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What Qualifications Do You Need to Become an HR Manager?

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Nowadays, Human Resources managers are essential for all organisations, regardless of the size or sector the company belongs to. It is generally regarded as a diverse and exciting role, where no two days are the same, perfect for those with excellent interpersonal skills who enjoy social interaction. 

Since HR, however, is a highly competitive field, it is essential for aspiring HR managers to gain a competitive advantage and stand out from the competition. One of the best ways to achieve that is by gaining an industry qualification to showcase their knowledge and skills, giving current and future employers an incentive to hire them instead of their competition. 

This blog explores the qualifications that can help aspiring HR professionals gain a competitive advantage and ultimately enable them to secure their dream HR job.

What is a Human Resources Manager?

Firstly, a Human Resources Manager is someone who oversees the administrative and organisational functions of a company or business, playing an important role in bridging the communication gap between management and employees.

HR managers are vital in almost every industry. To put it simply, if a company has employees, the more likely an HR manager will be needed to oversee the hiring, training, and organisation and development of the company culture. 

What does a Human Resources Manager do?

The duties and responsibilities of HR managers may vary depending on the size of the company they work for and the industry it is in. Generally though they are responsible for managing all aspects of HR practices, processes and strategies, ensuring strategies and initiatives are in line with company goals.

To provide a further understanding, an HR manager’s typical duties will most likely include the following: 

  • Managing the recruitment, selection and onboarding process,
  • Ensuring the company’s procedures comply with employment regulations, 
  • Monitoring employee performance, such as attendance and sick leave,
  • Handling any disciplinary processes and formal grievances,
  • Setting and reviewing ay structures and employee benefits, 
  • Assessing the need for training and, designing and implementing training programmes accordingly,
  • Overseeing and managing the company’s appraisal system, 
  • Handling employee relations and disputes. 

What qualifications should aspiring HR Managers seek to gain?

There are many different routes to choose from in order to develop an HR career, without the need to have a university bachelor degree or equivalent. 

However, HR management roles are highly sought after, so qualifications are the ideal way to showcase the relevant knowledge and skills, while also allowing future HR professionals to gain an edge above the competition. 

To achieve the title of HR Manager, a potential route could involve gaining a university undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, training schemes or even enrolling on a Higher National Diploma (HND).

Nonetheless, for those eager to get into HR as quickly as possible, saving them valuable time and money, then professional qualifications are a great way to go.

More specifically, qualifications from the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) are considered to be the benchmark for the best HR training, offering courses for entry-level all the way through to senior-level positions.

The 2 best CIPD qualifications that will help aspiring HR professionals to become a successful managers are:

CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management

This qualification is ideal for those who already have some limited experience working in HR and are looking to progress to the next stage of their career

Equivalent to a university undergraduate degree, this CIPD qualification enables learners to showcase a range of skills, which they will gain through the course, while also helping them stand out from the competition when applying for mid-level roles such as HR Manager, HR Advisor and HR Business Partner. 

Through the CIPD Level 5 Diploma, analytical and problem-solving skills will be developed, while also exploring a range of HR models, processes and practices across key areas including recruitment, talent management and employment law. Also, through the Level 5 Associate Diploma, learners will gain a substantial understanding of external factors that could impact HR activities and your organisation.

On top of that, once enrolled they will also acquire access to an abundance of handy tools and resources, targeted towards HR professionals and their development. As they work their way through the different levels of CIPD qualifications, successful learners will then qualify for higher levels of the CIPD membership.

CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management 

The perfect qualification for seasoned HR professionals with plenty of work experience, an HR degree and/or having studied the CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma already. Equivalent to a postgraduate Master’s degree, the CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma is ideal for those in a mid-level HR position trying to progress to senior management level. 

This qualification provides learners with valuable insights into advanced areas of HR such as leadership skills, business research and analysis, and putting together detailed reports, to persuade stakeholders to adopt new company policies. 

Once successfully completing the CIPD Level 7 Diploma successful candidates will be eligible to apply for the CIPD Chartered Membership, which is considered the highest industry accolade, while also being able to use the designation ‘Chartered MCIPD’ after their name, in an effort to display their expertise in the HR field to current and prospective employers. 

Alternatively, for those wanting to kickstart their HR career or if they are relatively new to the industry, then it is highly recommended that they first have a look at the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice.

It is important to note, that regardless of the level of career aspiring HR managers are at, each CIPD course and module is developed in alignment with the CIPD Profession Map, which sets the international standards for HR and L&D professionals, outlining the skills they will need at each stage of their career, ultimately ensuring that they will reach their professional goals using the latest and most relevant sources. 


Become CIPD qualified 100% online with a CIPD qualification from DPG and take your HR career to the next level.