So, you’ve chosen the career area you want to focus on — the people profession (ie. Human Resources or Learning & Development).
You’ve decided on studying an internationally recognised qualification from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) to develop you career and you’ve drawn up a big career plan.
Finding the best CIPD course provider, of course!
To help you get the best experience and value-for-money when it comes to studying, we’ve come up with this guide. Here’s how to choose the best CIPD course provider for you.
1. Think about your priorities in a course
Ask yourself a simple question: what are the key features that you’re looking for in your next course what are the red lines that would influence which provider you choose to study with.
The answer you come up with is your priorities — the things that are important.
Thinking about your priorities as a student, and just as a human being, when choosing a CIPD course provider is essential to finding a fit that’s right for your needs. First of all, find out what your priorities are and then find a course provider that meets them!
You basically need to avoid falling into the trap of studying something that you won’t enjoy, for one reason or another. We’re all different people, and we all have different needs, objectives and ways of working, after all. Bear in mind that different providers offer different levels and types of support and features that work for one person might not necessarily work for you.
Here are a few techniques you can use to find out your own priorities and to put them to use when finding a provider:
- Write down three values that are fundamental to who you are as a person and professional: try to find similar values in providers. Create a list!
- Write down five things that are important for you when learning
- Focus on long term aims, breaking them down into short term goals and add these to the list
- Be prepared to compromise a little
- Vet potential course providers according to the list of priorities that you’ve just made. Try to find providers that closely align with your own values and priorities.
2. Choose your learning format
One of the key traits that separates different course providers is the way that they offer their learning. This is usually referred to as the ‘learning format’ or ‘learning style’ of a course. There are three different types of learning formats: physical learning; online learning; and hybrid learning.
The type of learning format you pick should reflect your own study preferences — you don’t want to be stuck studying in a way that isn’t serving what’s best for your needs. Here are the two main learning formats explained in more detail, along with some more information about the other type:
A tried-and tested option, physical study, based in a classroom environment, was one of the most widespread ways of studying a qualification in the years before the pandemic. It’s a good match for people who prefer learning in a physical space alongside others. You’ll be assigned a regular class to attend every couple of weeks, where you’ll take part in a lecture led by a tutor.
- Good for people who learn best surrounded by other people
- A traditional, tried-and-tested option
- Widely available
- Can be expensive and difficult to fit around your work/life schedule
- COVID-19 has significantly disrupted classes
Online learning is incredibly popular right now and for good reason — it’s generally cheaper, more flexible and more convenient than classroom-based study.
Online learning is essentially the next evolution of distance-learning. In this type of learning, your entire course is delivered online and you won’t need to attend weekly or monthly classes in a classroom. All you need is an internet capable device, like a laptop. You’ll work through the course it at your own pace.
- Cheaper than traditional classroom-based study
- You complete the course at your own pace
- You can complete it anytime, anywhere (so long as there is an internet connection)
- You need to be motivated to study by yourself
Hybrid learning is a mixture of physical learning and online learning. It aims to combine the best elements of both learning styles. It’s a useful option for people who would like a little more flexibility in their study from online learning but who still like the structure that physical learning provides.