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 a level of professional membership.

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.

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.

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

In 2018/2019, we’ll be offering 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. If you’re interested in this, you’ll need to apply directly through your study centre (and not the CIPD).

Government Advanced Learner Loans

The Government offers Advanced Learner Loans for those undertaking Foundation Level 3 or Intermediate Level 5 CIPD qualifications. Visit GOV.UK for information on the eligibility criteria and application process (which needs to be made directly through the Government).

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 Awarded qualification that leads to membership.

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?

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