All you need to know about being a CIPD student as well as access to a wide range of resources
Set at Postgraduate level, our Level 7 Advanced qualifications are the most widely recognised professional qualifications in the field of Human Resources (HR) and the highest level of qualifications we offer.
Below, you can find answers to your questions on what happens before, during and after the exams as well as the key exam dates. You can also download past papers and examiners' report on the exams.
Before the exams – January 2021
Please ensure that:
- Your CIPD membership is current. If you’re unsure, call us on 020 8612 6208.
- You notify your study centre and exam venue of your intention to sit the exams.
How can I book my exam?
Before booking your exam please check and see if your study centre is booking for you. If they are not please book your exam using this link by the deadline of 15 November 2020.
How will I be taking the exam?
Due to the current Government restrictions we have made the decision that learners will be taking exams in their own homes. Learners who have a laptop or computer will use these to take the examination, if you do not have access to either please contact us at email@example.com to discuss alternative options.
The exam format remains the same as previous exams. Section A is based on a case study that will be sent to you on 22 December 2020 and Section B is comprised of 5 sections in which you choose 1 question from each section.
We will be in touch to confirm how the exam will be hosted once enrolment has closed.
I would like to request reasonable adjustments. What should I do?
When booking through Eventbrite there is an option to select if you will require a reasonable adjustment. Please select ‘Yes’ and then contact the Exams team via email.
- You’ll need to provide a psychologist’s report (post 16 years of age), or medical evidence which must be attached to your enrolment form.
- If you sent us evidence within the last twelve months, there’s no need to send it again.
- If any unforeseen medical condition occurs before the exams, contact us as soon as possible with supporting medical evidence. Although we can’t guarantee to accommodate all requests, we’ll do our best to help.
- You’ll need to re-apply each time you sit CIPD exams.
How much is the enrolment fee?
The exam enrolment fee is £74 per exam.
Can I have an invoice to give to my employer for payment?
We don’t issue invoices for exam fees.
Can I have a receipt for my enrolment fees?
Yes, you'll be automatically sent a receipt from Eventbrite.
Can I cancel my enrolment?
Yes, but we're unable to refund your enrolment fee and you'll need to re-enrol and pay again when you next choose to sit the exam.
However, if you’re unable to attend an exam for medical reasons or mitigating circumstances apply, you can defer your enrolment, free of charge to the next exam date only. To do this, you must send a written explanation to us to arrive no later than 05 February 2021, supported by a medical certificate or other relevant documentary evidence. Applications are considered on an individual basis. Deferral is not guaranteed and you will receive a response within seven days of your request.
When is the closing date?
The deadline for receipt of enrolment forms is 15 November 2020.
During the exams – January 2021
How will I be taking the exam?
The exam will be taken remotely in your home through Microsoft Word. To take the exam you will need to ensure you have a laptop or PC and an internet connection.
If you do not have access to these, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss alternative options as a matter of urgency.
CIPD will provide an Exam Booklet which contains the exam questions and spaces to provide your answers. The completed Exam Booklet will need to be returned to CIPD by email to be marked, further details on this provided below.
When will I get access to the Exam Booklet?
The Exam Booklet will go live for download at 09.40 (UK time) on the day of the exam on our website.
The link to this page will be emailed to you by Friday 15 January in advance of the examination and will also have been provided to your study centre.
We have provided an Example Exam Booklet and guidance document on this page. We recommend that you go through the Example Exam Booklet to familiarise yourself with the layout and test the functionality.
As you will see from the Example Exam Booklet you will be required to input your CIPD Membership Number, Candidate Number and Centre Number. These will be emailed to you by Friday 22 January.
If you have any issues accessing or using this Example Exam Booklet, have not received the link to the page or, did not receive your candidate information by the dates above, please contact us at email@example.com as a matter of urgency.
How will you be contacting me/I am not receiving your emails?
All communications will be sent to the preferred email address on our system, you can update this via your profile page or by contacting our membership and enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8612 6208.
Please ensure that both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com are made trusted email accounts as you will receive important information regarding your January exam/s via email from these two accounts.
If you are expecting an email from us and have not received anything, please ensure you check your junk/spam folder as sometimes our emails can be blocked by your firewall.
Is the format of the exam changing?
The exam format remains the same as previous exams. Section A is based on a case study that was sent to you on the 21 December and Section B is comprised of 5 sections in which you choose 1 question from each section.
If you did not receive a copy of the case study please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend that you go through the Example Exam Booklet we have provided to familiarise yourself with the layout and test the functionality.
You may also wish to look at past papers available below as the rubric has remained the same.
Is this an open book exam? Can I use my notes?
In line with previous exam series this is not an open book exam.
Use of coursebooks, revision booklets or notes is not allowed. Failure to comply can lead to an investigation and possible disqualification. The only exception is that you may have a printed copy of the case study with you however this must be free of any notes.
There is a learner declaration at the start of the exam outlining prohibited behaviours and by submitting your Exam Booklet you are agreeing to these terms.
The CIPD uses industry standard authenticity checking software to identify where answers contain passages of text which have been taken from other sources and used within a candidate’s answer paper.
In line with our policy, if plagiarism is identified an investigation will take place and could result in possible disqualification.
What will happen on the day of my exam?
The link to access the Exam Booklet has been emailed to you in advance of the exam and has also been provided to your study centre.
The exam will officially start at 09.50 (UK time) however the Exam Booklet will go live for download at 09.40 (UK time) to ensure you can start the exam on time.
We recommend Google Chrome as the preferred browser when accessing the Exam Booklet for download.
You will first need to complete the top section of the booklet with your Membership Number, Candidate Number and Centre Number which were emailed to you by Friday 22 January.
Read through the instructions provided to you and begin your exam.
The exam will finish at 14.00 (UK time), you will then need to save your file, using your Candidate Number as the file name, and email this to email@example.com by 14.15 (UK time).
Please do not submit your Exam Booklet to any other email addresses as it may not be received and may not be sent for marking.
If I have any issues who can I contact?
- You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or call our customer service team on 020 8612 6208
- You will not be penalised for contacting us if you are experiencing issues
All policies relating to our CIPD qualifications can be found here.
After the exams – January 2021
When will I receive my results?
Results for the January 2021 exams are issued on Monday 22 March 2021. If you don’t receive your results by the published date, please contact your study centre. However, you'll be able to view the results of your January 2021 exams in a secure area of our website from 19 March 2021.
Before viewing your results online, you’ll need to go to www.cipd.co.uk and open a CIPD website account, if you haven’t already done so. To do this, you’ll need your CIPD membership number.
If you have any difficulties registering online, call our Membership Enquiries team on 020 8612 6208 between Monday and Friday, 09:30–17:30, and they’ll be happy to help. Once you’ve created a web account and logged in, you’ll need to access the ‘Profile’ area of the website and select the My Exams tab.
How are my results calculated?
For exams, grades are issued as Fail (below 45%), Marginal Fail (45–49%), Pass (50–59%), Merit (60–69%), or Distinction (70% and above).
Can I appeal against my exam results?
You can view our appeals policy here.
What happens if my answers were lost?
If, for any reason, your answers were lost, you’ll be required to resit the exam.
How do I enrol for the May 2021 exams?
If you’ve failed or were absent from the January 2021 exams, you’ll be emailed a link to book on to the May 2021 exam session. If you failed or were absent from any previous session, you’ll need to book your place on the examination as normal.
The deadline for the receipt of enrolment is 19 March 2021.
For any exams that you are re-sitting from the May 2021 exams, the deadline for the receipt of enrolment forms is 02 April 2021.
Can I get a copy of the examiners’ reports?
You can access the examiners' reports at the bottom of this page.
How do I apply for exam feedback on an exam?
If you need help to resit an exam, please contact your course tutor, who will be able to give you personal advice based on your work throughout the course.
Feedback from CIPD examiners
A breakdown of grades awarded per section and per question is available upon request at a cost of £22 per exam. We aim to provide this feedback within two weeks of your request. We regret that we are unable to return original answer scripts or copies.
Comprehensive exam feedback is available from CIPD at a cost of £70 per exam. This feedback will identify your main strengths and weaknesses and includes a commentary on each section of the paper and your script as a whole including a breakdown of grades awarded per section and per question. Constructive and positive advice is given for future improvement. While examiners often quote extensively from candidates’ answers, we regret that we are unable to return original answer scripts or copies. We aim to provide exam feedback within six weeks of your request.
No information is supplied concerning the actual marks awarded for individual questions, but the examiner may give you some indication of how close or how far you were from a Pass on a particular question and indeed on the paper as a whole.
If you think you will benefit from either format of exam feedback, please email your request to email@example.com please include your full name, Membership number and the feedback type you are requesting.
We're unable to process requests for exam feedback received after the closing date of 12 April 2021.
My grade has changed – will my membership card be reissued to reflect this?
Your new membership card will be issued in your member pack after you upgrade.
What are the benefits of being a CIPD member?
CIPD membership demonstrates that you’ve met the CIPD’s rigorous criteria and standards for best practice. Membership is an achievement that ensures you stand out in your career. It’s respected by employers and the industry alike, and may also help increase your earnings potential. As well as being recognised for your professionalism in the workplace, CIPD membership also keeps you up to date with the latest developments in the profession.
Key member benefits are:
- professional recognition
- access to practical HR and development resources in member–only areas of cipd.co.uk
- our award-winning People Management magazine that brings the most important news and jobs in HR and development each month
- access to the online assessment tool My HR Map, as well as CPD tools and templates, and helplines
- networking opportunities with like-minded professionals at local branch events, conferences, exhibitions and CIPD online communities
- exclusive member-only discounts on all CIPD products and services.
Find out more about member benefits
How can I upgrade my membership?
When you’ve successfully completed your qualification and you can demonstrate that you meet the membership criteria, you can apply to upgrade to a higher grade of membership (please note the membership criteria varies according to each level).
Can I use designatory letters after my name?
Members can use the following designations after their name:
- Foundation Member (Foundation CIPD)
- Associate Member (Assoc CIPD)
- Chartered Member (Chartered MCIPD)
- Chartered Fellow (Chartered FCIPD)
- Chartered Companion (Chartered CCIPD), please note Chartered Companion is by invitation only
There are three types of exam feedback available to students taking the advanced level qualification:
- basic feedback provides a breakdown of grades awarded per section and per question
- more comprehensive feedback includes constructive advice for future improvement
- past papers which includes feedback from examiners.
Basic exam feedback is available from CIPD upon request at a cost of £22 per exam. This will be a breakdown of grades awarded per section and per question.
Comprehensive exam feedback is available from CIPD at a cost of £70 per exam. This feedback will identify your main strengths and weaknesses and includes a commentary on each section of the paper and your script as a whole. Constructive and positive advice is given for future improvement. While examiners often quote extensively from candidates’ answers, we regret that we are unable to return original answer scripts or copies.
Key dates for CIPD examinations 2021
January 2021 exams
13 Nov 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment for the January 2021 exams
11 Dec 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment for the January 2021 exams from candidates re-sitting September 2020 exams
22 Dec 2021: January 2021 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
26 Jan 2021: January 2021 Human Resource Management in Context exam
28 Jan 2021: January 2021 Leading Managing and Developing People Exam
08 Feb 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the January 2021 exams
19 Mar 2021: January 2021 examination results released to students online
22 Mar 2021: January 2021 Examiners' reports available online
12 Apr 2021: Deadline for January exam Feedback Requests to be received by CIPD
May 2021 exams
19 Mar 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the May 2021 exams
02 Apr 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the May 2021 exams from candidates re-sitting January 2021 exams
20 Apr 2021: May 2021 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
25 May 2021: May 2021 Human Resource Management in Context exam
27 May 2021: May 2021 Leading Managing and Developing People Exam
07 Jun 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the May 2021 exams
16 Jul 2021: May 2021 examination results released to students online
19 Jul 2021: May 2021 Examiners' reports available online
09 Aug 2021: Deadline for May exam Feedback Requests to be received by CIPD
September 2021 exams
16 Jul 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the September 2021 exams
06 Aug 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the September 2021 exams from candidates re-sitting May 2021 exams
24 Aug 2021: September 2021 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
21 Sep 2021: September 2021 Human Resource Management in Context exam
23 Sep 2021: September 2021 Leading Managing and Developing People Exam
04 Oct 2021: Deadline for CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the September 2021 exams
19 Nov 2021: September 2021 examination results released to students online
22 Nov 2021: September 2021 Examiners' reports available online
13 Dec 2021: Deadline for September exam Feedback Requests to be received by CIPD
Examiners' reports and past papers
After each exam CIPD Examiners provide comprehensive feedback in examiner reports. These reports also include the exam paper and are available to students free of charge. The latest examiner reports and past papers for the CIPD Awarded, Advanced level qualifications are available for download below.Note: The figures and percentages in these reports are based on the actual number of candidates who sat the examinations, whether for the first or subsequent time. They should not be confused with the official CIPD performance statistics, which are based on the performance of candidates sitting the examination for the first time only and from which the national averages are calculated.