Four human resources professionals have told how studying a Chartered Institute for Personnel Development (CIPD) course led to promotions or advanced their career.

Tashan Maxwell, Liz Collins, Anita Odulaja, and Adele Novo all studied for Level 3 and Level 5 CIPD accredited courses at Westminster Kingsway College, which will be running new courses this April.

The number of people working in HR in the UK grew 17 per cent between 2009 and 2019. The People Profession Survey revealed 80 per cent felt they were in a meaningful career and more than two thirds said their career had exceeded or met their expectations.

WestKing is one of the highest performing CIPD study centres in the UK with a 95 per cent pass rate and the number of students enrolling has nearly doubled over the past four years.

A well-rounded course

Tashan, 28, from Waltham Forest, was working in finance before landing a role in HR with the food poverty charity FareShare and applying to study on a Level 5 CIPD diploma.

She said: “It was a well-rounded course that gave me the tools to know the detail of human resources management. I really enjoyed the interactive sessions, where we were able to bounce ideas and our experiences off each other.

“The lecturers have been nothing but supportive, giving up extra time to ensure the class understood the content and boosting us with confidence in areas we were feeling unsure.

“I’ve now been put forward for my second promotion in under two years.”

Structured and insightful

Liz Collins, 34, from Bexley, has climbed the HR ladder since undertaking Level 3 and Level 5 CIPD courses at WestKing and currently works for KH Engineering Services.

She said: “The course was well structured and very insightful and has furnished me with more knowledge and understanding for my continuous professional development. My tutor’s enthusiasm and learning methods kept me engaged throughout the course and motivated me to want to be the best student.”

Knowledge to do your job

Adele, 52, also from Bexley, turned to a career in HR in December 2019 after being made redundant from Barclays Bank where she had worked for 29 years.

“My boss encouraged me to apply for a CIPD course and continue my professional development,” said Adele, who was promoted to the role of HR Advisor with building contractor Prater after completing a Level 3 qualification and is now studying at Level 5.

“I love that at my age I have changed career and started to learn again. I left school in 1985 and it has been hard getting back used to writing assessments, but the rewards are amazing and it gives you so much knowledge to do your job. Both my tutors have been really inspiring and helped at every step of the way, I cannot fault them.”

Practical with real-life discussions

Anita, 22, from Barking, took a Level 3 CIPD course while on an HR administration apprenticeship with construction firm Bouygues UK, and is now studying for a Level 5.

She said: “The real-life examples discussed with my classmates gave an insight into how HR professionals in different industries operate and deal with HR matters,” she said.

“The practical elements of the course were useful. Having the opportunity to practise performance management reviews put me in a more comfortable position to conduct one and make informed conclusions. And, as my lessons progressed, I was gradually given more responsibilities as well as a promotion at work.”

WestKing is offering the CIPD’s new People Practice Level 3 Certificate and a People Management Level 5 Diploma, which cover all aspects of HR practice including business culture and change, analytics, professional behaviours, employment relationships, people management, workplace training, employment law, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and wellbeing at work.

The CIPD has reduced the number of its courses from 17 to five and WestKing has been approved to become one of the first centres in the UK offer these qualifications.

These CIPD qualifications can also be studied on an apprenticeship with Capital City College Training (CCCT), which along with Westminster Kingsway College, is part of Capital City College Group – one of London’s leading further education groups.

Tony Kerley, the college’s CIPD Programme Leader, said:

“HR is a great profession where you can make a real impact and benefit from great earnings potential and clear career progression. You could become a specialist in diversity and inclusion or be an expert in nurturing talent to help employees to flourish and an organisation to thrive.

“WestKing offers the most supportive, hands on tutorship to help students qualify in HR. All our tutors are first class HR practitioners first and tutors second, meaning they have the credibility, experience and knowledge to deliver stimulating, memorable and valuable courses that are second to none.”

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