CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management – a case study

Having spent 10 years in Marketing, Rhian decided she needed a CIPD qualification when she took on a new role as People and Culture Manager with Delio, a Fintech company based in Cardiff.  With lots of work experience and a degree in Religions, Philosophy and Ethics, Rhian opted to study for an Associate Diploma in People Management with Watson Martin.  Not only did she discover a talent for HR, speeding through her qualification in under 12 months, Rhian became our first candidate to complete the new style Associate Diploma since it was launched by the CIPD in 2021. Here she tells her story.

What is your current role?

I joined Delio as Marketing Manager and after 18 months was given the opportunity to take on a newly created role in People and Culture.  The Culture element centred around internal communications and was an extension of my Marketing role, but the People side was more standard HR which was new to me, hence the need for some professional training!

What challenges did you face in your job and how did the qualification support you?

I was completely new to the world of People and jumped in at the deep end (in an exciting way)! I knew I needed to upskill in this area and the CIPD Associate Diploma was a way for me to both learn and become professionally qualified.  I have been able to use the qualification as a foundation to strengthen my position and to give me the confidence to do my job well.

How did you complete your qualification so quickly?

A lot of hard work. I imposed strict deadlines on myself and dedicated specific times and days every week to work on my coursework. The content itself was interesting and manageable but after trying to balance working full time, moving house, planning a wedding and studying, it is safe to say I was very relieved when I submitted my final assessment!

How did you juggle studying with your day job?

It was a challenge, but I knew that I needed to achieve the qualification in order to be the best I could be in my role, so the one drove the other.

How has the qualification improved your work?

I was able to choose modules that complimented my job. For example,  my previous experience in employment law was limited and so I specifically chose this as a specialist module in order to improve my knowledge in this area and now feel a lot more competent in this space as a result.

How important is being CIPD qualified to your career?

Being CIPD qualified is an essential requirement particularly when looking at other more senior People roles.

Would you recommend Watson Martin to others wanting to study for their CIPD?

Yes, definitely. Having the VLE system was a great way to keep on top of my studies. Having all the resources in one place made everything easy and clear to access. I studied via the online course so didn’t meet my personal tutor Elaine Wood, but she was always just a Teams call or email away for any queries and did a great job of turning my work around quickly allowing me to move through my modules at a pace that worked for me.

What are your tips for success?

Set clear boundaries and deadlines that fit with your personal life. It is a challenge to balance study with a full-time job and a busy personal life, but it’s 100% worth all the hard work and discipline to get the sense of satisfaction and achievement in the end.

What are your ultimate career aims?

I’d love to continue progressing up the career ladder into more senior People positions!

Rhian’s tutor, Elaine Wood, says:

Rhian has been a model student right from the start and I applaud her dedication and commitment to complete her Associate Diploma in People Management in just under 12 months. She studied via our online programme, supported by our newly developed VLE platform with expert study guides and an array of resources for each unit. We kept in regular contact and Rhian was responsive to my feedback to inform any improvements and support her personal development.  Congratulations Rhian!”