CIPD Advanced Qualification – Student Case Study

Jackie Hudson
Human Resources Manager for Liberty Living – a private provider of student accommodation

In 2010 I decided to investigate how to upgrade to MCIPD.  I needed a CIPD centre where I could work at my own pace, perhaps via a distance learning portal, that would fit in with my work and family commitments.  I spoke to several potential providers but did not feel that they had the right “fit” for me before finding Busec from an internet search.

I met with Sally Tarrant to discuss my options.  Sally was very welcoming and helpful. I came away from the meeting feeling very positive particularly as there was no hard “sell.”  I also heard that the Professional Assessment of Competence (PAC) programme was being withdrawn; as it was definitely my preferred method I registered quickly with Busec.

From the start, Sally, as my adviser, and Jill Nother my assessor were extremely supportive and helpful.  I could plan my course work to fit round other commitments and Sally spent time with me, assisting me with the process of cross-referencing work based evidence to meet the various criteria.  With Sally’s encouragement I hit my assessment target dates and was able to finish with almost a year to spare before the withdrawal of the PAC programme.

The on-line e-portfolio was easy to use and helped me to monitor my progress.  It reduced paperwork, provided an easily accessible storage area for my work, and allowed Busec to deliver a service that was very much tailored to my personal requirements.

I enjoyed the two workshop sessions where I met fellow students (some were undertaking PAC and some were studying for the new Level 7 qualification).  Being able to meet other students gives a huge sense of “you are not the only one doing this”, and I found that was very supportive, especially for a distance learner.

Undertaking the Management Research Report was the hardest task to complete but again Sally was supportive and provided timely feedback.   I was pleased with the end result and produced a report of which I was proud.

I achieved MCIPD in August 2012.  I spoke to Sally about the possibility of completing the Advanced Level 7 diploma qualification.   Sally helped me to identify the areas where my work could be used to provide evidence of my competence for some of the elements of the diploma.  As I had already completed the four fields of the PAC programme I just needed to undertake two core modules i.e.  7SBL and 7IBI.   I was then able to successfully upgrade my CIPD membership again, becoming a Chartered Fellow.

The flexibility that studying with Busec provided for me over the past 2 years has enabled me to gain a level of qualification that I believe would be much harder to achieve with a more rigid approach.  I was able to work at my own pace which removed the burden of having to complete course work in a timeframe that did not fit in with my commitments.  Studying at level 7 with Busec has been much more cost effective than undertaking a Post-Graduate Diploma through an HE establishment, and I would thoroughly recommend Busec as a centre for any HR or L&D professional who wishes to attain CIPD recognition.  In fact, I have already recommended a colleague who has recently started studying with Busec.

Sally and Jill have awakened my “study bug”.  I attained 120 “M” level credits by undertaking the two modules of the Advanced Diploma, and I am now studying at the University of Portsmouth Business School for a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management.  I hope to graduate with my MSc next summer. As I stand on the steps of the Guildhall in Portsmouth with my cap and gown, about to receive my degree, I will know that this journey would not have been completed without the help and guidance that I received from Busec, Sally, Jill and the rest of the team!