Failed first assignment

So I've failed my first assignment (twice) which is really disheartening and I'm feeling like a complete failure. I'm feeling a little cheated as at the start of processing the assignments I was told I had 3 submissions, it then changed to 2 and now I can't redeem myself.

I'm also baffled with the layout of the learning outcomes compared to the Assessment Criteria. Initially we're presented with three activities but it's broken down 1.1,1.2,2.1,2.2,2.3 and I feel like there was no support prior to writing the essay as to how to detailed it were to be or just being steered in the right direction. My feedback was also processed twice as apparently there was an "error" uploading it but both feedback forms were half completed when sending it back which was just more confusing. 

Has anyone else been in this position and failed their first assignment? Feeling really anxious about this all. 

  • I assume you are doing an online course. I treated each individual point as a question and answered the same way. I did my course at college and we had great mentors who steered us in the right direction. Online tutors should support as well, but I have heard and seen mixed reviews.
  • Hi Monika

    I too did my course at college so had 1-2-1 meetings with my assessor throughout. I would suggest writing an answer to each point then put them together and pad it out a little. They usually all link together in some way.
  • Monika, what is the assignment and who are you studying with? Is the feedback in relation to not meeting the learning outcomes or is it your style of writing? Either way, I would suggest reaching out to student services or better yet, you should be able to send s communication to your tutor through the platform you use to submit assignments requesting support. You are certainly not the first to have failed and it sounds like you need a good steer, dont be despondent, I'm sure your provider will help.
  • Do you understand that the 1.1,1.2,2.1,2.2,2.3 etc apply to different parts of the standard? Each question will then tell you which parts of the standard apply to it from those. The advice I had when I did Level 5 was to look at how many parts of the standard apply to the assignment (so in this example there are 5 parts) and then try to split the length for each part fairly equally.
    So for example
    Q1 1.1, 1.2
    Q2. 1.1, 2.2
    Q.3 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
    Although there are 5 parts some of them need to be covered in more than one question. If we have 2000 words, there are now 7 'parts of standard' as some appear more than once.
    2000 divided by 7 = 285. So that's roughly how many words for each.
    Q 1 285 words on 1.1, 285 words on 1.2
    Q2 285 words on 1.1 (obviously different aspect to Q1), 285 words on 2.2
    Q3 285 words each on 2.1, 2.2, 2.3

    It helped me plan out the structure of my assignments and seemed to work for me.
  • In reply to Jules:

    Yes it's online which is proving to be more difficult than I thought :(
  • In reply to Cass Clothier:

    Thanks Cass. I'm sitting through ICS, student services hasvebeen in touch with pretty much the same brief as the original assignment but they have unpacked each individual assessment criteria in more detail. The area that I seemed to have not completed is activity four:

    From the original task:

    "Undertake a self-assessment of one area of your practice to identify your professional development needs in that area and options to address these.
    Produce a professional development plan (PDP) plan to meet your professional development needs which includes a justification of the option(s) chosen.
    During your programme, provide a reflective summary of your performance against the plan. You should also identify any future development needs and record these in your PDP."

    I submitted a PDP plan - this is how I read it. However student services are saying I need to take a self assessment on my skills, knowledge, behavior using the CIPD map which I thought I had transferred into a PDP map. It's very confusing. Is a PDP plan completely different to a CPD plan?! My original feedback claimed I didn't even attempt it.
  • Monika,

    You’re doing 5DVP right? For that part of the assessment (CPD), you need to firstly conduct a self-assessment of HR professional practice capabilities and identify your own professional development needs. There are many ways to do this, e.g. a SWOT analysis, but most commonly students use the Self Assessment feature of my CDPmap tool (this is on the CIPD website - search it). Take the assessment as a student working in HR as a technician. I remember choosing an area that I haven’t had much exposure to in my HR roles (Reward). Based on the results of this assessment (answers to the questions they ask), use it to design your own PDP and the objectives you want to achieve. For example, I may have said something along the lines of ‘over the next year I will spend time shadowing the reward manager.’ That’s the brief version - obviously beef it up.
  • In reply to Monika:

    Hi Monika,

    I completed my level 5 online through Avado;
    In terms of your specific feedback, part of the requirement, in addition to the PDP plan, was a copy of your skills assessment on the CIPD Map to demonstrate you did it. I had to screen grab my results, then explain which one I had focused on and why; then create a PDP, then offer a summary explaining why I had chosen one learning method over another.

    When I completed my assessments;
    I used the learning outcome purely to understand WHAT I had to produce e.g. a presentation, an essay, a business case, a policy, etc.
    I used the assessment criteria to BUILD whatever was asked. E.G if I had to write a presentation, each part of the assessment criteria had its own slide and notes, (even though I would NEVER EVER present such a thing in real life as it looked awful). The assignments are a bit like a Driving Test; you do what you need to do so that you pass, even though it may be nothing like real life

    I also learnt on my first assignment; don't worry explicitly about word counts - I went massively overboard and the assessor just highlighted bits I DIDN'T need to include - images/graphs/graphics don't count towards them either :-)

    I too had issues with my online Tutor, so can understand they may not be much help (literally my tutor was why I wouldn't recommend Avado but they have now left so it could be better now) - however I learnt loads from my peer group and other students. I hope ICS has the same - there should be a student forum.... You can post questions and get help from peers, and occasionally a Tutor might look in and help as well. Use your peers for help. Any question you ask to Student Services can be copied and pasted with their response to help others as well.

    I would, if I were you, raise the point about being misled regarding resubmissions; that's not on. Especially if they are expecting you to pay for a resit. I would also make a complaint about feedback missing; without the feedback you've got no chance of understanding what needed to be changed for the 2nd resubmission.

    You will be able to do a resit, with a different assignment brief but similar criteria; I'm not sure how ICS do it, but Avado offered the resits at the end of the whole course. Ask Student Services for the info.

    I can also vouch that many students fail assignments throughout the course; the first is typically the worst as people get used to the requirements and format. Don't worry :-)

    Kind regards
  • The other criterion numbers you mentioned refer to the various parts of the assessment.

    1.1/1.2 = The Effective HR Professional. This is showing you understand what the CIPD Profession Map is and how it works.

    1.2 - Group dynamics and conflict resolution.

    2.1,2.2,2.3 - Project Management

    and 3.1,3.2,3,3 is CPD

    It’s probably about 3000 words in total. I have always struggled with word counts on assessments. I always go over (by a lot). I tend to write freely and at the end I spend time trimming it down. Hurts because I always feel what I have written is relevant and not waffle, but you really need to make good use of the word count limit. You may think you’re assessment sounds rubbish because you haven’t gone into detail, the none of the assessments will let you go into too much detail; it’s just not possible. Keep your writing brief, concise and too the point.
  • Hi Monika, please don't be disheartened. Are you doing the course online? I've gone my level 3 5 and 7. So I may be able to help
  • In reply to Najiya:

    Thanks Nijya, that's really kind of you - The re submission is in report format so I now need to change the style of writing to mirror this. I'm trying to use my original essay and use previous feedback to incorporate this again. My fear at the moment, is that it's the same tutor reading the SAME submission again and feedback is ultimately subjective. I really felt that I took previous feedback on board and incorporated it back into the assignment but (more so not the CPD part) and it was things like "good analysis of XYZ" but it's still not a pass.
  • In reply to Amo:

    Thanks - I think perhaps before I worded it too essay like rather than getting to the point.
  • In reply to Amo:

    Hi Amo - do you know where I can access the self assessment? I thought I had an account with CIPD but when I log on to click it says I must be a member so I can't seem to access the self assessment anywhere.
  • Here is the link:


    If you’re studying for a CIPD qualification, you must be a member of the CIPD. How far into your course are you? You’re qualification provider will normally arrange membership for you when you start the course. There is a cost involved and a yearly fee.