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ICS Real Stories: Mary | Online CIPD Level 5 Review

Mary Spillane

CIPD Level 5 Certificate

Mary Spillane wanted a change of pace in her career - HR appealed to her so she studied our Level 5 Certificate with us and landed a new role.


I was a store manager for fifteen years and was getting a bit bored of the operations side of the job, I loved the Human Resource side and I got a great feeling of accomplishment when someone got promoted or did well in their job because I helped them see and use their full potential.

After years of wanting and longing for an HR job, I decided the only way I was going to get it was to utilise my business experience in management, complete a Human Resources course and combine the two to land myself my dream job.

I researched the different avenues of colleges and online courses, the most practical was to do an online course so I could continue to work and pay my bills whilst studying at night or on my time off.

I knew this wouldn’t be easy as I already worked a 60-hour week and have a 9-year-old and a house to maintain, but I see the bigger picture and I said, ‘short term pain for long term gain’.

In March 2018, I decided this was the right time for me and I chose ICS Learn over other course providers as they were really helpful and not at all pushy.

I felt comfortable as they wanted the best for me when I enquired about my options Eva talked me through each level and assisted me in deciding which level to take.

I chose the Level 5 Certificate and Eva set me up on a monthly finance plan, which is fantastic as it meant I didn’t have to take out a loan to pay for the course in full.

Studying from Ireland with ICS Learn has been good and there have been no issues. I understand my assignments must be referred to UK law, but it isn’t that much different to Irish law.

The online student community and the tutors have all been so helpful and very prompt with their replies to my never-ending queries.

I completed my last assignment in my certificate on 30th October which was well before my targeted end time, so I decided to add on the remaining two modules to do the Level 5 Diploma.

This wasn’t easy, I sacrificed a lot of my social life, nights out and weekends to get the course done in this time but I made a plan to get myself into a HR role by my 35th birthday in February.

I’m delighted to say I’ve been offered a job as an HR advisor for a large factory in Cork starting this week!

The course has really helped me get this position as the requirement was an HR qualification and membership of the CIPD. In the interview the panel were impressed I had the self-discipline to do a distance learning course and work. This not only showed determination, but invaluable organisational skills. 

I would recommend ICS Learn to anyone looking to complete this course. They are truly professional, and the course content is relevant and easy to understand.

The tutor support is professional and helpful, and the job prospects you’ll have are extremely high. I’ve enjoyed my experience with ICS Learn and I hope to complete a Level 7 soon.


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