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ICS Real Stories: Cristina | Online CIPD Level 5 Review

Maria Cristina Araviso

CIPD Level 5

Maria Cristina Araviso realised that to progress in her HR career in Dubai, she would need a formal qualification. She reviews her experience of studying the CIPD Level 5 Diploma online from the UAE.


I started my career in HR when I moved to Dubai, UAE.  Although I do not have any formal training and education in HR, I was given the opportunity to work in a multinational company as HR Assistant.

The working environment in UAE is dynamic and highly competitive. Most employers in the UAE prefer a candidate who has a CIPD qualification and they consider it as prerequisite.

I had been working in HR for many years when I realised that I needed further education and qualifications, although I have relevant experience already.

This would enable me to enhance my knowledge, my skills and expertise. I wanted to be exposed to more strategic HR and wanted to move up and take my career to the next level.

So I decided to take up a CIPD qualification and did some research about it. This is when I came across ICS Learn and found out that they are the most recommended CIPD approved center.

The tuition fee is much more reasonable compared to the tuition fee from the learning centres here in the UAE.

 ICS Learn offers monthly instalment payment options and they also provide flexible schedules which is great for a working student like me.  

From the very start, the course advisors of ICS Learn have been very helpful, from the day I sent an email query about the course, then enrolment, until I received my certificate.

Upon enrolment, I remember there was a small issue about the payment method since I do not have any bank account in UK. But despite this, they still accepted my application and assisted me.

Going back to studies after a very long time was really a difficult one. Plus, the online learning seemed tougher and more challenging compared to in a typical classroom setting. 

When I received my learning materials and the contents of the assignments, I immediately concluded that it is very difficult and that I didn’t think I could pass this course.

Many months passed by; I got busy at work and always gave myself excuses for not doing my assignments. I always received emails from ICS Learn who checked whenever they noticed that I didn’t log in and submit the assignments.

There was a time when I needed to take a study break for almost a year for some personal reason. And that’s when I realized that I made the best decision when I enrolled with ICS Learn.

I thought, I won’t able to complete my course anymore and I simply wasted the tuition fee that I paid. But they allowed and helped me to activate my course after the study break.

The moment I decided to start again with my CIPD course, that’s the first time I visited the online classrooms. I gave myself a time to fully read the online materials and the assessment forms. 

I discovered that the online classrooms are very user friendly and the online resources are very beneficial.

I found some PowerPoint presentations that helped me to understand my assignments. They also provided the assessment forms which I used as guidelines on how to do my assignments.

I couldn’t believe when I finished and submitted my first assignment. I was even shocked that I passed it after two attempts with very minor corrections (not bad for first attempt).

My tutors are very supportive and helpful. They are very knowledgeable and expert about the course. They always give their comments in a constructive way which made me more inspired, motivated and more eager to do my next assignment.

With the help of my tutors, I was able to complete all my assignments in six months.

Another highlight of the course was the 2-day workshop that we have to attend in UK. [Please note that this is now delivered fully online.]

I met the tutor and other people with same HR backgrounds. The lectures, discussions and different perspectives helped me broaden my knowledge of how the theory is practically applied in the field of HR.

I completed the Level 5 Diploma in late 2017 and my employer has recognized the hard work and effort that I put in to complete my course.

Having a CIPD qualification I feel more confident and more credible in my work in terms of giving advises and dealing with HR related issues.

I hope to progress to a CIPD Level 7 Diploma with ICS Learn again of course! Because I have proven that ICS Learn provides an excellent and high quality of teaching.

In my personal opinion, I was receiving the same quality of teaching as in a classroom setting. I felt it was much better as I was able to manage my time.

It may be difficult but I have learnt a lot more because I put my extra effort in. It was challenging but well worth it.

I would highly recommend it to anyone considering an online learning course. It is an opportunity for those who are working abroad and unable to relocate to study in universities.

Thank you ICS Learn for providing this online learning and the opportunity to study and work at the same time without necessarily relocating to UK for studies!



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