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I have been working as an HR adviser for six months and am trying to decide how best to formalise my experience with qualifications. Would it be better to go down the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) route or study for an MA?

Answer 1

Have you thought about seeking a masters degree that combines with completing the CIPD qualification? I have just done that and I have obtain-ed my first position in HR with an employer that values both qualifications.

Answer 2

From experience I think your best move would be to enrol on a MA/post-graduate course part time. When I looked around at the different methods I found this my best option and by far the quickest way of gaining experience and a qualification at the same time.

Answer 3

It is far too early in your career to take up a master’s degree. Whatever knowledge you gain is probably going to be ahead of the level of experience you have (and can get right now), even when you finish your study. Because of the level of experience you have, a master’s is unlikely to progress your career as much as you would like. As for the CIPD question, this is a difficult one. I agree that it would be best to kill the two birds with one stone but it depends on how far you want to progress in your career. If you get to a point where you don’t think you can get to where you want to be without CIPD, it would make sense to go for that as a natural progression to study for a master’s later. If you can progress to the level where you want to be in, say, five years, hold out and do the two things at once.

Can anyone let me know if they have a policy for paying for sight tests? Some of my staff use their computer for more than three hours a day and have told us that we should be paying for their sight tests and glasses. Please can you let me know if this is true and if we should be paying for the whole cost or just a proportion of the cost. Can we also specify which option they go to?

Answer 1

I have worked with several policies that pay for eye tests. A local authority I worked for paid 15 towards a test after receiving proof. My current organisation pays the cost of the eye test whatever that is and 50% towards glasses if needed for computer work.

Answer 2

If I understand the law correctly, organisations need only pay for corrective vision aids if they are required for screen use. In other words, if you wore contact lenses, you cannot claim from your employer because you still wear them when away from the visual display unit (VDU) and therefore they are not required for VDU use only. Equally, if someone has to wear spectacles away from the VDU then they cannot be for VDU use alone and are therefore not fundable. Just being a glasses wearer and operating a VDU (even for a long time) does not automatically qualify you to claim. I believe that where a need for spectacles has been identified, the organisation is obliged to pay for eye-sight tests and glasses. However, the organisation can base the contribution on the cheapest suitable glasses that can be obtained. So if you can purchase some for 50 and your glasses are 200, you should only get 50. Hope this helps.

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