CIPD Foundation Level Specification Human Resources

CIPD Foundation Level Specification Human Resources

Foundation qualifications reflect a wide range of relevant practical skills in human resource practice. They are suited to individuals who: 

• are aspiring to, or embarking on, a career in HR 

• are working in the field of HR in a support role and wish to develop their knowledge and skills 

• have responsibility for HR activities and decisions within an organisation without a specialist function. 

Total qualification time

Total Qualification Time (TQT) is the number of hours it is estimated that a candidate will take to complete a qualification from start to finish and includes guided learning hours, self-study, preparation and assessment. 


Candidates are assessed via a range of assessment methods to ensure that all the learning outcomes and assessment criteria are met in a way that enhances their learning experience. The assessments will allow candidates to demonstrate a clear grasp of the concepts and their ability to link theory to practice and to communicate clearly in the HR field at the appropriate level. Although a variety of assessment methods may be used, the demands made on candidates within and between centres must be comparable to ensure consistency of assessment. 

All unit assessment criteria are summatively assessed. Formative assessment is also encouraged within each unit. 

Assessment methods may include: 

  • assignments 
  • projects 
  • case studies 
  • reports 
  • integrated work activities
  • time constrained tests 
  • group and individual
  • Viva Voce 
  • examinations presentations

Competency-based assessment may also be used in centres that are approved for this method of assessment and have assessors that are occupationally competent. 

Centres may choose activities from the CIPD Assessment Bank or design their own. Where a centre devises its own assessments, these must be approved by the CIPD before use. All centre-marked assessments are subject to external verification to ensure that standards are judged comparatively against internal and external benchmarks.

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