I have a confession to make. I probably shouldn’t admit this in a public forum, but as it’s a new month and January is finally over I am feeling rebellious! My confession is that if I had to choose a favourite Level of CIPS, it would be the CIPS Advanced Diploma or Level 5.
You might be slightly disappointed that my confession isn’t more salacious – but choosing a favourite as a CIPS trainer who has been in the game for so long, is like choosing a favourite child or animal, it should not be done! So let me explain why Level 5 is my favourite and the major difference from CIPS Level 4 Diploma. To do this I am going to use a hospital TV drama analogy and also show my age here!
The CIPS Level 4 Diploma is a foundational level, which introduces a lot of concepts for the first time to the student, and therefore each module has a generalist approach – you have to cover and understand a lot of different topics. There is no real deep dive into any of these topics. In TV terms this would be your ER, now if you do not know what this TV show is (that makes me feel old straight away!) – it is an American TV drama which follows the busy lives of the hard-pressed doctors, nurses and support staff of a hectic inner-city emergency room, basically A&E for those of us in the UK. This is the show that made George Clooney a famous household name, and these doctors and nurses had to be generalists, having an understanding of many different concepts as they are tackling any emergency which comes in from fires to wounds, to burns and every other dramatic twist and turn.
The CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma is a different kettle of fish. This is the level where we can now go deeper into topics, whether this is Management in Procurement & Supply, risk management, project management or operations management. It is at this level that we start to dive deeper into the theories and concepts covered in these modules. This is personally what I love to teach, as we can really get our teeth into the topic. If we were to link this back to a hospital drama, this for me would be Grey’s Anatomy. Here we follow interns at Seattle Grace Hospital who are wanting to become surgeons, and as the show has been on the air for almost 20 seasons, we see these interns become specialists in fields such as brain surgery, Alzheimer’s, heart surgery etc.
There you go – good old George Clooney or Meredith Grey can help explain the difference between Level 4 and Level 5! There is also another difference and that is in terms of exams. Both types of exams, both CR and OR, are a step up a Level 5. The OR exams have different types of questions, some larger case studies, and the CR exams are now all 25-mark questions. In fact, Level 5 has the largest module in all of the CIPS learning ladder, and that is L5M1 which has five learning objectives, and 5 x 20-mark questions on the exam. If you are struggling with this module please remember we have designed active learning workbooks to help your revision that you can find here
If you need extra support in your journey to complete your CIPS Level 5 Advanced Diploma, then we have good news. Our Diamond Package with live virtual classes starts on the 29th of March for the May exams. If you would like to register or gain further information please click here – I would love for you to join us!