The qualification has given me a broader understanding of HR and increased my HR knowledge and skills. The most useful aspect for me was using the CIPD Profession Map which has helped me understand the skills and behaviours required of a HR professional at each HR discipline and role.

Louella Ibekwe

Talent Manager within the Civil Service

What made you decide to study a qualification in HR?

I had previously worked in operations as a caseworker for the Civil Service and in 2017 I made the move into the world of HR. At the time this area was completely new to me and I decided to study a qualification in HR to help me gain knowledge in the HR arena and to broaden my skills. After conducting some research I decided that the CIPD Level 5 would be the right level for me and the qualification which best suited my aspirations. The CIPD qualification came highly recommended by colleagues and I was also motivated by the chance to gain a recognised qualification and become a member of the profession.

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

I studied for my qualification alongside my day job which was often challenging and requires good time management and perseverance, what worked for me was allocating set times for studying. At the time my role involved quite a bit of commuting and I would use this time to read research and make notes. Keeping my manager updated and informed was also a key aspect and having their support was invaluable.

How has the qualification helped you in your career?

The qualification has given me the knowledge and confidence to pursue a career in HR. One month after receiving my qualification I applied for a role as a Talent Manager and was successful. The qualification has given me a broader understanding of HR and increased my HR knowledge and skills. The most useful aspect for me was using the CIPD Profession Map which has helped me understand the skills and behaviours required of a HR professional at each HR discipline and role. The map has also helped me hone in on which areas I might like to pursue, one of which was Talent.

One of the additional benefits of the qualification is also the membership; membership includes access to the CIPD website which features articles, guidance, fact sheets and case studies. The CIPD magazines and emails are also incredibly useful and I would recommend reading both to keep up to date with what is happening in the ever changing world HR and employment Law, and there are also many events and network meetings run by CIPD, with discounts for members.

What advice would you give someone considering studying a qualification?

Spend some time researching the qualification and consider the time commitment required and if the qualification is right for you. If you can, speak to someone that has already completed the course to get an idea of what will be expected and think about your long term plans and what value you feel the qualification would add and how you would use it. There will be a lot of reading and studying so think about how you would manage this.

Keep in mind that the completion of the qualification is brilliant but Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is equally as important post qualification, so be willing to keep learning and improving your knowledge even after you gain a qualification.

Think about your preferred learning style. My qualification involved team learning days and this gave me a wonderful opportunity to meet both current and aspiring HR professionals from the private, public and third sector. The group learning worked well for me as it meant I could learn how HR is delivered and structured in others sectors and we could share best practise, this proved invaluable.

Be brave and think ahead. when I was debating whether or not to study for the qualification I was given some useful advice which was “The time will go by whether you study for the qualification or not, so if in a years time you think you will look back and be disappointed that you haven’t got a CIPD qualification , then seriously think about applying” with this in mind I completed the application forms and started my journey to complete my CIPD qualification and I have not looked back.

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