Upgrading FAQs

1. What is upgrading and why do it?

Upgrading your membership demonstrates that you meet the rigorous requirements and professional standards for good practice. It showcases your ability to create a real impact in the workplace, and to make a difference to an organisation’s strategy and people. It emphasises a commitment to your continuing professional development and desire to stay current. 

It allows you to use a CIPD designation, Chartered MCIPD or Chartered FCIPD after your name that reflects your knowledge and experience. This immediately establishes your professional credentials and ensures that your skills and expertise are fully recognised.

An upgrade also enhances your marketability, both within your current organisation and when seeking a new position elsewhere. Your profession will benefit too. As your personal professionalism and capabilities become more widely recognised, this will reflect favourably on the profession as a whole.

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2. What are the CIPD’s professional levels of membership?

There are three professional levels of membership: Associate member (Assoc CIPD), Chartered Member (Chartered MCIPD) and Chartered Fellow (Chartered FCIPD). These three levels of membership recognise professional competence and the impact that HR professionals are making in the workplace based on what they know (knowledge), do (activities) and how they do it (behaviours).

See more about membership levels

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3. How do I know if I am eligible to upgrade to Chartered membership?

To achieve Chartered membership, you have to provide evidence that demonstrates you meet the membership requirements. You also need to be in active membership of the CIPD.

I’m an Associate Member

You may upgrade from Associate membership to Chartered membership only if you hold the CIPD Advanced Diploma in HRM or HRD (or PDS or postgraduate equivalent awarded by universities). You can upgrade to Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow subject to meeting the membership requirements.

If you are an Associate member but do not have the CIPD Advanced Diploma in HRM or HRD (or PDS or postgraduate equivalent awarded by universities), you have two options:

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4. How do I upgrade?

If you are an Associate member and are looking to apply for Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow, you can apply by online application form, or by telephone or face-to-face assessment. In all cases, you will be required to demonstrate the impact of your experience in the workplace against the membership requirements for Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow.

Upgrading by online application form

You'll need to submit the following to CIPD:

  • current CV for verification
  • completed relevant upgrade online application form
  • current CV for assessment
  • two Colleague feedback forms - completed by your line manager (or a recent client) and a colleague
  • payment of the non-refundable assessment fee of £60 for Chartered Member or £95 for Chartered Fellow

Your result will be issued to you by email within six weeks of you submitting your application. If successful, we'll send you your new membership card and certificate.

For more information, see our candidate guidance notes for upgrading by form (PDF 221 KB)

Upgrading by telephone or face to face assessment

You'll need to submit the following in advance to CIPD:

  • current CV for verification
  • current CV for assessment
  • one Colleague feedback form - completed by your line manager (or a recent client)
  • payment of the non-refundable assessment fee of £120 for Chartered Member and £250 for Chartered Fellow must be by credit or debit card when booking your assessment

During the 45 minute telephone assessment, you will be invited to talk about your experience with one of our experienced HR assessors.

Afterwards you'll receive notification of the outcome within 10 working days. If successful, we'll send you your new membership card and certificate.

For more information, see our candidate guidance notes for face to face assessment (PDF 221 KB) or telephone assessment (PDF 221 KB).

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5. How much do I need to pay to upgrade my membership?

The amount you pay depends on the level of professional membership that you are applying for. The costs for each level are shown below; this is a non-refundable assessment fee irrespective of the outcome of your application to upgrade your membership. 

Grade
Form application
Telephone and face-to-face assessment
Chartered Member £60 £120
Chartered Fellow £95 £250


If you have completed the CIPD Advanced Diploma in HRM or HRD within the last year (and have been informed), you may apply for one free upgrade assessment to Chartered Member by online application form only. There is no free upgrade assessment to Chartered Fellow.

If you are unsure of the date your results were received by CIPD please contact us on +44 (0)208 612 6208 to check.

If your upgrade is successful, please also note that when you renew your CIPD membership on 1 July, you will need to renew at the rate for your new Chartered grade.

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6. I am a CIPD Student. Can I upgrade when I’ve completed my studies?

If you have successfully completed the CIPD Foundation, Intermediate or Advanced level Certificate or Diploma and are a CIPD Student member, you’ll automatically be awarded Associate membership, CIPD’s first level of professional membership.  It entitles you to use the letters Assoc CIPD after your name. If you’ve successfully completed the Advanced level Diploma in HRM or HRD and have the right level of experience, you can upgrade from Associate to Chartered membership.

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7. What if I still have further questions about upgrading?

If you’d like to apply to upgrade but are unsure about your eligibility, you can email your CV to us for guidance, upgradecvscreening@cipd.co.uk  If you have any questions about upgrading, please feel free to contact us on +44 (0)20 8612 6208 or email membershipenquiry@cipd.co.uk

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Experience Assessment

Experience Assessment

A straightforward way to achieve industry recognition for your HR achievements and benefit from professional membership of the CIPD.

Watch the video overview