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What is CIPD Level 3? HR Qualifications Explained

Take your HR career to the next level with an online CIPD qualification. 

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz around CIPD qualifications if you’re even remotely interested in the people profession - and it would make sense!

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) is well known as the global standard for professional training for ambitious individuals looking to kickstart or advance their career in HR and L&D.

Their qualifications are offered at a variety of different levels, depending on where you’re at in your career, giving learners the chance to prepare for and take on new opportunities at work.

To give you some more comprehensive insight into CIPD and the qualifications they offer, let's first take a look at the CIPD Level 3 Certificate. 

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What is the CIPD Level 3 qualification? 

The CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice is what’s best known as the entry-level qualification for those looking to get started in HR or L&D and formalise their existing knowledge and skills.

Aligned with the CIPD Profession Map, this programme is chock full of information on all the key areas across HR and L&D that learners need to understand in-depth, including the essentials of people practice and the principles of analytics.

Once the CIPD Level 3 Certificate is completed, learners can then upgrade from a Student Membership with the CIPD to a Foundation Membership, which offers a host of resources that enable members to better apply their knowledge and deliver strong, tactical support in their organisations.

Is the CIPD Level 3 qualification for me? 

The CIPD Level 3 qualification is for you if any of the below points apply:

  • You’d like to build a career in HR or L&D
  • You’re looking for your first entry-level job in the people profession, or
  • You’re currently already working in an entry-level role in HR or L&D (i.e. HR Administrator or Training Assistant) and would like to gain professional accreditation to support your career development

As this course is for newcomers, there are no formal entry requirements! As long as you’re 18+ you’re good to go.

How long will it take me to complete the CIPD Level 3 course? 

Being that the CIPD Level 3 Certificate is offered by various providers both online, in-person, or through blended learning, how long it takes you to complete the CIPD Level 3 Certificate is entirely dependent on the method of study you choose, whether you work part-time or full-time, and what free time you have available outside of work.

That being said, when you study with DPG (via blended or online learning), we find that most students complete their Level 3 qualifications in around 7 to 9 months while working part-time.

How much does the CIPD Level 3 Certificate cost? 

While the cost of the CIPD Level 3 qualification varies depending on which course provider you choose and how you study, the typical price range you can expect for this course is between £1,785 and £2,500.

When you study with DPG, you’ll benefit from low deposits and 0% finance options so you don’t have to pay for the entire course upfront. To add, you’ll also gain free access to the award-winning online DPG Community!

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How will I be assessed? 

The CIPD Level 3 Certificate has four modules:

  • Business, culture and change in context
  • Principles of analytics
  • Core behaviours for people professionals, and
  • Essentials of people practice


After each module you study, you’ll need to complete a written assignment that will then be submitted online and marked by a CIPD assessor.


We hope this blog has provided an in-depth overview of the CIPD Level 3 Certificate in People Practice and helped you make a decision to take the plunge and start building a career you’re truly proud of. 


Interested in kick starting your career in the people profession with us? Download your free course guide and get started today with the professional CIPD Level 3 qualification

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