Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management

This qualification is on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) at Level 5 (or Undergraduate level) in England, comparable to European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Level 5. It is a Level 5* Intermediate CIPD qualification, which is equivalent to the second year of a university degree in the UK. 

The Higher Apprenticeship enables apprentices to develop knowledge and skills in human resource management, while being employed and earning a salary. 

As paid employees, apprentices gain the knowledge and skills required to function effectively and professionally in an HR role, while the business benefits positively from developing competency in-house. 

Apprentices will also develop personal learning and thinking skills, such as: independent enquiry, creative thinking, reflective learning, team working, self-management and effective participation. 

To complete the Higher Apprenticeship, learners are required to successfully complete the following core units:

Unit nameCredit value
Developing Professional Practice in Human Resources8
Understanding the Business Context of HR4
Using a Research Approach in HR4
Understanding the Contemporary HR Function4
Understanding Employment Law6

Learners are required to select six of the following optional units:

Unit nameCredit value
Understanding Resourcing and Talent Planning4
Understanding Reward Management4
Understanding the link between Individual and Organisational Performance4
Understanding Employee Engagement4
Understanding the Management of Employment Relations4
Understanding Human Resource Development4
Understanding the Management of Change4

Learners are required to select five of the following optional units:

Unit nameCredit value
Contributing to Resourcing and Talent Planning8
Contributing to Reward Management8
Contributing to Improving Organisational Performance8
Contributing to Employee Engagement8
Contributing to the Management of Employee Relations8
Contributing to Human Resource Development8
Contributing to the Management of Change8

Further details about the content of each unit can be found within Unit Summaries for the Higher Apprenticeship in Human Resource Management (PDF 116 KB).

Further details about the structure of the CIPD Diploma in Applied Human Resources and the combination of units you can take can be found within Rules of Combination (PDF 68 KB)

What an apprentice can expect

The apprenticeship takes between one and two years to complete with apprentices dividing their time between:

  • undertaking their role
  • being taught on-the-job (for example being trained by a manager)
  • being taught off-the-job (for example attending a college/private training provider).

CIPD professional membership

CIPD professional membership is recognised globally by employers and could help increase earning potential. 

If you choose to study a CIPD Diploma in Applied Human Resources (QCF) apprenticeship, you will become a CIPD Student Member. This will enable you to benefit from the wealth of resources the institute can offer while you study. On successful completion you will receive a CIPD qualification that has been accredited by the Qualifications and Credit Framework. This qualification leads to Associate membership of the CIPD which means you will be able to use the designation Assoc CIPD after your name.

For more information on this apprenticeship please visit the CFA website.

*Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) level 5 in England, comparable to European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level 5


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