for you!  It is a few years ago now but when I became a Chartered Member, I did it through continuous professional development rather than formal study.  I know the qualification framework has changed over the years and I don't know whether this is an option any more but the CIPD should be able to help or your local branch if you have one.  Our local branch regularly have upgrading workshops where you can talk to "people in the know" and maybe this would be a better option for you.  If you are in an HR role already this would be easier.  Good luck anyway and best wishes. 
  • Melanie Bellis

    | 1 Posts

    Chartered Member

    11 Dec, 2014 10:51

    Hi Lou,

    I’m really sorry to hear you’ve had such a difficult time and I’d be keen to see what I can do to help.

    It’s worth saying that the cost of the level 7 qualification varies between colleges based on the way their programmes are delivered. Some students really like the experience of attending 1 or 2 evenings per week to study in a group with other learners.

    Private providers can provide a more flexible programme with less time committed to attending a class and more flexible study to fit around work and life commitments, but this flexibility usually costs more. 

    Most colleges recognise that a Masters level qualification is a big investment and so usually have some flexible payment options, so it's well worth shopping around.

    Another useful source of information is the Gov.uk website which offers advice on education, loans and admissions into Universities that you may find useful.

    There may also be other options for you. Cathryn mentions assessment in her post, and we do have an Experience Assessment route which can be an alternative to study for experience professionals.

    If you'd like to chat about the options in more detail let me know, my email address is m.bellis@cipd.co.uk

    Head of Customer Services, CIPD

  • Lesley

    | 393 Posts

    Chartered Member

    11 Dec, 2014 14:32

    Would you be able to do a post-graduate degree (Masters)? A CIPD accredited masters is a Level 7 qualification and can be a cheaper option than studying with a college or one of the distance learning providers. Plus you get a master's degree which can be recognised outside of the HR profession as well. 

    With the new post graduate student loans being announced in the budget this may be an option for you funding wise. 

    The course at Salford seemed really good value when I was looking at my options and I've been really impressed by it:  http://www.salford.ac.uk/pgt-courses/human-resource-management-and-development

    However, not sure what the entry requirements will be if you do not have an undergraduate degree, but your experience and CIPD qualifications may be able to count towards admission - you would need to talk to them. 

  • Steven

    | 452 Posts

    Chartered Member

    12 Dec, 2014 00:23

    Over the years I have worked with a number of HR Managers/contractors/interims who do not have any CIPD qualifications and are very good at their jobs.  I can see it would be nice to be Chartered but is it critical?  I would suggest in many cases it is not.

    I have been occasionally been asked if I am CIPD qualified but no one has asked if I am Chartered.

    If money is the blockage for higher qualifications then focus on building up your experience


  • I've just started a Masters in HRM (level 7) at my local uni. I've never done an undergrad degree, they assessed if I met the entry requirements based on my experience. It's one afternoon / evening a week. It's hard, hard work but I'm enjoying it. It's still not cheap though - the first year costs >£3k and the 2nd year >£4k. You can stop and get the diploma at the end of yr 2 and that reduces it by a few hundred pounds but not much :( . I think they operate a pay by installment scheme though.

    I am fortunate that my organisation is funding it as I wouldn't be able to do it otherwise - part-time wages do not go far!

    Hope you manage to find a solution!

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