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.
After the exams – January 2020
When will I receive my results?
Results for the January 2020 exams are issued on Monday 23 March 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 January 2020 exams in a secure area of our website from 20 March 2020.
Before viewing your results online, you’ll need to go to the 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 June 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?
We operate a fair and equitable exam assessment process.
The exam questions are set and reviewed by a committee of examiners and reviewed to check the questions for clarity and focus. The examiners prepare a marking scheme when setting the questions and this is used by all markers to assess candidates’ answers. A sample of scripts is second-marked by another examiner. All marks are checked for arithmetic errors. Candidate numbers are used instead of names to ensure equity of treatment by examiners and mitigating circumstances are taken into account. Disagreement with the academic/assessment judgement does not constitute valid grounds for appeal.
What happens if my exam book is lost?
If, for any reason, your exam book is lost, you’ll be required to resit the exam.
How do I enrol for the May 2020 exams?
If you’ve failed or were absent from the January 2020 exams, you’ll find an enrolment form for the May 2020 exams enclosed with your results. If you failed or were absent from any previous session, you’ll need to contact your course tutor for a May 2020 enrolment form.
The deadline for the receipt of enrolment forms is 21 February 2020.
For any exams that you are re-sitting from the January 2020 exams, the deadline for the receipt of enrolment forms is 03 April 2020.
Can I get a copy of the examiners’ reports?
You can access the examiners' report online.
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 complete an exam feedback request form and send it with your credit card details or a cheque, payable to the CIPD, for either £22 or £70 per subject. The deadline for receipt of exam feedback request forms is 13 April 2020. Please do not attach the feedback request form to your exam enrolment form, but send both forms separately.
We are unable to process requests for exam feedback received after the closing date of 13 April 2020. If you haven’t received acknowledgement of receipt from the CIPD within seven working days, please call 020 8612 6223 as soon as possible.
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 the 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.
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 vary 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.
Before the exams – May 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’m an ICS/MOL/DPG student – do I need to do anything else?
You must ask your study centre for a list of exam venues and return your form to ICS/MOL/DPG (Please do not send it directly to the CIPD).
Your tutor must sign Section 6 of the enrolment form under all circumstances.
What should I do if I change my address after completing this form?
Call us on 020 8612 6208 as soon as possible so we can update your details.
I would like to request reasonable adjustments. What should I do?
Complete Section 5 of your enrolment form.
- 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.
- If you have illegible handwriting, and the examiner can’t read your script, you will fail the exam. Please call us on 020 8612 6223 if you think this is likely to be a problem.
- If you need any further guidance, call us on 020 8612 6223.
How will I know if you’ve received my enrolment form?
Complete the prepaid postcard attached to your enrolment form and we’ll send it back to you to confirm we’ve received your form. This postcard is only valid if it has been stamped ‘CIPD Examinations’. If you don’t receive the stamped postcard within five working days of posting your form, call us on 020 8612 6223. Please note that this is not a receipt for payment. Candidates must ensure that they attach sufficient postage when returning their completed enrolment form and are advised to use special or recorded delivery.
How much is the enrolment fee?
The exam enrolment fee is £74 per exam.
How can I pay for my exams?
You must complete Section 1 of the enrolment form and attach a cheque or provide debit/credit card details.
If you are paying by cheque please make payable to the CIPD and write your membership number on the back.
If you are paying by debit/credit card, your card must be valid for at least three months from the date you submit your enrolment form. We regret that we are unable to accept Visa Electron.
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, we’ll automatically send you a receipt within four weeks of processing your payment.
Can I cancel my enrolment after I have sent in my form?
Yes, but we are unable to refund your enrolment fee and you will 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 June 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 for the CIPD to receive my completed enrolment form?
The deadline for receipt of enrolment forms is 21 February 2020.
For any exams you are re-sitting from the January 2020 exams, the deadline for receipt of enrolment forms is 03 April 2020.
Enrolment forms received after this date will not be accepted. Candidates must ensure that they attach sufficient postage when returning their completed enrolment form and are advised to use special or recorded delivery.
During the exams – May 2020
When do I need to arrive at the exam room?
You must report to your exam venue 30 minutes before the exam is due to start. If you are unsure of where your exam venue is, please check with your study centre as soon as possible.
What do I need to bring with me to prove I’m the person enrolled for the exam?
You’ll need to bring:
- your exam enrolment letter
- valid proof of identification showing your full name and signature, preferably with a photo (for example, your passport, driving licence and/or a current credit card).
What can I bring into the exam room?
You may bring pens, pencils, rubbers, rulers and correction fluid. All candidates can bring still water into the exam room. You may only bring food or soft drinks for medical reasons if agreed with us beforehand.
When will I receive the Section A case study?
You will be sent an email four weeks before the exam giving you access to a secure area of our website where you can download a copy of the Section A case study. You will not be able to bring a copy into the exam room with you however a copy will be included within the exam paper.
If for any reason you are unable to download the case study, you can obtain a copy from the exams team at the CIPD or from your study centre. While we make every effort to ensure the case study is readily available, it is the responsibility of each candidate to ensure they have access to the case study prior to the exam.
How much reading time is allowed?
All national exams include ten minutes’ reading time at the beginning of the exam. You can make notes on the inside cover of the answer book during this time. After ten minutes, the invigilator will advise you that you can begin answering questions.
What is the format of the exam?
- Exams are of three hours duration plus ten minutes’ reading time at the beginning.
- Each exam paper will consist of two sections – Section A and Section B.
- Questions in Section A will be based on a seen case study which will be sent to all candidates four weeks before the exam.
- In Section B, there will be ten questions, two per learning outcome.
- Candidates will be required to answer five of the ten questions, covering all learning outcomes (i.e. Questions 1 or 2, and 3 or 4, and 5 or 6, and 7 or 8, and 9 or 10).
- Sections and questions may be answered in any order.
- To pass the exam you must achieve at least 40% in both sections with an overall of 50%.
- You must also attempt to answer five questions from Section B.
What if I’m unable to sit the exam?
In all instances, you must inform your exam venue as soon as possible. There’s no need to tell the CIPD. You’ll need to re-enrol when you’re ready and pay the applicable fee.
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. To do this, you must send a written explanation to CIPD to arrive no later than 05 June 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.
How do I report a disturbance or mitigating circumstances which affected my performance during the exam?
Please write to us with a detailed explanation and appropriate evidence (for example a medical certificate), which we’ll forward to our special consideration review panel. We must receive this letter no later than 05 June 2020.
What happens to those candidates who cheat during the exam?
Plagiarism, cheating or attempting to cheat during an exam is a serious offence and incurs such penalties as the study centre and/or the CIPD Board of Examiners deem appropriate.
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
January 2020 exams
25 Oct 2019: Deadline for the CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the January 2020 exams
06 Dec 2019: Deadline for the CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the January 2020 exams from candidates re-sitting September 2019 exams
17 Dec 2019: January 2020 pre-seen case study email sent to candidates
21 Jan 2020: January 2020 Human Resource Management in Context exam
23 Jan 2020: January 2020 Leading Managing and Developing People exam
07 Feb 2020: Deadline for the CIPD to receive Mitigating Circumstances and Deferral Requests from the January 2019 exams
20 Mar 2020: January 2020 examination results released to students online
23 Mar 2020: January 2020 Examiners' reports available online
13 Apr 2020: Deadline for January 2020 exam Feedback Requests to be received by the CIPD
May 2020 exams
21 Feb 2020: Deadline for the CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the May 2020 exams
03 Apr 2020: Deadline for the 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 the 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 2020 exam Feedback Requests to be received by the CIPD
September 2020 exams
03 Jul 2020: Deadline for the CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the September 2020 exams
31 Jul 2020: Deadline for the CIPD to receive enrolment forms for the September 2020 exams from candidates re-sitting May 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 the 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 2020 exam Feedback Requests to be received by the 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.