CIPD Intermediate Qualification – Student Case Study

Pete Marlow
British Army Captain working as an Admin Officer with a TA Unit

I took rather a winding route to studying with Busec; as I am an Army Officer I wanted to speak to someone who could help me to put my military experience into civilian context and help me to use the correct terminology.  I had spoken to other people in the military who were at a similar stage to me,  I didn’t get great responses from all of them from their searches for the correct course.   I did a search on the internet and found some companies that seemed to have what I was looking for.  I didn’t want to travel too far, but tempered that with getting the right people, the right advice and at the right price.  I spoke to a couple of CIPD centres that seemed to be able to help, but none of them felt quite right for me until I spoke to Jill at Busec.

Jill had a good idea of what I was after and we arranged to meet and talk over my options.  I explained what I thought I knew about HR, what I felt I could achieve and what level I thought I could attain.  Jill took time to look at what I have been doing during my Army career and helped me to choose the level that was right for me.  I hadn’t carried out any home study for a long time and was nervous of being able to get motivated and put into practice what I had learnt.  We discussed this and Jill made me feel at ease.  She explained in detail what I would be doing over the duration of the study.  She talked about the intoductory workshop that was part of getting started and the thought of meeting with like-minded people was a bonus for me.

I felt the workshop that I attended was a real help at the beginning of the course. We talked over our different areas of expertise and gave informal presentations about our organisations.  This helped to put into context some of the elements of the course that were to come.  It helped me to gain connections with people who were carrying out the same level of study.  This was useful later on in the course when one of us was a bit stuck and we managed to talk it over amongst ourselves.  It gave you a feeling that you were along the right lines.

Being able to use my work-based experience was a real help when it came to completing the  units using the on-line course folder.  Jill was always there to explain what was required and helped me throughout, checking individual pieces of work and providing help and guidance.  This was the best part of the Busec experience and one that I cannot over emphasise.  Nothing was too much trouble and Jill provided that stabilising factor when I thought that it was not going quite right.  She nudged and guided.  Giving me the odd push when I wasn’t quite where I should have been within the course on deadlines that I had set for myself. She was always willing to help and never seemed to get fed-up with me asking what I am sure were very basic questions!  She helped me to set realistic targets and I didn’t feel as if all needed to be done immediately.

I visited the offices at Petersfield at various times and the staff there were always open and welcoming.  The one to one work with Jill was very useful.  She talked me through my options prior to starting a different unit and we agreed my optional units based on the work that I was currently doing and work I had done previously.  She explained how my experience related to the different subject areas and gave good advice on what was relevant for each of the units.

I felt a real sense of achievement at the end of the course and I was proud to receive my CIPD Intermediate Certificate in HR Management through the post.  Having the qualification has helped me in my work as it shows that I have a level of learning and I will continue to use the lessons that I have learned through studying for my CIPD qualification throughout my work. I have already used a lot of experience from my course within the workplace and it reminded me of certain best practices that I had not always adhered to.  The aids within the e-learning portal were particularly helpful and gave you a good push in the right direction for what was needed and where to find it.