Difference between a student member and Associate Member

Hi everyone

I signed up as a student member as I have obtained my CIPD level 5 - I had became the Assoc member. The fee has also risen approximately double to what I used to pay, I have asked the staff at CIPD for the differentiation/ additional benefits you could have in addition to being a student member, apart from the 'title' you have on your LinkedIn and other areas when needed, the staff did not explain the question( they only provided a link which did not indicate much difference either), can I please seek an understanding from someone who is professional? if the assoc member is only a title then I will be more than happy to go back to the student membership.

Thank you so much in advance

Stay safe and healthy!


  • Hi Paula, but if you've obtained your qualification, you're not a student :-) I believe Associate is for those who've obtained a qualification but are not yet Chartered members...
  • The answer (I expect) is that the student rate is a discounted rate and that the associate rate is a full, normal rate........
  • In reply to Ray:

    Hi Ray, thank you for clarifying the question.
  • May I please ask if anyone else wonders this(only from the fee's perspective), the email I had received for annual renewal fee suggested I will not be involving in the 'risen' category however the increase in fee for this year for double without any additional benefits make me wonder what is the point. Thank you in advance.
  • Hi Paula
    If you're not a student any more, I don't think you can choose to go back to student membership - you won't meet the criteria for that sort of membership unless you sign up for another course. However the CIPD do have various payment options to spread the cost (I pay quarterly for example) and I think they also have a hardship option if people are without an income. I'm sure the membership team would be able to tell you more about that if you needed it.
    Hope that helps
  • In reply to Jacqueline:

    Thanks Jacqueline for your response. I guess my question is what additional benefits are we getting apart from the title. - just trying to understand because just a title means almost nothing in job market , that's my opinion. e.g what other resources we could get, opportunities or such.
  • In reply to Mingchun Paula:

    I differ to agree, it means quite a lot to employers and is essential alongside supporting work experience. I know I would not have got my current role without a CIPD qualification additional to my skill set. Is it a cost that your current employer could cover?
  • In reply to Jules:

    Hi Jules. No it isn't a cost that my employer cover, i guess that's probably why i am trying to find out the actual benefits between the student and assoc member. The Qualification itself was an additional £5000 fee i had to pay and happy to. Would you know please on the additional things we are entitled to? (apart from the qualification itself)
  • In reply to Mingchun Paula:

    I guess the real question (for me) is do you see any benefit in being a CIPD Member or not. If you do the only choice is paying the Associate fee and grinning and bearing it or if you dont then not paying and leaving the institute.You can still claim a Level 5 HR qualification just not CIPD membership

    As said above student membership is heavily discounted (I believe) . So you got a "cheap" ticket rather than an expensive one now.

    Whats the benefit? Well the general benefits of membership, these forums, access to info, CPD etc. Added to this is where jobs require / request CIPD membership. The benefits of not rejoining - about £200
  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith thank you for replying , really useful information, much appreciated. May I please ask Would you know the expensive version for student version? So I have a rough idea. Regarding your last paragraph, I guess my question was the additional benefits differentiating from being a student Membership , not in general, and if you could, and why the benefit of not rejoining is £200? Apology for being picky and attention to detail, I was slightly frustrated with no specific response from the CIPD staff.
  • In reply to Mingchun Paula:

    I think all the information is there for you to see, so you can reflect on the comments given so far and decide if you wish to remain a member of the institute or not. Certainly I am sure some colleagues who move from Student to Associate membership don' t renew every year but I would have thought many/.most do.

    As you can see from this website and your experiences the cost of student membership at £98 is artificially low compared to all other memberships. I believe the CIPD introduced this policy a few years ago to aid students (rather than penalize other members). What this does mean is that when this discounted rate stops the fees go back to normal - although at around £3 a week the Associate membership is not bad value at £163 (and this was this I was referring to as the benefit of not rejoining as you will save this amount).

    The CIPD has adopted a graduated scale of membership fees, heavily discounted for Students(£98) (who in many ways could be argued to gain the most benefit of membership) through Associate (£163) , Member (£190) and Fellow (£216) all going up.Is this fair and right? Well thats a personal subjective opinion. I know a lot of Fellows who weren't happy when it was introduced but I guess you cant please everyone.

    So I come back to - your choice is to remain a member at the appropriate rate or not. For your membership you will retain all the member benefits (www.cipd.co.uk/.../benefits) but you will have to pay the Associates Fee. So are those benefits worth the money to you? Only you can decide. My advice is to stop comparing it to the "special" offer you received as a student
  • In reply to Mingchun Paula:

    Hi Paula
    The simple answer is that you don't get more benefits through being an Associate Member. Your status is no longer student, so you can no longer take advantage of the discounted student rate but if you wish to continue to access the member benefits, you will need to pay the associate rate. Only you can decide if keeping access to the CIPD benefits is worth paying the increased cost. Personally I believe that it is worth the money and I have kept paying through times when I have not been working in HR and a short period out of work. I value the CPD I get from People Management, these Discussion Forums and the other resources available on the website.
    Hope that helps
    Kind regards
  • In reply to Jacqueline:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this. I found it invaluable when out of work as well.
  • In reply to Mingchun Paula:

    I suppose as the others have said it is your personal decision whether you wish to stay in. Keith has explained it very well and clear and I personally value my colleagues opinions on this forum.
  • In reply to Keith:

    Thank you Keith for the detailed explanation.