How to Top-Up your CIPD Qualification

Enrol on a CMI or PRINCE2 qualification today. 

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is the leading professional body for those looking to start or progress their career in the people profession with a CIPD qualification. What if, however, you’ve already begun your HR or L&D career, and are looking for ways to enhance your credibility further? 

In this blog, we shift our focus from how to progress your career with a CIPD course to how you can top-up your CIPD qualification instead.

1) Study a supplementary qualification

Completing a supplementary professional qualification on top of your existing CIPD qualification is a great way to stay ahead of the curve in the people profession and, most importantly, ensure that your current skills and knowledge stay relevant as the workplace continues to change. 

Currently, professional organisations are now said to be a quarter Generation Z. Even though many are only at the beginning of their careers and still crafting their paths, they’re the first generation to be raised on the internet, resulting in endless information at their fingertips.

Subsequently, continued learning is essentially ‘keeping up’ with this new generation, and this is where topping up your CIPD qualification could directly impact the success of your own role within your organisation. 

There are a number of qualifications that could act as a natural follow up to your CIPD qualification. If you’re a people manager, for instance, you might choose to study a CMI qualification in management and leadership, and maybe even work your way up to prestigious Chartered Manager status. 

CMI courses are designed to support managers in applying various leadership skills to complex situations, and as someone working with the integration of a new generation, you’ll want to be prepared with how to tackle any issues that may arise. 

Another great range of supplementary qualifications that can be applied to many roles and organisations around the world include PRINCE2 project management courses

PRINCE2 courses are perfect if you’re looking for a proven and efficient method for organising and completing projects of any type  - big or small - while also helping you define roles and responsibilities in a changing workplace. 

2) Top-Up Degree

Top-up degrees are specifically designed for those who are essentially not starting from scratch and already have a certain amount of existing knowledge and or experience in their chosen industry. They are also great for improving employability prospects and are often a gateway to postgraduate study.

Various universities across the UK offer a variety of HR Management qualifications, which usually consist of a bitesize intensive 3- or 4-day workshop which then can be followed by the completion of dissertation, depending on the course. Some courses take longer to complete than others, so it’s worth researching to find one that works for you. 

3) Enhance your CIPD Membership  

A CIPD membership is an accredited and recognised way to describe your current skills, knowledge and experience to employees and employers alike. There’s various grades of membership and they differ depending on where you are within your career. So it’s worth taking a look at your current membership status to make sure it aligns with both your experience and your abilities.  The different membership grades are: 

  • Student Member: This grade represents those who are currently studying their CIPD course and you will automatically become a student member during your studies. 
  • Foundation Member: This grade starts to build credibility and represents professionals who use their knowledge and skills to directly and tactfully support in their roles. 
  • Associate Member: This grade represents professionals who contribute to both people's issues and solutions, are trusted for their up-to-date industry knowledge and are skilled in good people practise.
  • Chartered Member: This grade represents professionals who work both strategically and operationally and are those who often drive and manage change within an organisation.
  • Chartered Fellow: This grade represents the professionals who provide both strategic insight and people expertise. They often have commercial acumen and make expert changes to the way companies think about their people. 

If you’re unsure which membership grade you’re eligible for upon completion of your CIPD qualification, you can have your professional experience assessed through a series of online assessments and guidance from an experienced assessor.

In addition, a helpful interactive tool is also available on the CIPD website that provides support to those who are looking for the right route into membership. 

4) Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

CPD is the term used to describe the development and enhancement of a professional's existing skills and knowledge. CPD can really be anything from listening to an industry relevant podcast, attending webinars and events or even just sharing your best practice techniques within your work environment.

However, CPD can look different for everyone and it’s advised by The CPD Certification Service that at least 50% of CPD is completed in a structured CPD or active learning environment. The other fifty percent is a bit more flexible and can be self directed and include self reflection.

Passionate about people, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are invested in professional development and have an array of advice, guides and policies to support those who want to enhance and build on their existing skills.

It’s been said that ‘an investment in knowledge pays the best interest’, and this is certainly true when it comes to CPD. With the evolution of workplaces, industries and society, CPD is an achievable and realistic way to stay in tune and up to date with relevant professional changes.

So, if you’ve gained your CIPD qualification and are looking to build on what you currently have, know that there are options available and plenty of solicited advice from a wide array of professionals in your industry.


Top-up your CIPD qualification with a 100% online CMI or PRINCE2 qualification today.