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Human Resources Student Stories:
CIPD Student Stories: Anne-Marie McLoughlin | CIPD Level 7

Anne-Marie McLoughlin

CIPD Level 7

Anne-Marie was eager to progress her HR career. After careful consideration of her option she decided to study a CIPD Level 7 qualification with ICS Learn.

I’ve worked in Recruitment for a large education charity for the last 16 years (with two breaks to have my children and a one-year secondment to another front-line charity as their Recruitment Director). My current role is Head of Recruitment Operations at Teach First. Teach First has a vision of building a fair education for all and ensuring that every child can reach their potential. It’s a vision that I am proud to be part of. I work closely with teams in attraction, selection, and admissions and each year we recruit, place and train hundreds of new teachers to work in schools across the country that need them most.

Earlier this year I decided to make use of the Professional Qualification Support that Teach First offers and signed up with ICS Learn to undertake my CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management. Other than short training courses, this is the first official qualification I have worked towards since I obtained my Qualified Teacher Status in 2004. I have been contemplating studying for a professional qualification for several years but wasn’t sure I had capacity to balance it alongside a busy work and home life.

I spent time researching different providers; ICS Learn stood out for both flexibility and affordability. With two young children I didn’t want to feel pressured with strict deadlines, and with a partner who works away wanted a course which I could fit around my busy schedule.

After a period of reflection, speaking to colleagues who had done their Level 7 qualification and with the support of my family, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up – and I’m so pleased that I did.

The modules in this qualification appealed from the start. It has been aligned with the CIPD profession map and I have found the work covered is so relevant to my day-to-day job.

So far, I’ve completed 3 modules; Resourcing and Talent Management, Work and working lives in a changing business environment and People Management and development strategies – each has offered me new perspectives and I’ve been able to play my newfound knowledge into my everyday work.

I did have initial reservations about online learning and wondered whether there would be enough momentum to keep going. However, I have dedicated set learning times each week which my family respect (for the most-part, the toddler is not always so sympathetic!) and I’ve found ‘windows of submission’ act as real motivator. I’m just embarking on the Business research in people practice module which has been hugely interesting and am looking forward to taking back findings to share with my organisation.

The tutors have been great; my course tutor is extremely responsive and I’m always very grateful when I hear back (usually less than 24hrs) after I’ve asked a question.

The tutors delivering masterclasses, webinars and other sessions are also encouraging and welcome questions.

I’d really encourage anyone who is humming and hawing about taking a professional qualification with ICS Learn to just go for it – there is really nothing to lose!

Having the CIPD level 7 qualification will boost my credibility in the field, as well as showing my commitment to personal development. I can apply the learnings into my current work, but also know it’s there to support me in the future as my career develops.


Did you enjoy Anne-Marie's story? Do you want to take your HR career to the next level? Then enrol on the CIPD course of you choice today. 

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