Our advisers are very special individuals with an abundance of industry experience and a genuine interest in the development of others. Each one of them works hard to support their CIPD candidates and apprentices throughout every step of their qualification, and the feedback we receive on Coursecheck is testament to the superb advice they provide.
What really ensures Watson Martin stands out from the crowd is our personal touch which is something we know candidates greatly value and is epitomised by the company’s two Directors, Heather Watson and Melanie Martin. While growing the business over the last 17 years into the leading provider of CIPD qualifications, HR and L&D apprenticeships, in-company courses and consultancy it is today, both have maintained a hands-on approach supporting candidates through their learning journey.
This tailored highly personalised support, which is provided by all Watson Martin advisers to every candidate, has helped thousands of people professionals to develop the skills they need to enhance their careers. It is also one of the main reasons why the business has established its reputation as the CIPD benchmark centre for quality.
Here we profile our Director Melanie Martin and her advice to help you succeed in your goal of being fully CIPD qualified as well as discovering what she loves most about her role at Watson Martin.
From her experience supporting hundreds of CIPD Level 7 candidates, here are Melanie’s top tips for success …
- Don’t underestimate the value of the 1:1 tailored support from your personal adviser. Not only will it help you achieve qualification success, but it will build your self-confidence and increase your credibility among your peers and senior stakeholders.
- Keep to your scheduled appointments with your adviser. Melanie has seen that those who do not chop, change or delay meetings are more likely to succeed.
- If you have fallen behind with your qualification, your adviser will help break down the barriers and help you progress.
- Take on board the feedback you receive. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t receive top marks. Level 7 is a Masters level qualification and a Pass is an achievement to be proud of.
- Look for opportunities in the workplace to evaluate practice and make suggestions. This will improve your standing and get you noticed. It will also help with your qualification by providing examples to use in your modules.
Here’s what some of our Level 7 CIPD candidates say about Melanie
Just want to say a huge thank you for all your support and help, I really appreciate it (especially as I was really behind with my studies initially and you really helped me to get back on track). I also really appreciated your quick responses in relation to providing any feedback, marking or support when required, it has been a pleasure working with you!” Paulina Bieda
“Thank you to the Watson Martin team and especially Melanie for supporting me through the CIPD Level 7. I found the course easy to navigate and lots of information was provided, including on the VLE. Melanie was very helpful, advising on structure and content of the essays and ensuring I passed the modules. I felt I could always discuss with her and get something useful out of the discussions.” Laura Martin
Could not have done it without Melanie. Turned round essay marking extremely quickly and made herself available at short notice if I ever needed some direction.” Robert Husbands
“I can only sing the highest praise for Melanie. She provided a great deal of support through face-to-face meetings when I was in London or over the phone and gave me a really good steer on the best ways to structure and layout my thinking so I could do my absolute best throughout the qualification.” Thomas Joy
Having the ability to meet with Melanie, even to have that contact time in person for just a half hour, was beneficial. Having that opportunity to discuss areas of my coursework and its relevance to the programme has been very useful. Melanie has been understanding and supportive in terms of my workload and managing deadlines. We developed a rapport which is important and I couldn’t have got through it without her support.” Vicky Peters
Melanie confesses to not knowing what HR was when she applied for her first job as Personnel and Admin Officer at Norfolk County Council after obtaining a degree in Development Studies. Having been shortlisted out of 80 applicants because her handwriting stood out, her first role was not only fortuitous but became the start of a successful HR career spanning nearly 40 years!
Promotions rapidly followed in local government, the NHS and Singapore Airlines and Melanie became a CIPD Chartered Fellow before starting her own HR consultancy. The move to go it alone became a steppingstone to setting up Watson Martin which was founded on the belief that CIPD programmes could be more flexibly delivered and tailored to the individual. The idea led to a long-term partnership with Heather Watson and with the global recruitment company REED and the rest is history!
From small beginnings come great things and this is certainly the case at Watson Martin. Having started the partnership from scratch in 2004 with just a handful of candidates, Melanie is proud of its transformation to a leading CIPD centre. The business now supports hundreds of HR and L&D practitioners to become qualified each year and has achieved an overall pass rate of over 98%.
Like all organisations, Watson Martin has weathered storms along the way, but Melanie believes the secret to its success is keeping a constant eye on quality, a fantastic team, the flexible nature of the business along with trust and transparency in decision making. She is heavily involved in the marketing side of the business and creating new opportunities to take forward.
With all the demands of running a company, Melanie still finds time and gains job satisfaction from supporting Level 7 CIPD candidates through their qualifications and following their career progression. Her hands-on approach and dedication to quality assurance and improvement continues through her role as an internal verifier. The comments she receives from her candidates on Coursecheck are second to none and demonstrate both her expertise and passion for the profession.
A self-acknowledged ideas person, Melanie appreciates the creative side of her role and the wide variety it offers where no two days are the same. She also enjoys seeing the team develop and is excited about the opportunities presented by the new CIPD qualifications and business expansion.