Foundation Certificate in People Practice

If you are looking to lay the foundations for a career in the people profession, this is the qualification for you.

CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice

The CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice will give you a thorough grounding in the essentials of both People Management (formerly HR) and Learning and Development (L&D).

You do not need any prior qualifications to join and it is a Level 3 qualification – equivalent to an AS Level.

This qualification will show that you have a strong base of knowledge and it will begin to build your credibility as a professional.

Who is this for?

This qualification is ideal if you are:

  • Starting out on a new career in the profession.
  • Currently in a support role as an administrator or officer but looking to progress.
  • Someone with an interest in people management.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to make confident, effective decisions. You will study real-life challenges to develop your skills.

The four core units of this qualification are:

  • Business, culture and change in context.
  • Principles of analytics.
  • Core behaviours for people professionals.
  • Essentials of people practice.

How long will it take me to qualify?

Eleven months.

The learning agreement for the Foundation Certificate takes 11 months, you can fast-track this if you want to, by choosing either our Essential or Immersive learning plans, both of which offer the opportunity to study at your own pace.

What are my study options?

You can choose from our Essential, Professional, or Immersive study plans. You have the freedom to study in a way that suits your lifestyle and the way you like to learn.


Essential lets you study online, on demand and at your own pace. It is ideal for independent and tech-savvy learners.

It is the lowest priced of our three plans, but our unique Student Care service is always there for you. This means that you can always get help and support if you need it – from a person, not an algorithm. You can also buy add-ons in the form of tickets for scheduled webinars, recordings of webinars and one-to-one planning and feedback sessions with a subject specialist.

Find out more about our essential study plan


Professional comes as close as possible to the experience of studying in college. You will be placed in a group of students and a tutor will deliver lessons in an online classroom with structured feedback. You will get a timetable showing exactly when you will be studying. Student Care is also available if you need it.

Find out more about our professional study plan


Immersive gives you a one-to-one learning experience personalised for you. Your private tutor provides coaching, guidance and support and you set the pace and agree your own timetable. It is ideal if you want to learn and qualify quickly or if you have been out of studying for some time and want to build up your confidence.

Find out more about our immersive study plan

What level of CIPD membership will I achieve?

You need to join the CIPD as a student member. That fee is payable direct to the CIPD as soon as you have registered to start your studies.

Current CIPD membership fees can be found here.

You must be in membership to claim your completed qualification. When you have completed your qualification, you will be awarded CIPD Foundation Membership and the designation ‘Foundation CIPD’ after your name.

The Foundation Certificate in People Practice is Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 3 in England and Northern Ireland; Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) Level 3 in Wales; comparable to Level 5 in Ireland, Level 6 in Scotland, Level 4 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

CIPD Foundation Certificate in People Practice Handbook

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