About Associate member (Assoc CIPD)

Associate is the first level of professional membership. Associate members are entitled to use the designation Assoc CIPD after their name to showcase their professional credentials. Associate members build their practical and technical HR knowledge to understand the breadth of HR, and its contribution to organisational performance. They carefully plan their own continuing professional development (CPD) by reflecting on their own performance and taking part in both formal and informal development to enhance their own professional skills and knowledge.

Profile of an Associate member

Typically an Associate member provides professional advice to managers across the business and delivers activities within the HR or L&D plan.

  • Skills and knowledge focus
    Furthering interpersonal and technical skills and knowledge. Developing a practical understanding of an organisation from frontline experiences. 

  • Relationship with clients
    Advises individuals and managers. Builds a trusting and professional relationship with individuals.

  • Impacts and measures
    Impacts individuals, customers, and stakeholders to meet service level targets.

Benefits of Associate membership

  • Showcases your ability to have a real impact in the workplace.

  • Raises your profile.

  • Use the letters Assoc CIPD after your name to demonstrate your professional credentials.

Requirements for Associate member

The requirements for Associate member are underpinned by CIPD’s Profession Map. The core of the Map – Insights, strategy and solutions and Leading HR – must be demonstrated by all professional members.

Associate members are expected to have an awareness of the different areas of HR, but with experience in one or two specialisms. To be awarded Associate membership you need to demonstrate consistent, sustained performance against timescales of around 6-12 months. You will have evidence across a wide range of examples to demonstrate your experience against band 1 of CIPD’s Profession Map.

Download the full requirements for Associate membership (PDF 79 KB)

How to become an Associate member

You can become an Associate member by:

Studying a CIPD qualification 

To be eligible for Associate membership you must first study a CIPD qualification. The qualifications which lead to Associate membership are: 

  • Level 3 Foundation Certificate or Diploma in Human Resources Practice or Learning and Development Practice
  • Level 5 Intermediate Certificate or Diploma in Human Resource Management or Human Resource Development, or Applied Diploma in Human Resources
  • Level 7 Advanced Certificate in Human Resources or Diploma in Human resource Management or Human Resource Development.

Upon starting your qualification you will join the CIPD as a Student member when you have successfully completed your qualification you'll be automatically upgraded to Associate membership. 

Experience Assessment
If you're an experienced HR or development professional you can apply to become an Associate through Experience Assessment which involves having your experience and achievements assessed.

Rejoin as an Associate member

If you used to be an Associate member, please call our membership customer services team to rejoin on +44 (0)20 8612 6208

Associate members who want to become Chartered members

If you are an Associate member who is looking to become a Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow, your options are as follows:

  • Complete the Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Human Resource Management or Human Resource Development and, subject to meeting the criteria for Chartered Membership or Fellowship, you can apply to upgrade.

  • If you are an experienced HR professional who does not hold the Advanced Diploma/equivalent postgraduate qualification recognised by the CIPD, you can apply to be assessed through Experience Assessment.

Associate member case studies

"Having recently completed the Certificate in Human Resource Practice and with six years experience within HR, it seemed perfect sense for me to upgrade to CIPD Associate member. It has provided me with a professional level of membership to go alongside my experience.  It also instils confidence in employers that anyone who has CIPD membership, not only has the HR knowledge, but also has the experience and behaviours to fulfil the role."
Samantha Spurr, Assoc CIPD, HR Assistant
Bishop Grosseteste College

"I decided to upgrade to a Associate member as I had just finished my Certificate in Human Resource Practice and wanted a way to show my colleagues/external customers that I was now a qualified HR Professional.  The process turned out to be very rewarding as it made me think just how much I already did adopt all the eight behaviours of the CIPD Profession Map without even realising!"
Claire McLoughlin, Assoc CIPD, Group OD Assistant
Nord Anglia Education Ltd

"My Associate membership is a really good way of being able to demonstrate to the CIPD that I have the required level of professional experience and knowledge in my day to day work, whilst being able to do it at my own pace, when I wanted to."
Anna Malkin Assoc CIPD, HR Administrator
Bodleian Libraries

"I decided to upgrade to Associate after successfully completing my Masters in Human Resource Management (PDS).  This was important to me as it recognised my hard work academically but also my practical, hands on experience gained as an HR professional.  I am proud of my membership and hope to progress to a Chartered Member over the coming months."
Hayley Thomas Assoc CIPD, Human Resources Adviser
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Important update on Associate membership

CIPD has announced changes to Associate membership.