Level 7 CIPD Diploma HR Management - To do it or not to do it...

Hi all,

Bit of a selfish post today...

I have been working in HR for just over 2 years now. The role I'm currently doing is HR Officer for a company with approx 140 staff. I have "taken over" from my predecessor in December and am the only one doing HR within the business. 

I completed Level 3 2 years ago and Level 5 last year... My question is, I have been doing my new role with more responsibilities since November 2015 so not very long. As it is a small-med company I am involved in most HR things and have support from the CFO.

Do you think I could do Level 7 now, or would it be sensible to wait until I have a bit more experience in my current role?

I do want to do the course as soon as possible as I understand it will be 2 years long, however I don't want to start something I cant finish or spend the money for the course if I cannot do it. 

I have spoken to my previous tutor and his advice was to wait until a bit more settled in the role, but he also said if I wanted to do it now he has no doubt that I could complete it.

I wanted your thoughts/advice on if it would be realistic to start Level 7 now? 

Thank you in advance! 

  • I'm not sure how the recent levels work, but I completed my masters in personnel and development which is the equivalent to a level 7 back in 2010/11 and had only really commenced my career in HR when I commenced the course. So personally I will reflect your tutors views and say if you want to go for it definitely do! no reason why you couldn't complete it now.
  • In reply to Alicia McCaffrey:

    I think I have been put off slightly as I don't know how strategic it is. My boss did say I am doing the same strategic things as my predecessor though, but it is just that she had a lot more experience than me.

    I just wouldn't want to start something and think I am further ahead in my career/knowledge than I am, and then fail/not be able to complete it!

    I wouldn't want to set myself up for a fail basically!
  • In reply to Emma Bullen:

    Personally I felt all of the course content was theory and therefore I could fully understand the implications of why someone needs to be strategic and what that may entail without having the experience of working strategically at the time of doing the course. personally I don't think you need to worry. if your willing to do the reading and look into the theories to understand them, then I fully expect youll be fine. I also wasn't in a strategic post when undertaking the course and passed fine. If you felt comfortable with the course content at level 5 then you should be fine taking the next step with level 7.
  • In reply to Alicia McCaffrey:

    Thanks Alicia,

    Good points. Hopefully someone else can advise what they did/what they think would be best, to do it or to wait.

    Decisions, decisions :)
  • I am thinking of doing this by ICS distance learning? gulp*
  • Hi,
    I've just finished my Level 7 having handed in my Management Report on Tuesday.
    I'm a HR Advisor for a small charity with 50 employees. My role is not currently strategic but I was able to complete the course without a problem. The most difficult part was the Management Report because it needed a strategic view of the organisation and how the topic I researched fitted into the context of the organisation. As you would be doing this towards the end of the second year I would go ahead and start now.
    As others have said so long as you are willing to do the reading and think through the strategic implications of theories etc you'll be fine doing the qualification now.
  • In reply to Liz:

    Hi Liz, did you go to a college/Uni or by distance learning?
  • In reply to Nicola:

    Hi Nicola,

    Best of luck with your challenge!
    I am sure you will be successful.
  • Hi Emma,

    I would be inclined to think you should go for it, it appears you are ready and willing to put in the hard work and all you are really looking for is a gentle push, as Liz suggests you may not need to start talking strategically until nearer the end of the course and by then you will have built up your expertise on strategic thinking.

    Best of luck!
  • In reply to Edward :

    I used to work with someone who had no HR experience, started as an assistant advisor in May that year, signed up to do the full blown 3 years that September and finished last summer, successfully passing every year. She is working as an Advisor now so had one promotion but not in an especially senior or strategic role and only experienced in the one place of work (in HR). Make of that what you will!
  • Hi Emma,

    I am in a similar boat to you and have decided to go for it and do my level 7.

    Advice from my tutor was I am more than capable and enthusiastic which will go a long way. I did the level 5 whilst not technically in a HR role at all (I was a senior line manager with a lot of HR responsibilities) and whilst it was challenging in some places it was possible.

    For me I think putting it off would mean that I would never do it. I don't currently have children etc. which means I do have the time.

    I have chosen to do mine through Chrysos who offer a distance learning combined with tutor meetings (3 per module) approach. I was also impressed with ICS when I spoke to them on the phone.

    Go for it!
  • In reply to Debbie:

    Hi Debbie,

    What does Chrysos charge for the course?

  • Hi Emma, I'm a bit late on this, but I'd say go for it. I'm not in a strategic role but I submitted my management report at the end of last year and didn't struggle with any of the course due to the role I was doing. Also, I went straight from L3 to L7, it is hard work but worth it.
  • Hi Emma.

    I've just done my Level 7 as part of an MSc in HR Management. I hadn't done any qualifications in HR beforehand but I had another degree and I didn't struggle with any of the course. I was an HR Assistant when I started and now I'm an HR Advisor in a company of 170. The dissertation I had to write was pretty theoretical, I just did an in-company project and wrote about that.

    If you've done your level 5 and have gained your Associate membership, I'm not sure whether the Level 7 will actually help you (it really hasn't for me!). The next step up will be to become Chartered and as far as I know, you don't need to have done your Level 7 for that, you can do an experience assessment once you've got three years of qualifying experience, then you can choose to upgrade.

    If I had my time again, I'd do a Level 5 course plus some additional courses on employment law, leadership development and coaching / mentoring.

    If you do decide to do your level 7 through a university like I did, just make sure that it will be accredited through the CIPD.

    Just my experience anyway, good luck with it!

  • HI guys,

    I decided to take the plunge and am doing my Level 7 Diploma in HR Management as of later this year. I opted for the online course as then I could work it around my schedule and get it done quicker if reasonable to do so at the time.

    Any pointers/assistance would be appreciated. Likewise, if anyone is also doing it and going through the same thing, please feel free to contact me so we can be study buddies and help each other through!

    Email is em_j_123@hotmail.co.uk if anyone wants to contact me about it.