Alternatives to college course?

I am working at a senior level in training and development, but am finding
that not being CIPD qualified is a barrier to my career development. I do not
want to go to college for three years. What are my options?

Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS consultancy

Since the IPM and ITD merged, there has been unrest among many in training
and development, who feel that they are now the poor relations. This is
reflected in the qualification structure, and the bad news is that it will not
get any better.

The good news is that you can register for an NVQ Level 5 in training and
development now and, as long as you are assessed by April 2003, you will
achieve graduate membership of the CIPD. If you are assessed after April 2003,
you will have to undertake the Applied Personnel and Development Field, which
includes an academic management report.

In January 2003, when the new NVQs are introduced, an NVQ Level 5 in
learning and development will give you licentiate member-ship. Your other
option would be to undertake an intensive Masters programme that is recognised
by the CIPD.

Victoria Wall, managing director, Victoria Wall Associates

There will always be some firms that demand all senior level HR staff have
to have the CIPD qualification, but in the area of training and development, it
should not be a necessity. Improve the opportunities available to you by
attending training courses relevant to the areas you specialise in, resulting
in further qualifications. You could gain levels A and B with the BPS if the
use of psychometrics for development interests you, for example, or receive
trainers awards in certain fields.

You should aim to add to a portfolio of experience and practical
qualifications. In time, they will support and enhance your career development
more specifically than the CIPD qualification.

Philip Spencer, consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes

It sounds like you already have a wealth of training and development
experience as you are currently operating at a senior level. Employers look for
candidates with professional qualifications in their given field, but practical
experience is still a very important factor when recruiting or promoting
individuals.

The CIPD or CTP qualification would add value to your credentials. I
appreciate that taking time out to study at college is not appealing. However,
there are a number of colleges and training organisations that provide a range
of flexible learning programmes. Many of the learning programmes are
‘self-paced’, and would fit around professional and personal commitments.

In addition, as it is a professional qualification, you may gain support
from your current employer. Alternatively, look at other short courses that
would expose you to new training methodologies and interventions. Accreditations
would add to your professional credentials and benefit your career development.

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