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ICS Real Stories: Sarah | Online CIPD Level 7 Review

Sarah Watts

CIPD Level 7

Our amazing student Sarah Watts tells us about her journey to getting CIPD qualified and gives her review of our online Level 7 Advanced Diploma in HR Management.

I had previously worked in staff development, and while I enjoyed delivering training, I always thought that a more generalist role in HR would suit me better.

This would give me an opportunity to work with individuals more, over a longer period of time, to really influence different aspects of the organisation. 

When an opportunity came up to work as an HR Adviser I jumped at the chance. 

It is a very varied role, supporting both managers and employees with all HR processes. No two days are the same.

I have gained huge on the job experience in the role, but also wanted to back this up with a formal HR qualification. I wanted to develop my knowledge further and prepare myself for career development should the opportunity arise. 

I chose the CIPD because their qualifications are the recognised professional standard for HR specialists.

My HR Director encouraged me to take this route rather than do an MA, as she felt the CIPD qualifications were more about applying the theory in practice.

I decided to take the plunge and go straight for the Level 7 Diploma in HR Management, and chose ICS Learn because their course was good value and seemed the most flexible in terms of how I could study.

Working full time as well as having two young children at home it was important that I could work at my own pace and not have to commit to attending a lot of workshops or seminars.

The two workshops* I have attended on this course were a great opportunity to meet other students, and share our experiences of both studying and working in HR. The workshop that focused on the modules that had exams was especially useful, as the tutor gave us really good advice on how to approach each question and structure our answers.

The tutors generally have been great, and are happy to talk through any queries I had or guide me in the right direction when it came to assignments.

I feel like I’ve grown in confidence through doing this course, and it was fantastic to get a Merit in my recent exam.

I’ve learned so much about the theories that underpin good HR and management practices that I was able to include in my answers, as well as applying it to real-life business examples. 

I’ve now got one more exam to take and then hopefully I’ll have finished my course in just over 3 years, which for a Level 7 course I think is pretty good going!

I hope that the knowledge I’ve gained through my studies will support me in my career and benefit the organisation I work for in terms of the HR advice and support I’m able to offer.


Find out more about our online CIPD HR courses.

*Our HR courses are now fully online, so they're even easier to fit around work and family.

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