I certainly think Experience Assessment has benefitted me career-wise. After discussions with the assessor I know I can move towards a more strategic role.
Laura Neish, Chartered MCIPD
HR Manager, South of Scotland Enterprise
Laura studied HR at university in 2007 and began a very successful career, moving from HR administrator to HR advisor then quickly on to management positions.
She is ambitious, and committed to her future in HR. 'I love what I do. I'd like to get a little bit more strategic, to progress up the ladder to HR Director.'
'I felt it was a missing piece on my CV.'
However, Laura’s degree course had lacked professional accreditation. She says, 'I was working alongside other CIPD members and I didn't have that recognition. I wanted to be recognised by the professional body for all the work I’d done.'
In 2011 Laura applied for Experience Assessment and joined the CIPD as an Associate Member. 'I was really lucky that my employer at that time sponsored me to go through that route, so I could embrace the opportunity.
'Professional recognition definitely increased my confidence.'
Laura found her CIPD membership also supported her work through its member networks and professional resources. 'Every organisation faces the same people issues – it doesn't matter what sector you're in. You’re able to reach out to the online community and get different perspectives.'
Direct access to credible evidence was a further advantage when influencing senior decision makers in the organisation, 'I can share guides with managers and colleagues, even those from a non-HR background.'
By 2021, Laura was making a bigger impact with her work. She explains, 'I was always looking at the professional standards – looking at what I'd achieved and how that fitted in with Chartered grade. I finally decided to go for Chartered Member.'
'You do actually forget all you’ve achieved.'
Laura chose Experience Assessment again as it meant no study, and it would fit around her busy work and family life. After 10 years, she noticed some changes, 'The first time around you have to do a case study. It was a fictional organisation, and you were giving advice. This time it was more about learning new things – the people analytics report, the insights focused course from the Profession Map. I feel like I learned more about the importance of using data.'
As part of the assessment, Laura’s previous and current managers gave feedback on her work. She says, 'It was just so positive to hear how I’d made a difference and built the credibility of the HR function. To know I’d been part of a real turning point for an organisation.'
There was also a two-hour professional discussion with the assessor, which Laura found challenging, yet encouraging. 'They said, ‘I will help you if I think you're going down the wrong route, and bring you back.’ So that was really good.'
The opportunity to explore your professional ambitions
'We looked at how to make my role more strategic, and build on my experience and exposure to different projects where I could lead. After discussions with the assessor, I know I can move towards a more strategic role.'
For Laura, becoming a Chartered Member has demonstrated the importance of commitment to your own personal and professional development, and taking ownership for your own level. She says, 'I certainly think it has benefitted me career-wise: my opinion now carries more weight across the organisation. If you’re thinking about Experience Assessment, I say you should definitely go for it.'