CIPD Level 3 Award Understanding Organisations and the Role of HR


Foundation Level qualifications are perfect if you want to acquire a wide range of relevant practical skills in HR. With ICS you have the opportunity to study individual awards to either start or top up your HR knowledge. 

This unit provides an introduction to the role of HR and L&D operations within an organisation and environmental context. You will develop your understanding of how HR activities support an organisation's strategy and assist the achievement of business objectives and how these are shaped by internal and external factors.

Course Content

Structure of Qualification

To achieve a Foundation Award in Human Resources Essentials, you need a total of between 2 and 12 credits. The Foundation Award in HR Essentials in Understanding Organisations and the Role of HR has 4 credits.

Key Topics

The learning outcomes for this unit are shown below. By the end of the unit, you will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of an organisation and its operating environment.
  • Understand the structure, culture and functions of an organisation.
  • Understand how HR/L&D activities support an organisation.

Entry Requirements

This is a Level 3 programme and is broadly equivalent in terms of level, to an A-Level programme of study.

The Foundation Level Awards in Human Resources Essentials are for:

  • Those who would like to either start or top up their HR and L&D knowledge 
  • Those working in HR in a support role and wish to develop their knowledge and skills
  • HR staff who do not have sufficient qualifications to undertake CIPD intermediate or advanced-level qualifications
  • Line managers who are involved in HR and have responsibility for HR activities and decisions within an organisation without a specialist function

If English is not your first language, you will be required to have an IELTS score of 6 or above.

Where will I go from here?

All the units form part of the Foundation Certificate / Diploma in Human Resource Practice, you can also use your Award to work towards meeting the knowledge requirements for CIPD professional membership by taking additional units to achieve the full Foundation Certificate or Diploma in HR Practice. 

What will I gain?

On completion, you'll receive a CIPD Foundation Award in Human Resources Essentials.


Assessment for this unit is by way of three short written assignments.

What will I get?

Because we're experts in home learning, we offers all the support you need along the way. You'll receive access to online study materials that have been specially designed for online learning by experts in your fields of study, and have access to both your tutors and mentor online and over the phone.

You'll also be part of our online Student Community, where you'll have access to library materials and your account information, as well as vital links with your fellow students.

You will also receive the following ebook: Human Resource Practice, by Martin, Whiting and Jackson.

Payment Options

You can either pay for your course in full or opt for a monthly payment plan.

Speak to one of our course advisors now for more information on our payment plans.

Additional fees

CIPD membership is not necessary when studying for an Award in Human Resources Essentials, although there is a one-off payment of £30 to CIPD.

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  • Hours of Study 20 hours
  • Course Code Q32
  • Study Period 4 months
  • Support Period 4 months

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