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HR Professionals: Is studying for my CIPD Foundation actually worth the effort? Studying from home

(19 Posts)
Bertindyo Thu 13-Oct-16 22:15:04

I am currently working in a company where I don't mind the actual company itself but I want to transition my job from an administrator / sales support role to an HR focus.

The company will loan me funding to study my CIPD foundation course from home whilst I continue to work full time. Before I commit myself I would like to know whether this level of qualification is actually worth having? If you studied this qualification did it open any doors for you career-wise?

Also if you have experienced studying this course from home can you recommend any learning providers? I am thinking of choosing Home Learning College (UK) - are they any good?

Any advice on this topic will be much appreciated, thank you.

Tittybiscuit Fri 14-Oct-16 17:29:23

Place marking as also thinking of this or trying to branch into PA work smile

Bertindyo Fri 14-Oct-16 17:56:58

Hi Tittybiscuit (great name). Hoping if I hang in here long enough somebody experienced might be able to offer some advice smile

Tittybiscuit Fri 14-Oct-16 18:22:41

Thanks smile
Fingers crossed...I've been 'coasting' for a few months now and would like something solid to suggest in my next review.

LifeOfBriony Fri 14-Oct-16 18:32:16

In my experience it is a qualification worth having if you want to move into a career in HR. I am currently studying this with a training organisation, attending one or two-day workshops then completing assignments. I have found it interesting and useful (I do work in HR) but it requires a considerable investment of time alongside my full-time job.

treaclesoda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:43:55

I don't work in HR but I would strongly advise against Home Learning College. I paid thousands of pounds to them for a different course and when I went to sit the exams, they had actually provided me with out of date and obsolete text books. The software that came with my course crashed my computer, and it never recovered. The tutors never replied to emails. When I finally applied to sit my exams, they didn't bother entering me until after my period of tutoring had come to and end, and then I had to pay all over again because I didn't sit the exams within the designated timeframe. And to top it all off, it turned out that they cost about twice as much as the same course from another provider.

Bertindyo Fri 14-Oct-16 18:46:33

Tittybiscuit - I
Know the feeling, I've been feeling stagnant at work and I think learning something new might help me to feel a bit happier and more productive at work.

LifeOfBryony - Thank you for responding, I'm glad you think the qualification is worthwhile. I realise there will be a time investment involved but I am hoping it will be worth it for the career opportunities it might present. Do you think it will benefit you in your HR role at work? What level are you studying? Thanks again!

Bertindyo Fri 14-Oct-16 18:48:43

Wow treaclesoda that sounds like a terrible experience I'm sorry you had to go through that! Do you mind me asking when this happened because I have heard that Home Learning College is under new management and has improved a lot in more recent years? Also can you suggest any alternative home learning providers? Thanks

treaclesoda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:49:48

It must be amazing to work somewhere where they are happy to support you learning new things. I've never worked anywhere like that, anywhere I have ever worked has had very rigid roles and you're not allowed to learn to do anything else because its none of your business.

Bastardshittits Fri 14-Oct-16 18:51:30

I'm doing the same course at the moment through a local college. I work in HR. So far, the course is as dull as ditchwater. I believe the qualification is worth doing but what I'm doing bears little relevance to what actually happens in my workplace

treaclesoda Fri 14-Oct-16 18:51:35

It was about six years ago, so quite a long time ago I suppose. If they are under new management it might be much better now. But it cost me a fortune and I ended up with no qualifications at the end of it, because it's kind of hard to study for something from the wrong text books etc...

OllyBJolly Fri 14-Oct-16 18:52:02

Yes, definitely worth it if you want a career in HR. It's almost compulsory for decent HR jobs.

However, I'd be very careful about the provider. Quality is not always consistent and if you're not currently in HR you might find it more useful to do distance learning with a local college. When I did mine (years ago!) the college had a drop in tutorial which you could go to and it was really valuable getting to know others, especially for the projects and assignments.

Many of the online providers use finance companies that are absolute sharks so make sure you check it out fully. There is likely to be no get out clauses if you decide the course is not for you. Colleges tend to be a bit more flexible. I took some time out because work was just too busy.

And also make sure you sign up to a properly accredited course. Check it out with the CIPD.

Good luck with the course and your career.

LifeOfBriony Fri 14-Oct-16 19:02:56

I'm doing Level 3. I've recently got back into HR after a gap doing part time admin work while bringing up DCs (I worked in HR previously). I'm finding the course an excellent way of updating my knowledge and from time to time we cover something on the course just as I need to know it at work. It is the right thing for me at the moment but I will be very glad to finish.

I would recommend giving up any other commitments that you can give up while you are studying as the coursework can take over your whole life.

Is there a local college you could attend? I know someone who is doing the same course through ICS Learn, I don't know enough about them to recommend or not, however.

HermioneWeasley Fri 14-Oct-16 22:42:25

Honestly? I think it's a rubbish professional qualification and I pay no attention to it when I'm recruiting, but lots of HR role profiles have it as necessary. It tells me nothing about your ability to do the actual job. Go figure.

Bertindyo Sat 15-Oct-16 09:05:33

Hi All,

Thank you for the responses, I appreciate the varied perspectives. It sounds like the course is definitely worth doing for a career in HR. Lots of jobs seem to require it.

My situation is that I cannot afford not to work full time - therefore I think some kind of online course will work best for me. Also my work is only prepared to fund a course that sees me continue to be in the office daily.

Also the CIPD course that I will possibly be doing is the CIPD Foundation (level 3). I am concerned that the level 3 itself will not be enough to make a real difference to my career... and at the moment I don't have the financial resources to follow up with levels 4 & 5 at the moment. My work has only agreed to fund the level 3 in the first instance.

I really appreciate the company's offer of a lone but it does tie me to the company for at least a couple of years so I need to make sure I choose the right course.

Once again, thank you you all so much for your input all responses are gratefully appreciated.

LifeOfBriony Sat 15-Oct-16 23:09:20

Just to clarify, ICS Learn mentioned in my last post is an online provider.

The last HR Admin vacancy we had in our department went to someone who had studied CIPD in her own time (evenings at college); she had studied because she wanted to get in to HR and the qualification gave her the edge over other candidates.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Littleladybird14 Sun 16-Oct-16 12:48:35

Level 3 worth doing as a good grounding and preparation for level 5 and subsequently level 7. Some stuff may seem quite basic and simple but if your company is paying its worth doing as may pave way to them supporting next level.
Also useful to see when recruiting HR entry level staff and will set you apart from other administrators / assistants.
Go for it and good luck! Working and studying isn't always easy but worth it in the end! I did my level 7 MA in combination with working and having a baby, not ideal but worth it at the end!!

OllyBJolly Sun 16-Oct-16 12:57:13

Honestly? I think it's a rubbish professional qualification and I pay no attention to it when I'm recruiting, but lots of HR role profiles have it as necessary. It tells me nothing about your ability to do the actual job.

I agree with you Hermione but HR is largely a '"closed shop" and a CIPD qualification - at whatever level - opens doors.

OhTheRoses Sun 16-Oct-16 12:59:08

FCIPD here. Totally agree with hermione above. All HR entrants on my team have to do an in-tray exercise as part of the selection process. Drafting a letter (short), scheduling interviews (so as time isn't wasted), salary calculations, holiday calculations, bit of spreadsheet manipulation.

HR experience desirable and qual desirable. £20k entry level jobs. Last ones had 80+ applications. I am amazed at how many HRM Masters people don't get shortlisted because they can't write grammatically and don't address the person spec.

Last person I hired did have L3 but no HR experience. He got the job because his test was the best.

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