Elizabeth North graduated with her CIPD Level 5 L&D Diploma and shares her study experience at Acacia Learning.
After 18 years of teaching, Elizabeth made a career change and started her journey moving into learning and development. In 2018 she was made redundant from her role as a regional learning and development manager with a global pharmaceutical company but seized the opportunity to complete a CIPD qualification.
What do you enjoy most about being in L&D?
“Studying for a professional qualification has allowed me to reach out to L&D and HR professionals to ask them for their insights and experiences on topics. An example being how coaching and mentoring has helped them to develop in their career and how they are using it in their current role.”
Why did you choose to study with Acacia Learning?
“Being able to join a rolling programme with monthly start dates throughout the year was convenient as I did not have to wait for a particular time in the year to begin.”
What did you enjoy most about studying the qualification?
“The opportunity to meet new people and hear their experiences of working in L&D roles in a range of industries. Also hearing their insights during discussions or group work. “
Did you have a favourite module?
“Implementing coaching and mentoring. A topic that I was already interested in and was able to develop further my understanding of the two processes. I undertook an additional piece of independent work and reached out to my network and asked about how coaching and mentoring has guided them during their careers and how they are using the two processes in their current roles.”
Have you overcome any challenged while studying?
“Being unemployed through out the whole of my studies has been challenging as I have no current role to refer to and had to reference my previous role. The module ‘Using information, metrics and developing a business case for L&D’ was particularly challenging as I was not working. I had to reach out to my network and was fortunate that I could secure an opportunity that supported a HR Director to evaluate their onboarding and employee induction experience. “
How did you find your Acacia tutors and our support team throughout the course?
“Both the tutors I had were supportive and sympathetic to my situation. They both took the time in emails and in person at the seminar sessions to discuss any concerns I had. The support team were able to answer my questions by phone or promptly in emails.”
How has the course benefited your career?
“I am more aware of what it is to be a L&D professional and what an organisation’s expectations are for a L&D professional and function as a whole although this varies considerable for each organisation. I have been looking for a L&D role during a very challenging time. First Brexit then a global health pandemic followed up by both again combining to make an uncertain start to 2021. I have noticed job descriptions have moved from ‘it would be nice to have’ to ‘you need’ a CIPD qualification and so by having my qualification I do feel able to apply for roles that have this requirement. Having self-funded and continued my studies, it shows my determination and resilience also commitment to furthering my career in L&D. “
Would you recommend Acacia Learning?
Based on my experience I would consider recommending Acacia Learning because of the rolling enrolment programme is convenient and you have the opportunity to plan out when you take modules.