Absolutely the best thing I have done. I have grown both personally and professionally. I now have a clear defined understanding of how I can support the charity to grow and improve.

Claire Kelly

People and Well-being Manager at Wiltshire Air Ambulance

What made you decide to study a qualification in HR?

I work for a small charity and have carried the HR baton over the last 10 years, without it being a recognised function amongst a raft of other tasks. However we then grew exponentially, had some very challenging years with TUPE and redundancy situations to name a few. Within a restructure the need for a dedicated HR function was recognised and for me to continue to do the role and more importantly deliver what the charity needed it was agreed I would do a CIPD qualification. I felt I needed real evidence of commitment and knowledge to be able to do the role well. Gaining a recognised CIPD level 5 qualification was really important to me.

Did you work whilst studying? If yes, how was it juggling your job with the studying?

I have a full time role, however my CEO was very supportive of me working from home on a study day to be able to fully concentrate. I really appreciated and learnt such a lot from a classroom setting. Time wise I dedicated my own weekends to reading and research, whilst juggling home and family. There was clear time pressure, however with good planning of assignment due dates and family commitments it was achievable.

How has the qualification helped you in your career?

Absolutely the best thing I have done. I have grown both personally and professionally. I now have a clear defined understanding of how I can support the charity to grow and improve. Where I need to develop my own skills, plus what really interests me. Every module on my course has had an impact in work. I am in a very fortunate position where I am the pioneer in creating an HR framework. With my breadth of charity knowledge and cultural understanding in my organisation I intuitively recognise what we need now and what we should work towards in the future. I aim to continue to develop myself, as there is still much to learn.

What advice would you give someone considering studying a qualification?

If you have an interest in the subject, it is so worthwhile. This undoubtedly benefits a career in HR. My advice is have a strict study routine and stick to it.

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