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How To Study Effectively for CIPD Qualifications: Level 3, 5 & 7

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The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the professional body for Human Resources and  Learning and Development qualifications. Studying for a CIPD qualification can be as challenging as it is rewarding, meaning that mastering effective study techniques is important to gaining one of these prestigious qualifications.

In this blog, we review different strategies to help you study effectively and excel in your CIPD journey, whether you’re pursuing a CIPD Level 3, 5 or 7.


Understanding  CIPD Qualifications

Before diving into diverse study techniques, it is important to understand the various levels of CIPD qualifications, these include: CIPD Level 3 Foundation in People Practice

This CIPD qualification is suitable for the individuals who are new to HR or L&D, or those who want to gain the basic knowledge and skills to progress in their careers,  

Delivered through Live Online streaming classrooms with Acacia Learning, this globally recognized qualification provides a practical understanding of HR responsibilities and is suitable for those at the administrator or assistant level. Modules include:

  • Business Culture and Change in Context: explores the impact of external factors in businesses but also the importance of digital and commercial environments in shaping the organizational culture.
  • Principles of Analytics: offers you the skills you need to make informed decisions by utilising data and evidence.
  • Core Behaviours for People Professionals: discusses ethical practice and universal consistency in behaviour to encourage an inclusive and healthy workplace culture.
  • Essentials of People Practice: provides learners with an overview of HR fundamentals such as the employee lifecycle, policies, regulations, recruitment, talent management, learning and development.

These modules equip learners with the expertise needed to be their HR or L&D careers and contribute effectively to organizational success.


CIPD Level 5 Associate in People Management or Organisational Learning and Development

The CIPD Level 5  Diplomas are  advanced qualifications created  to enhance students' skills in HR or L&D. This level, designed for HR or L&D professionals with some industry experience, provides a solid foundation in HR or L&D management, allowing students to evaluate current theories and models as well as enhance their organisational performance. This program includes three core modules:

  • Organisational performance & culture in practice: focuses on practical skills to enhance performance and cultural dynamics.
  • Evidence-based practice: includes skills to utilize evidence effectively in decision-making.
  • Professional behaviours & valuing people: highlighting the importance of ethical conduct and inclusivity in HR practices, creating a workplace culture that values diversity.

Additionally, student benefit from three specialist modules, including:

  • Employment relationship management (HR)
  • Talent management & workforce planning (HR)
  • Reward for performance & contribution (HR)
  • Supporting self-directed and social learning (L&D)
  • Learning & development design to create value (L&D)
  • Facilitate personalised and performance focused learning (L&D)

Student can also choose an optional module of their choice during this course, including:

  • People management in an international context (HR and L&D)
  • Specialist employment law (L&D)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (L&D)

Through a combination of theoretical insights, practical applications, and interactive learning experiences, the CIPD Level 5 Diploma modules empower learners to excel in their HR or L&D careers, contributing positively to organisational performance, and drive strategic initiatives that align with business objectives.


CIPD Level 7 Advanced in Strategic People Management or Strategic Learning and Develpment

This advanced qualification is tailored for professionals that hold strategic roles or that aspire to reach senior management positions. Moreover, it is the perfect qualification for individuals that want to navigate complex business decisions.

This program includes four core modules:

  • Work and working lives in a changing business environment covers employee wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, ethics, sustainability, and quality topics.
  • People Management & development strategies for performance: focuses on delivering data-based outcomes that are aligned with business objectives.
  • Personal effectiveness, ethics & business acumen: covers numerous theories and concepts to promote inclusivity and healthy organisational behaviour.
  • Business research in people practice: highlights the role of HR and L&D professionals in organisational development.

Additionally, student benefit from three specialist modules such as:

  • Strategic employment relations (HR)
  • Resourcing & talent management to sustain success (HR)
  • Strategic reward management (HR)
  • Organisational Design and Development (L&D)
  • Leadership & Management Development (L&D)
  • Designing Learning to Improve Performance (L&D)

Student can also choose an optional module of their choice during this course, including:

  • Managing people in an international context (HR and L&D)
  • Advanced Diversity and Inclusion (L&D)
  • Advanced Employment Law in Practice (L&D)

The Level 7 CIPD Advanced Diploma equips professionals with strategic knowledge and skills, using a mix of theories, hands-on applications, and latest learning methodologies, to face complex organisational challenges, drive change and lead strategic HR and L&D roles efficiently.

How can I study CIPD qualifications?

There are a few ways in which you can study a CIPD Level 3 Certification, depending on the provider you choose. These include:

  • Face-to-face: in a classroom
  • Blended learning: a mix of both online and in person, or
  • Live Online: online with scheduled streamed classrooms


Tips on How to Study Effectively for CIPD qualifications:

It comes as no surprise that creating an successful study routine is crucial for making the most of your time and maximizing your potential. To help guide you, below we detail how to study effectively for a CIPD qualification, starting with:

1. Managing your time wisely

Start your learning journey by carving out the time that you can and want to dedicate to your studies. Review your schedule and try to find a specific time or day that you can dedicate study time to, whether that be  daily or weekly, to help establish  a routine. Depending on how busy your schedule is, whether you work full-time or part-time, and how much time you have to complete your qualification, it’s important to utilise a study planner and calendar to factor in:

  • Important study reminders
  • Assessment dates or deadlines
  • The time you need to review or type up notes
  • Work and personal obligations
  • Time for breaks, rest, and leisure activities

Keep in mind that when figuring out how to best manage your time, it is essential to stay organised and be realistic about the amount of time you need for study and other obligations.  


2. Creating the perfect study environment

Once you have developed an effective study schedule, you want to create the ideal study environment as it plays a vital role in your productivity and concentration. Different settings have specific requirements, and tailoring your study environment to your needs can make a difference in your success. To maximize your productivity:

Studying in a Classroom:

  • Arrive early to the physical or virtual class to be mentally prepared
  • Minimize distractions, choose a seat away from distractions like doors, windows, or noisy classmates.
  • Organize your study materials in advance, such as notebooks, pens, and textbooks
  • Stay hydrated and energized to maintain focus throughout the class.
  • Participate in discussions, take notes, and ask questions to stay engaged and reinforce your understanding of the material.

Studying Outside the Classroom:

  • Find a quiet corner or room where you can study with minimal distractions
  • Ensure you have a reliable and high-speed internet connection
  • Set up a comfortable workspace with a suitable chair and desk
  • Download any required software or tools before the class starts
  • Position your workspace near a window or use artificial lighting that mimics natural daylight to enhance alertness and reduce eye strain.

3. Utilising your CIPD Membership

Before you submit your assignments, as a student, you need to sign up as a CIPD member. This will allow you to stay up to date with the latest HR and L&D news, trends but also to network with your fellow classmates. Moreover, you will get access to:

  • Courses
  • Study guides
  • Assessment tips

Becoming a CIPD member not only ensures access to valuable resources but also facilitates staying updated on the latest news and trends, all of which are helpful tools you can utilise while gaining your CIPD qualification.


4. Use available study resources

It is important that you stay aware of all the resources you are provided with by your course provider, however, you do not need to limit yourself to these only. Aside from attending any workshops and FAQ sessions organised by your tutor, there are additional tools and techniques to supplement your studies. These will allow you to refresh the knowledge you gain and keep updating it throughout the CIPD modules. Tools include:

  • Educational Apps: Explore a variety of educational apps designed to aid learning and boost productivity to keep you organized as well as to manage your time efficiently but also to ease your access to study notes across different devices. Examples include Notes, myHomework, Quizlet.
  • Interactive Quizzes: Engage in interactive quizzes available on various websites and platforms related to your course material. Websites like Kahoot! offer fun and interactive quiz formats, allowing you to test your knowledge and identify areas for improvement.
  • Virtual Study Groups: Form or join virtual study groups with fellow learners to exchange ideas, collaborate on assignments, discuss course materials, and share insights. Platforms like Discord or Slack provide convenient spaces for group communication and collaboration, enabling you to benefit from collective knowledge and support.


5. Seek support and collaboration

No matter your learning environment, seeking support and collaboration from your classmates, colleagues and employers can enhance your study routine.

Try connecting with your peers through discussion forums and group chats, for instance, or meet them in-person and participate in events, discussions, and group projects. This will lead to a deeper understanding of the material and provide valuable insights from different perspectives.


Secure Your CIPD Journey

Mastering effective study techniques is essential in gaining a CIPD qualification at Level 3, 5, and 7. By understanding the unique demands at each level, learners can navigate their CIPD journey with confidence and achieve their professional goals in HR or L&D. By embracing a structured study routine, leveraging available resources, and fostering collaboration, learners can further enhance the learning experience and ensure success in completing CIPD qualifications.


Improve your HR skills with a Live Online CIPD qualification today.