More than 100,000 learners turn to the CIPD to support their careers and transform their workplaces

To celebrate Learning at Work Week, the CIPD reflects on it is role in equipping the people profession to improve work and working lives.

CIPD Learning

The CIPD is a trusted career partner for more than 150,000 members around the world. It also supports thousands more people every year with specialist learning to help them excel in their careers and transform their workplaces by improving people practices.

In the past year* alone, 25,595 people embarked on a CIPD qualification or CIPD approved degree or masters programme, 763 completed an HR or L&D apprenticeship assessment with the CIPD, more than 11,000 took part in specialist face-to-face and online learning programmes, and more than 16,000 benefited from employer-led professionalisation programmes. A further 66,000 enrolled in free online HR fundamental and people management skills courses and countless more accessed the wide range of learning resources on the CIPD’s websites and learned from one another through the CIPD’s networks and events.

Supporting professionalism

New to the CIPD’s learning offering this year was a suite of eight free online courses, available exclusively to members, to support their development in line with the new Profession Map. The courses launched in January 2020 and by 30 June 2020, when the CIPD closed its financial year, 6,214 members had already engaged with the self-directed learning content. Each course brings one of the map’s eight core behaviours to life and incorporates individual reflective practice, a supportive community environment where members can share knowledge, experience and insights, and targeted actions to help members apply their learning.

Since launching the new Profession Map in 2018, the CIPD has been collaborating with its study centres, academics, employers and people professionals to develop a qualifications framework to support the knowledge and behaviours set out in the Map. A new streamlined portfolio, consisting of five qualifications, is set to launch in late 2020 with the first learners  registering at one of over 150 study centres in early 2021. Each syllabus distils the best knowledge, experience and expertise, and is relevant and impactful in the world of work. More than a hundred CIPD approved universities and colleges around the world will also be aligning their HR and L&D degree and masters programmes with the profession map from 2021.

Keeping people learning through the pandemic

In response to COVID-19, the CIPD created a new suite of virtual classroom products to support the development of people professionals during lockdown. These include topics such as running successful webinars, digital working, manging remote teams, business partnering, workforce planning, using data and analytics and coaching essentials.

The CIPD also saw a spike in demand for its free ‘HR Fundamentals’ and ‘People Management’ skills courses which it runs in partnership with Future Learn to offer free and flexible online learning to non-CIPD members. 66,000 people enrolled on these courses in the past year* alone. More than half of these enrolled during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown period, during which the CIPD ran two extra cohorts and updated the course content to help people navigate the crisis. Going forward, the course will operate on an always-on basis, so that people who may have been furloughed or made redundant can start learning whenever they want.

The two Future Learn courses are aimed at those who wouldn’t otherwise enrol on one of the CIPD’s qualifications or short courses, giving them the opportunity to learn some core skills to set them up for a successful career and make a positive impact on work and working lives. The CIPD is now developing a new free ‘Diversity and inclusion’ programme.

Embracing a digital future

With an increasing demand for accessible learning available anytime, anyplace, the CIPD is developing a range of new digital learning options – including live virtual classrooms, webinars and resources to support self-directed individual learning.

Work is already under way to begin rolling out a new digital learning platform from early 2021. It will give members and customers a rich and seamless on-demand portal where they can learn, self-assess, enhance their skills and get external recognition for their continuing professional development through digital badging. The CIPD has also already begun upskilling its subject expert associates to design and deliver leading-edge virtual classes and webinars.


*The CIPD’s last financial year ran from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. The annual report will be published in November.

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