Human Resources

ICS Learn logo

CIPD Student Stories: Jon | CIPD Level 7 Review

Jon enrolled on our CIPD Level 7 Diploma to solidify his experience, learn new skills to develop others, and coach the next generation of leaders.  


Growing up in a block of flats that was part of the back-drop to the Bradford Riots, I was permanently excluded from school at the age of 13 and was allocated a place at a failing and under-subscribed school.

The prospect of achieving any level of qualification was minimal with few positive role models in my life other than my mother who saw the value of education.

After no formal education, she returned to study later in life, eventually achieving her degree at the age of 60. Her personal example of how education and qualifications can be a lifeline from the pit of perceived hopelessness changed my life.

So, why did I specifically choose Level 7 Advance Diploma in HRM and ICS Learn? 

I have been in education all my working life, and a senior leader for 13 years. Most recently, I was Senior Vice Principal across a multi academy trust of three 11-19 schools which serve communities within the lowest 20% for multiple deprivation based upon the IDACI Index.

My main focus was staff well-being and culture. I decided I wanted a career change and resigned my position to now ‘practice what I have preached’ in the private sector.

The prestige of a CIPD Level 7 qualification in HRM will reassure those who may doubt my ability to transfer my leadership skills and experience into the world of business, including myself.

Secondly, the L&D modules fit perfectly with my ambition. The impact of socio-economic background and ethnic origin on educational choice and life chances have always fuelled my professional curiosity, particularly as a BAME leader in an underrepresented role.

One of the key elements of my role as a Senior Leader in recent years has been staff development, performance management, and coaching fellow and future leaders.

It is my desire to bring my pedagogical skills and experience into the private sector to coach the next generation of leaders, particularly those from diverse and deprived backgrounds, so they can successfully navigate an unpredictable and potentially turbulent future business environment.

Finally, I want to achieve a CIPD Level 7 Advanced Diploma to prove to those who said I would never achieve wrong, and hopefully, following the course, convert it to an MSc.

I want to dispel the belief that “when you wish upon a star, it makes a difference who you are.” I want to be a role model to those from my community and to continue my mother’s legacy. 

There are obvious logistical benefits to choosing ICS Learn. They are one of a limited number of providers to offer the Level 7 qualification. 

This, along with the online learning platform and the ability to learn at your own pace, was key for my decision to select ICS Learn. 

The Virtual Learning Environment is easy to navigate, and the resources provided are varied, utilizing text, video and interactive online forum.  They are high quality and current. 

Also, the friendly, knowledgeable and caring staff at the other end of the phone are fantastic ambassadors for ICS Learn and have really supported me through my studies so far.


Inspired by Jon's story? Find out more about our online CIPD courses.