For learners currently studying a CIPD qualification
If I'm studying a pre-2021 qualification, will what I'm learning be out of date?
Your qualification will still be relevant. Any CIPD qualification you achieve will both enhance and prove your capabilities as a people professional.
Are those who have previously, or are currently, studying a CIPD Level 3 qualification allowed to remain in the Associate membership grade?
Yes, anyone who has previously obtained a Level 3 certificate or are a Student Member registered for a Level 3 certificate before late summer 2021 and successfully complete their studies by summer 2023, will be awarded Associate Membership.
What do the new CIPD qualifications mean for me as a student who is already studying a pre-2021 qualification?
When you have successfully completed your studies, you will still hold one of the most respected and valued qualifications in your field. Since the new Profession Map was launched, your learning provider has been incorporating it wherever relevant. The new qualifications will not affect the outcome of your current studies. For example, if you’re studying a Level 3 (Foundation) qualification, you will still be eligible for Associate Membership.
Will there be transition arrangements in place so that students taking the current qualifications, and wishing to move over to a new qualification, will be able to use what they have already achieved?
Transition mapping is included in your Centres specification documentation, however you can download transition guidance including exemptions for the new qualifications here.
Download our transition guidance to determine which units can be used as part of your transition to the new qualifications.
Then, contact your current Study Centre or centre of your choice for advice on the transition arrangements relevant to you. Make sure you have evidence of what you have achieved to date.
Will there be a cut-off date when the previous membership outcome based on the pre-2021 qualifications will no longer apply?
All students who are enrolled or enrol on pre-2021 qualifications up until 31 July 2021 and complete their entire qualification successfully by the end of August 2023 will still gain the expected membership outcome.
When will the current qualifications end?
It will not be possible to register to start a pre-2021 qualification after 31 July 2021.
My employer sponsors my course, will you be notifying them of this change to membership grade?
No however employers will recognise skills and behaviours at foundation level of the Profession Map, which is established and accepted widely by organisations as the international benchmark of standards and behaviours for the people profession.
For those interested in studying a CIPD qualification
Why did the CIPD change their qualifications?
The world of work is changing, never more so than now. That's why we developed the new Profession Map which defines the knowledge, behaviours and inherent values underpinning today’s people profession. It provides the platform to help move the profession forward, individually and collectively, and to embrace change in the modern world of work. At the core of the new CIPD qualifications is the new Profession Map.
What do the new CIPD qualifications mean for me as a student who is thinking about studying a CIPD qualification?
All current and future CIPD qualifications are up to date and fit for purpose and every qualification carries the CIPD stamp of approval. Any CIPD qualification you achieve will both enhance and prove your capabilities as a people professional. This means that you need to consider you own criteria when deciding which qualification to undertake, for example, your timeline and your desired outcomes.
When will students be able to register for the new qualifications?
What is the difference between a CIPD qualification and a university accredited programme?
Study Centres offer CIPD qualifications which have been developed by the CIPD in consultation with experts and have the new Profession Map at their core. When you have successfully completed the course, you will gain a CIPD qualification and the relevant CIPD membership outcome.
A university accredited programme offers modules that are mapped to the new Profession Map. Once you have successfully completed the programme, you will gain a University named degree and the relevant membership outcome from CIPD.
What is the difference between the new foundation qualification and the pre-2021 foundation qualifications?
The new Foundation Certificate in People Practice includes broader learning content aligned with the fundamental standards of the new Profession Map, and leads to Foundation Membership.
The pre-2021 foundation qualifications, are in either HR or L&D, and led to Associate Membership.
Why are the new foundation qualifications not giving me Associate Membership when the old foundation qualifications did? What’s the difference between the new foundation qualification and the old ones?
It's important that our membership structure reflects the breadth of people practice and is aligned with the impact levels described in the new Profession Map. The knowledge gained by studying the Foundation Certificate of People Practice is aligned with the Foundation impact level in the new Profession Map. Foundation Membership provides a clear route into membership for individuals meeting these standards.
If a student does an Advanced qualification do they still get 1 year to apply for a free upgrade to Chartered Membership by application?
Associate Members who have completed an Advanced Diploma will still be eligible to apply for a free upgrade to Chartered Member. You’ll need to upgrade using form-based assessment and submit your application within a year of joining Associate Membership. Members must be able to demonstrate they have a minimum of one year’s experience working at Chartered Member level. Find out more about upgrading to Chartered Member.
Are there exams for any of the new qualifications?
The new CIPD qualifications no longer have any unseen examined assessments as a compulsory element. It is now up to Accredited Programme Providers how they assess any mapped CIPD core knowledge and core behavioural content within their programmes. Students would need to check with their centres requirements on this as this may differ depending on the centre and/or programme and therefore some centres may still have exams within their programmes.
About CIPD qualifications and membership
What's the difference between having a CIPD qualification and being a CIPD member?
A CIPD qualification builds your capability by equipping you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to make an impact at the relevant level. CIPD membership is a badge of your professionalism: it showcases the level of impact you have reached within the profession and demonstrates your ongoing commitment to the highest professional standards. Completing a CIPD qualification is the most popular route into CIPD membership.
What is the value of having a CIPD qualification? How does this compare with a CIPD membership designation?
CIPD membership, CIPD qualifications and the new Profession Map work together to help you progress as a professional. You can use the Profession Map to identify the knowledge and behaviours you need to create impact at four different levels, and through CIPD qualifications you can gain the learning required for you to excel. Your resulting skills and abilities are reflected in your CIPD member grade.
How do the qualifications fit into the CIPD membership grades?
For the new CIPD qualifications, the Foundation Certificate in People Practice leads to Foundation Membership. Associate and Advanced Diplomas lead to Associate Membership. Associate Members who hold an Advanced Diploma are eligible to apply for Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow by completing an upgrading assessment of their professional experience.
For employers wanting to professionalise their teams
What do the new CIPD qualifications mean for my employees who are already studying the current qualifications?
When students have successfully completed their studies, they will still hold one of the most respected and valued qualifications in their field. Since the new Profession Map was launched, learning providers have been incorporating it wherever relevant. The new qualifications will not affect the outcome of their current studies. For example, if they're studying a Level 3 (Foundation) qualification, they will still be eligible for Associate Membership.
What do the new CIPD qualifications mean for those employees who I’m thinking about supporting through a CIPD qualification?
All current and future CIPD qualifications are up to date and fit for purpose and every qualification carries the CIPD stamp of approval. Any CIPD qualification your employee achieves will both enhance and prove their capabilities as a people professional so there's no need to wait. This means that you as an employer need to consider you own criteria when deciding which qualifications to support your employees through, for example, your timeline, and your desired outcomes.
General FAQs about CIPD qualifications
How will our qualifications be recognised in the EU after the end of December?
Post Brexit we are unable to ensure blanket acceptance or automatic recognition of our qualifications in EU27, but we were also unable to do this from within the EU. Automatic recognition relates to licence to practise qualifications where common minimum training conditions exist and this is not relevant to our qualifications. An individual with a CIPD qualification who wishes to work in Europe is required to apply for recognition/comparability within the country concerned and also to understand individual employer requirements.
What we will continue to do, however, is provide comparisons to the European Qualifications Framework which is a common European reference framework which links countries' qualification systems together.
CIPD qualifications regulatory information
Foundation Certificate in People Practice
Registered with Ofqual in England, CCEA in Northern Ireland and Qualifications Wales as the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice .
This qualification is Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 3 in England and Northern Ireland. Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) Level 3 in Wales. Comparable to Level 5 in Ireland, Level 6 in Scotland, Level 4 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
Associate Diploma in People Management
Registered with Ofqual in England, CCEA in Northern Ireland and Qualifications Wales as the CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management.
Associate Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development
Registered with Ofqual in England, CCEA in Northern Ireland and Qualifications Wales as the CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in Organisational Learning and Development.
These two qualifications are Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 5 in England and Northern Ireland. Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) Level 5 in Wales. Comparable to Level 7 in Ireland, Level 9 in Scotland, Level 5 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).
Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management
Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development
These qualifications are not registered on a framework but have been developed with reference to Ofqual’s RQF and QAA’s Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications level descriptors and are therefore officially titled:
Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management and Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development.
This is comparable to Level 9 in Ireland, Level 11 in Scotland, Level 7 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).