New CIPD qualifications and research in L&D set to shape the future of the profession



The CIPD has launched a brand-new range of L&D qualifications that reflect the fast-changing landscape of the L&D profession, with digital and social collaborative learning embedded at the heart. Drawing on extensive consultations with the L&D community and subject matter experts, the qualifications can be tailored for new job roles and have developed existing structures for both entry-level and experienced professionals.

The new, updated qualifications include:

• The Level 3 Certificate, which is suitable for those who are starting out in L&D or have some basic knowledge already, has been updated and revised to include six compulsory modules based on new thinking in L&D.
• The Level 3 Diploma, which builds on core knowledge, gives students the opportunity to choose from optional units including organising L&D events, using technology to facilitate learning, and enhancing learner engagement using research on neuroscience.
• The Level 5 Certificate and Diplomas, which are suitable for professionals who have mastered the fundamentals of L&D and are ready to take their knowledge to the next stage, such as managers, practitioners and consultants or to underpin existing practice. They include contemporary options such as social and collaborative learning, consultancy skills, developing digital learning and delivering L&D solutions for international markets.

Andy Lancaster, Head of Learning & Development at the CIPD, commented: “We’ve been closely engaging with the L&D community so that we can do more to harness the immense opportunities for professionals in this industry. We’ve listened and responded to feedback that previous qualifications were a little generic and did not reflect contemporary practice. That’s why we have introduced new “leading edge” themes that can now be applied specifically to any role, be that the L&D manager, consultant, practitioner or specialist.”

Shaping the L&D profession of the future is a key focus for the CIPD, and the organisation has conducted an extensive research project, in collaboration with the University of Worcester, to accompany the new qualifications and explore the ways that L&D professionals can meet their organisations’ requirements in 2015. In the research report, ‘L&D: New approaches, New challenges’, Dr Mark Loon highlights the need for organisations to be agile in today’s complex and uncertain business environment, and explains how L&D professionals must reassess their own roles and skill sets to enable this change. By aligning themselves more closely with the business they can both anticipate issues before they arise and rapidly respond to emerging trends.

Ruth Stuart, Research Adviser for L&D at the CIPD, said: “L&D professionals need to embrace new ways of learning and working to stay at the top of their game. If the function can have a presence in different parts of the organisation and position itself as an influential strategic leader and an effective change agent, it can help to shape the organisational direction as a whole. It can achieve this by, for example, attending departmental events or job-shadowing elsewhere in the organisation to gain a deeper connection with other business units. This kind of insight will ultimately improve performance and capability for both the individual and the business.”

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