Student FAQs

We’ve compiled the most commonly-asked questions potential students have about our qualifications, including information on funding, exemptions and work experience. We hope you can find all of the information you are looking for.

How do I know if a qualification is right for me? What if Experience Assessment is better for me?

If you are looking to develop your skills and knowledge within HR or L&D, completing one of our professional qualifications will give you the tools to do this and achieve CIPD membership.

professional qualifications

Find out more about how our HR and L&D qualifications develop relevant and essential knowledge and skills, and are a route into CIPD Membership

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If you already have current HR or L&D experience, studying may not be the right route for you. Experience Assessment is a direct route into CIPD membership, where we look at your HR or L&D work experience to showcase how you meet our membership requirements.

Experience assessment

Find out how you can use your current HR or L&D work experience to become a CIPD member.

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What's the difference between Approved and Awarded qualifications?

Awarded qualifications are designed, developed and awarded by the CIPD. Students take these qualifications through CIPD centres which are usually further education colleges and private training providers. The CIPD externally verifies and signs off results at these centres before the CIPD issues successful students with their qualification and membership certificates.

Approved qualifications are university programmes which are mapped to CIPD awarded qualifications to lead to CIPD membership but are designed, developed and awarded by the university. Centres offering approved programmes will quality assure work internally and externally before issuing students with their university qualification. They will then submit a copy of these results to the CIPD so that membership certificates can be issued as appropriate.

We accredit centres to offer our qualifications and fees will vary by qualification and the type of study centre you study with. We recommend you check the course fees when contacting your prospective centre.

Qualification type Awarded (pre-2021) qualification (register by 31 July 2021) New CIPD qualification CIPD Approved programmes CIPD Accredited programmes (first teaching starts September 2021)
Qualification developed by Designed and developed by the CIPD Designed and developed by the CIPD, aligned to the Profession Map Designed and developed by the centre, mapped to the CIPD awarded qualifications Designed and developed by the centre, mapped to the Profession Map
Centre name Awarded Centre Study Centre Approved Centre Accredited Programme Provider
Centre type Usually further education colleges and private training providers Usually further education colleges and private training providers Higher education providers, for example, universities Higher education providers, for example, universities
Assessed by The centre (verified by the CIPD) The centre (moderated by the CIPD) The centre The centre
Qualification awarded by The CIPD The CIPD The centre The centre
Successful qualification outcome CIPD qualification and CIPD membership CIPD qualification and CIPD membership CIPD membership CIPD membership

Can I get funding to do my qualification?

For most grants and bursaries you’ll need to apply directly to your study centre.

CIPD Student Bursaries

We're able to offer Student Bursaries to a limited group of students who fit the criteria and are looking to get into the profession by starting on a Level 3 course. These are offered on a first come first serve basis and if you’re interested in this, you’ll need to apply directly through your study centre (and not the CIPD).

Can I get funding if I’m not from the UK?

Please note that not all of the above applies to you if you’re not from the UK. However, some UK colleges and universities offer limited financial aid for international students; your best option is to contact the school directly for more information.

Can my company sponsor me to study a CIPD qualification?

You'll need to contact your chosen study centre if your company is funding or part funding the fees for your qualification.

Can I gain any exemptions for a qualification I already have?

If you have an existing qualification that isn’t recognised by the CIPD, you may be able to apply for an exemption towards a CIPD qualification that leads to membership. Use this flowchart to help you.

The application process will involve a mapping exercise between the qualification you studied and the CIPD Awarded qualification you want to study. You can gain up to 50% of a CIPD Awarded qualification through this process; you’ll be required to take the rest of the qualification at a CIPD centre in order to achieve CIPD membership.

The CIPD accepts international qualifications if they’re accompanied by a comparability statement and certificate from the UK National Recognition Information Centre (UK NARIC) confirming the equivalent UK level.

To check the UK equivalent level of your qualification, visit UK NARIC or call UK NARIC on +44 (0)871 330 7033.

For further information and application forms, call the CIPD’s Qualification and Membership team on +44 (0)20 8612 6208 or email

Got another question about studying
with us?

Call +44 (0)20 8612 6208 or

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