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 – September 2020
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.
I would like to request reasonable adjustments. What should I do?
Please 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 you a receipt.
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 09 October 2020, 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 17 July 2020.
During the exams – September 2020
How will I be taking the exam?
The exam will be hosted online in the CIPD Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
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.
When will I get access to the VLE?
You will receive an email on the 19 August with your log in details and a web link to the VLE. This will be a perfect opportunity for you to test that your login and access to the VLE is working correctly and familiarise yourself with the online exam environment by reviewing the Example Exam Template.
We recommend Google Chrome as the preferred browser when using the VLE.
When you first log in you will be forced to change your password. Logging onto the VLE early and resetting your password to something more memorable will make accessing the VLE on the exam day straightforward.
Once logged in there will be an Example Exam Template which you can access to see what the exam will look like and how to navigate it.
You will be able to view the test exam from 19th August up until the day before your exam so make the most of the time you have to prepare yourself.
Your September exam will be available for you to access when you log in on the morning of your examination.
If you do not receive the email by 5pm (BST) on 19 August or cannot gain access to the VLE please email email@example.com as a matter of urgency.
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 is sent to you on the 25 August 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 by 5pm on the 25 August please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We recommend that you go through the Example Exam Template on the VLE when you receive your log in details to see what the exam will look like.
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.
There is a learner declaration at the start of the exam outlining prohibited behaviours and by starting the exam you are agreeing to these terms.
What will happen on the day of my exam?
The exam will open at 9.50am (BST) however we recommend you log in early to ensure you do not face any issues and can start the exam on time.
We recommend Google Chrome as the preferred browser when using the VLE.
When you log in you will see that the Example Exam Template has been removed and you will only see a link to the exam you are taking that day. If you do not see this please email us at email@example.com or contact our Customer Service Team on 020 8612 6208.
You will only have 1 attempt at the exam. Once you start the examination you will have 4 hours to complete and there will be a timer on screen to alert you to how much time is left. If you have not completed within the 4 hours your work will be automatically submitted.
Your work will autosave regularly as you go through the exam so if you do lose connection please log back in and continue from where you left off.
Will I still have access to the VLE once the exam is finished?
No, CIPD will be removing VLE access to all users once the exam is complete.
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
All policies relating to our CIPD qualifications can be found here.
After the exams – September 2020
When will I receive my results?
Results for the September 2020 exams are issued on Monday 23 November 2020. If you don’t receive your results by the published date, please contact your study centre. However, you will be able to view the results of your September 2020 exams in a secure area of our website from 20 November 2020.
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. You’ll then be able to view your results online until 23 February 2020.
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 January 2021 exams?
If you’ve failed or were absent from the September 2020 exams, you’ll be emailed a link to book on to the January 2020 exam session, the URL will also be included on your results letter should you need it. 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 forms is 30 October 2020.
For any exams that you are re-sitting from the September 2020 exams, the deadline for the receipt of enrolment forms is 11 December 2020.
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 are unable to process requests for exam feedback received after the closing date of 14 December 2020
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 professional member?
CIPD professional membership demonstrates that you’ve met the CIPD’s rigorous criteria and standards for best practice. Professional 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 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.
How can I upgrade to a professional level of membership?
When you’ve successfully completed your qualification and you can demonstrate that you meet the membership criteria, you can apply to upgrade to one of our professional levels of membership (please note the membership criteria varies according to each level).
Can I use designatory letters after my name?
Professional members can use the following designations after their name:
- 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 2020/21
May 2020 exams
21 Feb 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the May 2020 exams
03 Apr 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the May 2020 exams from candidates re-sitting January 2020 exams
21 Apr 2020: May 2020 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
26 May 2020: May 2020 Human Resource Management in Context exam
28 May 2020: May 2020 Leading Managing and Developing People Exam
05 Jun 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the May 2020 exams
17 Jul 2020: May 2020 examination results released to students online
20 Jul 2020: May 2020 Examiners' reports available online
10 Aug 2020: Deadline for May exam Feedback Requests to be received by CIPD
September 2020 exams
17 Jul 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the September 2020 exams
25 Aug 2020: September 2020 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
22 Sep 2020: September 2020 Human Resource Management in Context exam
24 Sep 2020: September 2020 Leading Managing and Developing People Exam
09 Oct 2020: Deadline for CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the September 2020 exams
20 Nov 2020: September 2020 examination results released to students online
23 Nov 2020: September 2020 Examiners' reports available online
14 Dec 2020: Deadline for September exam Feedback Requests to be received by CIPD
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 2020 Examiners' reports available online
12 Apr 2021: Deadline for January 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.