Rachel Burnham

Rachel Burnham

CIPD Learner Blog Part 1

David Hawthorne is studying for his CIPD Foundation Certificate in Human Resource Practice. Here is his first learning blog from the course.

I started the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Human Resource Practice in July 2016 and I felt that a reflective blog would be a good way for me to keep track of what I'm learning and topics I find most interesting.

I have worked in student recruitment since 2013 after moving to the UK from Ireland in 2012. I studied Media and Event Management before that and student recruitment was a job I had never previously thought of doing. I had sales experience but this was a much more advisory role than I had been used to.

I started my current role in February 2015 as a Qualification Advisor - a great opportunity to work for a company that not only valued its learners but also wanted input from its staff. Since day one I have been asked to be very hands-on with all aspects of programmes; listening to what our learners needs are and how we can accommodate them.

In 2016, as part of my New Year's resolutions, I got myself back focusing on my career progression. With the support of the team and management at my organisation, I took a step back and really assessed where I wanted to be in my career. I thought about what I had already achieved and what I enjoyed in my current role. Through my assessments and discussions with people in the field, I decided that HR would give me what I want from a career – a challenge.

I spoke with my manager during my review and he agreed my understanding of organisational processes & procedures and how they affect stakeholders & teams, could really benefit a company within a HR role. I have basic managerial experience in my previous role, with basic core HR functions, but this was something I would need to work on and explore in depth. I decided now was the right time for me to take on a CIPD course.

 I needed to make sure I chose the right course provider for me.  I had a look at CIPD providers and did a simple pros and cons chart that I looked over with my friends and family. There are a range of CIPD providers but I came to the conclusion that the blended learning approach would benefit me. It wouldn’t mean too much time away from my current role but would give me enough networking experience and face-to-face contact to gain best practice and industry expert knowledge. As this is a career change I will be learning a whole new set of skills and knowledge so being able to network and have tutor support when not at the workshop was a big factor for me.

After the first workshop I decided to reflect on three main points:

  1. What did I learn?
  2. Why is it useful to me?
  3. How can I apply this to my role?

I feel very excited about learning about aspects of HR and its core functions. The key thing learned from the first workshop was how I can set goals to develop myself as an HR practitioner.

I started working on my Continuous Professional Development using the CIPD Profession Map to learn more about the areas I most need to develop. I found that behaviours such as 'courage to challenge' are something I need to improve on. I also found that my Learning and Development in terms of HR knowledge is low and that by reading more on the topic and working on extra aspects I can aim to develop this area more. I am also going to set a SMART goal to get myself a HR mentor.

I have since completed my first assignment and - I won’t lie -  it was a challenge! However, my tutorial with Karen really helped me understand what was being asked and how to apply what I learned in the workshop. Since my first workshop and follow-up tutorial, I am driven to work harder and feel motivated to work on my development and use the transferable skills in my current role.