I am an HR administrator in a fairly large HR department. My role is
concerned exclusively with training and development. I really love it and
according to my appraisals, my performance is good. Our department recently
issued an edict that everyone must either have or acquire a CIPD qualification.
I can understand their thinking, but frankly I like my life as it is and I
don’t want to spend my leisure time studying and stressing about exams. What
should I do?
Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS Consultancy
While you may like your life now, it does you no harm to think about the
future. The team you are in may change or the company may face a downturn in
business. A professional qualification makes you more marketable.
As you are at HR administrator level then you would be looking at either
certificate programmes or national vocational qualifications at level three.
Both can focus on either personnel or learning and development, and both lead
to associate membership of the CIPD. Whichever you choose, neither involves
exams. The CPP/CTP certificates are assignment-based and the NVQs are
Many employees do not have their employers’ support with regard to
professional development, so take the opportunity while it is there.
Jo Redgwell, HR consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes
You need to assess where you want your career to be in two, five and 10
years time. Will you be as happy in two years if you are still in the same role
living the same lifestyle?
If you decide to pursue a career in HR then the CIPD is a must. The CIPD
qualification is not an easy course, admittedly, but it is an industry standard
– the same way that accountants must sit their chartered exams. It provides you
not only with background knowledge, which you will use long into your career,
but additionally it is a benchmarking tool for future employers.
It will take two years of dedicated study, but think about the possibilities
that will become available to you in the future. It will show employers you
have committed to something, have excellent time management skills and a desire
Cliff Dixon, consultant, Chiumento
In 1989, Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote: "If security no longer comes from
being employed, then it must come from being employable." At a time when
mergers, delayering and downsizing are endemic, the need to maintain your
employability has never been more important.
In the short term, you may not wish to study, but in the longer term you
might wish to move out of training and development. Undoubtedly, CIPD study
would be a passport to such a career move since it shows you have encompassed
the full scope of the function and would indicate to a future boss that you are
serious about a career in HR.
You say your appraisals have been positive; raise the question of CIPD
qualification with your manager and establish why it is required regardless of
your area of work?
You say that you like life as it is – does this mean you are not ambitious?
While the professional reasons for CIPD have been addressed above, you need to
think about you and where you want your career to go.