You’re CIPD-qualified – but what’s it worth?

much is a CIPD qualification worth and is its value rising or falling? Reading
letters from recently qualified graduates about the difficulties of getting on
the professional ladder (Letters, 13 and 27 February) it is certainly no meal
ticket. Needless to say this is not causing anyone to stir down at “sleepy
hollow” – CIPD head office in Wimbledon. Monopolists do not usually worry about
their customers’ concerns.

has always struck me as odd why anyone should seek a qualification from a professional
institute that commands so little respect from the business community or the

I still have an interest in the professional development of those choosing a
career in HR. The reason is quite simple – I make most of my living out of
teaching up-and-coming HR and training professionals new skills, designed to
make them more business aware and to show them how to add value, in real terms,
to their organisations. 

problem is, especially for those who come to me with a CIPD qualification, that
they have to un-learn most, if not all, of the conventional, textbook
approaches that they have been taught as part of their professional

the same time I am seeing an increasing number of managers, from the line and
other functions, who have made a conscious, mid-career decision to move into
HR. It is easier to train such people because many of the “new” skills are
really just second nature to them. 

important, with management experience, they have few problems learning an HR
perspective and understanding some of the issues.

as they come into the function at the “business partner” level they see no
value at all in the low level skills and experience of their HR colleagues,
most of whom have worked their way along a narrow and primarily administrative
career path.

at an entry level the value of a CIPD qualification is likely to continue to
slide as the administrative work of HR departments is outsourced, run on an
intranet or achieved through shared service centres. Efficiencies in HR are
only going to come at the lower end of the spectrum. This will shut off career
opportunities for those trying to get on the first rung of the ladder.
Meanwhile business managers who become HR-wise will be taking many of the more
senior HR positions.

prognosis is extremely bleak and this should really worry the CIPD, but I fear
that it has been stuck in denial mode for so long now it has become its comfort
zone. Drastic action is required, and maybe it should come from the younger
generation. Either demand that the CIPD earns your subscription with a
qualification of value or take your custom elsewhere.

Paul Kearns, Senior Partner, Personnel Works

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