How George Clooney can help explain the difference between CIPS Level 4 and Level 5

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!

Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July