Human Resources

How Long Does a CIPD Qualification Take?

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CIPD qualifications can create a wealth of new opportunities for HR and L&D practitioners.

Naturally, many prospective students want to know how long it will take to complete a CIPD course, so we’ve outlined all of the important information that you need to know.

In each section below, you’ll find out how long it takes to complete the comprehensive CIPD Diploma, the shorter CIPD Certificate, and a single CIPD Award at each level.

 

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How Long Does a CIPD Level 3 Foundation Qualification Take?

If you’re looking to take the first step on your HR or L&D career path or have minimal HR/L&D experience, then a CIPD Level 3 qualification is right for you.

  • A CIPD Level 3 Foundation Diploma has a total learning time of 370 hours, which equates to around 8 to 10 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate has a total learning time of 280 hours, which equates to around 7 to 9 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 3 Foundation Award has a total learning time of 20 to 120 hours, which equates to around 2 to 3 months while working full time.

 

How Long Does a CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Qualification Take?

A CIPD Level 5 qualification is suitable for you if you have some HR or L&D experience or a degree.

  • A CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Diploma has a total learning time of 440 hours, which equates to around 9 to 12 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Certificate has a total learning time of 320 hours, which equates to around 8 to 10 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 5 Intermediate Award has a total learning time of 30 to 120 hours, which equates to around 3 to 4 months while working full time.

 

How Long Does a CIPD Level 7 Advanced Qualification Take?

A CIPD Level 7 Qualification is the correct level for you if you have significant experience in HR or L&D, or a degree.

  • A CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma has a total learning time of 1200 hours, which equates to around 18 to 24 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 7 Advanced Certificate has a total learning time of 600 hours, which equates to around 9 to 12 months while working full time.
  • A CIPD Level 7 Advanced Award has a total learning time of 150 hours, which equates to around 4 to 5 months while working full time.

 

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Factors That May Impact Your CIPD Completion Time

The estimates that we’ve given for completing these CIPD courses are a guideline based on how long it takes most of our students to complete their qualification through self-led online learning.

However, your completion time will be entirely unique when you study with us. All our students work at their own pace, depending on their schedule, job and family commitments, experience, and motivation.

This means that if you’re really motivated to complete your course in a shorter time period, there’s nothing standing in your way! Similarly, if you suddenly become much busier at work or become unwell, you can take a break from your studies and pick them back up when the time is right.

Our extended support periods give you the flexibility you need for these kinds of occasions, as we always offer students more time than required to complete the course.

Other CIPD providers will have set timetables that will determine how long your qualification takes, especially if you’re tethered to class times and teaching schedules. Do bear this in mind as you weigh up your options for your CIPD studies.

 

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Can You Fast-Track Your CIPD Qualification?

Yes! When you study CIPD with us, you have the freedom to complete your qualification as quickly or slowly as you like within our generous support period, making it easy to fast-track your CIPD course.

Our courses are completely self-paced, so the only limitation on how quickly you can become CIPD qualified is how much time you can dedicate to your studies.

This flexibility also means that you're not tied in to fast-tracking your course; if your plans go awry and it turns out that you need more time, you have the flexibility to switch to a slower pace.

If you're fast-tracking your course, bear in mind that you'll need to leave time to have your assignments marked by your tutor, which can take up to a week.

 

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Students sitting the Level 7 Advanced Diploma (or a Level 7 Certificate/Award that includes one of the two Level 7 modules that are assessed by exam) will also need to consider how the exam windows will impact completion. These examination windows are set by the CIPD and take place each year in January, May, and September. 

If you do have a goal completion date in mind, then it’s important to create a study plan that will help you to reach it. It’s easy to start out with good intentions when you enrol on your course, but you need to back this up with concrete action to keep up your momentum in the long term.


 

Becoming CIPD qualified or taking the next step up with a higher-level CIPD qualification both have the power to supercharge your HR or L&D career. Make sure you understand the time commitment required for completing a CIPD course to ensure that you can shape your chosen course around your life.

 


Learn how we can help you take the next step in your HR or L&D career with a self-paced CIPD qualification.