What’s going on with the CIPD Level 7 Apprenticeship?
Quite often our clients have asked if they can fund their CIPD Advanced Level 7 qualification through the apprenticeship levy. Here’s what we know:
A CIPD accredited Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship is currently being developed. Although there is no indication when this will be fully approved, it is two-thirds through the process, with just the assessment plan left to finalise. What we don’t know yet is what elements of the CIPD Advanced qualifications will be included or what funding band it will be allocated.
So, what do we know so far?
The recommended duration will be 36 months which, as expected, is a year longer than we recommend for the CIPD Level 7 Diploma.
Who is eligible?
The Senior People Professional Apprenticeship, as the name suggests, is designed for those already in senior leadership positions rather than those working towards those roles. However, you will be eligible if you’re in a senior generalist HR or Learning & Development role or more specialist Organisational Development, Change Management, Employee Experience or Talent role. From what we can see the standard seems to reflect that the People Profession is a broad one with many different aspects.
What will the structure be?
To cover all the breadth of the different roles mentioned above this apprenticeship is following a core and optional approach. This is very much inline with the CIPD Level 7 Diploma which has four core modules:
- Managing and Developing People
- Developing Business Leadership Skills
- Investigating Business Issues from a HR perspective
- Understanding Human Resource Management in Context
Then four optional modules are chosen to specialise in either HR or Learning & Development. It is likely that the People Professional Apprenticeship will include a third route – Organisation Development. Which route you go down will be determined by the job role you are currently in.
How will the apprenticeship be assessed?
This is the part we have the least information about at the moment, but we have a few predictions
- Written assignments will require a mixture of academic and professional report writing skills
- There will be at least one longer work based project involving primary research
- There could be exams but recent indications from the CIPD suggest that they are looking to move away from this method of assessment at level 7
- A presentation and Q&A with a panel of experts
Will the CIPD Level 7 Certificate or Diploma be a compulsory part of the apprenticeship?
The short answer is we just don’t know. All we can do is look at the other levels to have an indication of what’s to come. The HR Consultant Apprenticeship includes the CIPD Level 5 Certificate, however, the HR Support Apprenticeship does not have this as a compulsory element. We’re hoping that whatever the official guidance is that the standards will be similar enough that we can choose to include this as the training provider, as we have done the HR and L&D Support Apprenticeships.
What else will be part of this apprenticeship?
As with all apprenticeships there will be several compulsory elements. What we know it will include:
- English & maths
- 20% off the job training
- Individual learning plans
- Workplace assessments
- End point assessment
- Minimum completion time (possibly 24 months)
Who’s involved in developing this apprenticeship standard?
The CIPD has been working with employers to develop an apprenticeship standard which meets both academic and professional expectations. Employers involved include Walter Smith Fine Foods, the NHS, Royal Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury’s and Canon Europe.
Should I hold off on completing a CIPD Level 7 Qualification?
It could be another 18 months before this apprenticeship is approved. It will then take time for training providers to interpret the standards and be ready to deliver them. And the there is no guarantee that the apprenticeship will come with the CIPD approved qualifications or be something completely different.
When considering an apprenticeship at any level you need to be aware of all aspects of the programme. The more responsibility you have in your role the more difficult it will be to ensure that it is feasible to be spending 20% of your work time on training off the job for two / three years…
How can I find out more information?
For up to date information on the standard you can check out The Institute of Apprenticeships website. You can also contact us and one of our course advisors will be able to help you to understand either apprenticeships or CIPD programmes.