Level 5 Intermediate qualifications

CIPD Level 5 Intermediate qualifications ( Awards, certificates and Diplomas) offer you the opportunity to build on your expertise in your chosen HR or L&D subjects and gain a professional level of CIPD membership.

Who is a CIPD Intermediate qualification for?

Set at undergraduate level, CIPD Intermediate qualifications are suitable for those:
  • looking to develop a career in HR management or development and want to study a recognised qualification

  • who need to understand the role of HR or L&D in the wider organisational and environmental context

  • seeking to progress and further develop their professional HR or L&D knowledge after studying a CIPD Level 3 Foundation qualification

  • aspiring to become a professional member of the CIPD, as an Associate member.

Qualification options 

We offer a flexible range of Intermediate qualifications in HR and L&D that vary in size, content and length. You’ll gain credits for successfully completed units and the total number of credits achieved will equate to:

  • an Intermediate Award (the shortest and bite-size qualification)
  • an Intermediate Certificate (medium-scope qualification)
  • an Intermediate Diploma (the largest and most extensive qualification).

As well as offering you an internationally-recognised qualification, successful completion of the CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificates and Diplomas also provide a professional level of CIPD membership, Associate (Assoc CIPD).

CIPD Intermediate qualifications are comparable to a Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Level 5 (or Undergraduate Level). This is comparable to Level 7 in Ireland, Level 9 in Scotland and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Level 5.

Further details about the content of each unit can be found within Unit Summaries at Intermediate Level (PDF 207 KB) Further details about the structure of the CIPD Intermediate Certificate qualifications and the combination of units you can take can be found within Rules of Combination at Intermediate Level (PDF 102 KB).

Level 5 Intermediate Certificates

CIPD’s level 5 Intermediate Certificate qualification provides a firm introduction and understanding of HR and L&D in a wider business context. CIPD offer two Intermediate Level Certificate qualifications:
  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management

  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Development

Students are able to gain credits for completed units. A Certificate qualification is a total of 32 credits, which is made up of core and optional units.

Core units

To complete the CIPD Intermediate Certificate in Human Resource Management or Development you must take all of the following core units (14 credits).

Unit name Credit value
Developing Professional Practice 4
Business Issues and the Context of Human Resources 6
Using Information in Human Resources 4

Optional units

In addition you can select optional units, totalling 18 credits, from the professional areas listed below. As not all CIPD accredited centres offer all units, you’re advised to check your preferred optional units with your chosen centre first.

Unit name Credit value
Resourcing and Talent Planning 6
Reward Management 6
Improving Organisational Performance 6
Employee Engagement 6
Contemporary Development in Employment Relations 6
Employment Law 6
Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function 6
Organisation Design 3
Organisational Development 3
Human Resources Service Delivery 3
Contemporary Developments in Human Resources Development 6
Meeting Organisational Development Needs 3
Developing Coaching and Mentoring within Organisations 3
Knowledge Management 3

A Certificate (32 credits) is a total of 320 study hours of which 160 hours should be private study.  On average it can take 12 months to complete, however this will depend on your chosen study centre and your mode of study.

Level 5 Intermediate Diplomas

A CIPD Diploma qualification is the largest size qualification at the Intermediate level with a total of 44 units.  It enables you to develop your skills of HR and L&D through studying more professional areas, widening your breadth of HR and L&D knowledge. CIPD offers two Intermediate Level Diploma qualifications:

  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management

  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Development

These qualifications are comparable to a Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Level 5 (or undergraduate level). This is comparable to Level 7 in Ireland, Level 9 in Scotland and the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) Level 5.

Core units

To complete the Intermediate Diploma in Human Resource Management or Development you must complete the four core units listed below (20 credits).

Unit name Credit value
Developing Professional Practice 4
Business Issues and the Context of Human Resources 6
Using Information in Human Resources 4
Managing and Co-ordinating the Human Resources Function 6

Optional units 

In addition you can select optional units, totalling 24 credits, from the professional areas listed below. As not all CIPD accredited centres offer all units, you’re advised to check your preferred optional units with your chosen centre first.

Unit name Credit value
Resourcing and Talent Planning 6
Reward Management 6
Improving Organisational Performance 6
Employee Engagement 6
Contemporary Development in Employment Relations 6
Employment Law 6
Organisation Design 3
Organisational Development 3
Human Resources Service Delivery 3
Contemporary Developments in Human Resources Development 6
Meeting Organisational Development Needs 3
Developing Coaching and Mentoring within Organisations 3
Knowledge Management 3

A Diploma (44 credits) is a total of 440 study hours of which 220 should be private study.  On average and depending on your chosen study centre it can take 18 months to 2 years to complete.

Level 5 Intermediate Award

An Award is the smallest size of qualification we offer. This ultimately gives you the opportunity to study bite size topics and gain knowledge from a range of professional areas, enabling you to build a practical qualification that suits your specific professional needs. CIPD offers one Intermediate Level Award qualification:
  • CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Award in Human Resources

An Award qualification can be made up of any one unit or a combination of units totalling between 3-12 credits. To achieve a CIPD Level 5 Award in Human Resources, you will need to successfully complete one or more units listed in the table below:

Unit name Credit value
Developing Professional Practice 4
Business Issues and the Context of Human Resources 6
Using Information in Human Resources 4
Resourcing and Talent Planning 6
Reward Management 6
Improving Organisational Performance 6
Employee Engagement 6
Contemporary Development in Employment Relations 6
Employment Law 6
Managing and Coordinating the Human Resources Function 6
Organisation Design  3
Organisational Development 3
Human Resources Service Delivery 3
Contemporary Developments in Human Resources Development 6
Meeting Organisational Development Needs 3
Developing Coaching and Mentoring within Organisations 3
Knowledge Management 3

Next steps

CIPD qualifications are delivered at CIPD centres in the UK, Ireland and internationally. You can study full- or part-time, in a block format or distance learning. Mixed mode is also available for more experienced professionals. Find a CIPD approved centre who delivers your chosen CIPD qualification by using our centre and qualification search.

CIPD membership

Once you have decided on your CIPD qualification and have registered with your chosen approved centre, you will join the CIPD as Student member. As well as increasing your professional credibility with employers, CIPD membership will also give you exclusive member-only access to the latest HR and L&D resources, development tools, networking opportunities and discounts. Plus continuing your membership beyond your studies will ensure your progression to achieving professional membership of the CIPD. Successully completing your CIPD qualification means you’ll automatically upgrade to Associate member, which is a professional level of CIPD membership. Becoming a professional member of the CIPD will enhance your career prospects and earning potential. As an Associate professional member you’ll be able to use the letters Assoc CIPD after your name.

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