Associate Diploma in People Management

CIPD Level 5 - Intermediate - for experienced learners

If you are already working in people management and want to study in greater depth, perhaps in preparation for a more senior role, take a look at the CIPD Level 5 Associate Diploma in People Management.

This qualification is at the same academic level as a foundation degree.

Who is this for?

This qualification is ideal if you enjoy managing and developing people and if you are:

  • Someone with some experience looking to build their career in people management.
  • Working as an adviser or HR business partner.
  • Someone who leads people management in a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME).

What will I learn?

You will gain a deeper knowledge of how to build successful relationships, how to develop talent within your organisation and how to guide strategic planning.

You will study three core units, three specialist units and the Busec Nova recommended optional unit. If you are on our Immersive Plan you will be able to choose the optional unit, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you.

Core units:

  • Organisational performance and culture in practice.
  • Evidence-based practice.
  • Professional behaviours and valuing people.

Specialist units:

  • Employment relationship management.
  • Talent management and workforce planning.
  • Reward for performance and contribution.

Optional units:

  • Specialist employment law.
  • Advances in digital learning and development.
  • Learning and development essentials.
  • People management in an international context.
  • Diversity and inclusion.
  • Leadership and management development.
  • Wellbeing at work.

How long will it take me to qualify?

Fourteen months.

The Associate Diploma (Level 5) comes with a Learning Agreement of 14 months and is also offered across our three learning platforms, meaning you can choose between a structured 'taught' route which is offered on the Professional Plan, or opt for a personal coach and take the Immersive Plan, or take an partly independent study route and opt for the Essential Plan. We say partly because no-one is expected to fly solo at Busec Nova and even our online, on-demand platform comes with the option to attend small group seminars that are interactive and based on dialogue between students and our senior tutors.

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 must be in CIPD membership to claim your completed qualification. 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.

When you have completed your qualification, you will be awarded CIPD Associate Membership and the designation ‘Assoc CIPD’ after your name.

The Associate Diploma in People Management is Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 5 in England and Northern Ireland; Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) Level 5 in Wales; comparable to Level 7 in Ireland, Level 9 in Scotland, Level 5 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

CIPD Associate Diploma in People Management Handbook

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