Whether you’re just starting out, building your career, or working at the highest level, there’s a route to CIPD membership to suit you and a membership grade to demonstrate your level of knowledge and experience.

What can CIPD membership do for you?

  • Professional credibility and recognition for your skills and abilities.
  • The support and shared experience of more than 160,000 people professionals in the worldwide CIPD community.
  • Boost your career prospects and earning potential.
  • Exclusive member benefits to add impact to your work every day.

Routes to becoming a CIPD member 

There are several ways you can be awarded membership of the CIPD: you can either study for a CIPD qualification or have your professional experience assessed.

Once you've completed your qualification you'll be rewarded with either Foundation or Associate Membership. You can then progress on to Chartered Membership or Chartered Fellowship.  If you are an experienced people professional, and qualifications are not for you, you can be awarded Associate, Chartered Member, or Chartered Fellow by completing our direct entry, Experience assessment.

If you’re already studying for a CIPD qualification, you can join as a Student Member today. 

man on laptop with headset

Route to membership

1. Study a qualification

If you’re beginning or developing your career in the people profession become a member by studying a qualification.  

  • You enrol at a study centre to take a qualification, completing relevant modules and coursework 

  • It takes eight to 12 months to complete our new Foundation qualification, 12-16 months for our Associate qualifications, 16-24 months for our Advanced qualifications. 

  • Depending on the qualification you study, you’ll become either a Foundation or Associate Member, and may be able to upgrade to Chartered Member or Fellow if you have the required experience. 

Route to membership

2. Have your experience assessed

If you’re an experienced people professional and can demonstrate how you meet the membership standards, become a member by completing an experience assessment 

  • You’ll complete a series of online assessments and have a professional discussion with an experienced assessor. The knowledge you’ve gained, the way you work, and your impact as a people professional will be reviewed and assessed. 

  • Experience assessment can take as little as four months. This route does not require study or exams. 

  • You’ll become an Associate Member, Chartered Member or Chartered Fellow, depending on your experience. 

Route to membership

3. Join as a Student Member

Student membership shows you’re committed to your professional future. It gives you the strength of CIPD support for your study success, and works with CIPD qualifications to put you on the path to professional recognition.

This grade could be for you if:

  • you’re currently studying or are about to study a CIPD qualification
  • you may be looking for your first role in the people profession, or you could already be working within a people team
  • you could be working full or part-time alongside your studies

When you complete your studies, you’ll become a Foundation Member or Associate Member.

Apply for Academic membership

Academic membership is for academics and researchers working in the field of HR and L&D.

In order to be awarded an Academic membership grade, you'll be formally assessed via an online Microsoft Teams Peer Review discussion with one of our academic assessors who are experienced academics. We’ll also gain workplace feedback from people you work with about your work and the impact this has had in your institution and the HR profession

Find the best route to membership for you

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The CIPD takes your privacy seriously and will keep your personal information private and secure; see our privacy policy for details.

Data protection

The CIPD takes your privacy seriously and will keep your personal information private and secure; see our privacy policy for details.

CIPD member benefits

Explore our extensive member benefits, designed to support you in your work and to help you develop your career.

Career guidance

Information and guidance to help you excel in your role, transition into the profession, and manage a career break

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