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Associate level CIPD membership created under the new HR Profession Map

The CIPD has created a new Associate level of professional membership for HR professionals who do not have formal CIPD qualifications.

The new level will sit below the existing professional grades of Chartered Member and Chartered Fellow. Anyone demonstrating the knowledge, experience and behavioural impact in the workplace to secure the new membership level will be able to use the letters, Assoc CIP', after their name, indicating to current and potential future employers the level they operate at and the skills and experience they have.

The new level forms part of the CIPD's wider update of membership and professional standards. Other changes, already announced, strengthen the criteria against which the knowledge, experience and behavioural impact of members seeking to move into the Chartered Member and Chartered Fellow grades of membership can be measured, while also opening up access to people who have followed different career paths.

All the changes, and the accompanying new routes to membership the CIPD is developing, are built on the CIPD HR Profession Map, which has been designed to set out what HR professionals need to know, do and deliver at all levels, at different stages of their careers, whether they are specialists or generalists, and regardless of the sector they operate in.

Sue Upton, director of membership at the CIPD, said: "Chartered Membership of the CIPD is already well-established as the gold standard for professionalism in HR. But we also know there are many people making an impact in HR but operating below the chartered level.  The new Associate level allows us to recognise the professionalism and impact of these people in the workplace.

"As with the Chartered Member and Chartered Fellow grades, to secure the new Associate level members will need to meet rigorous criteria, clearly demonstrating the knowledge, experience and behaviours required to meet the standard. As a result, members can be sure they have a meaningful and portable benchmark of their professional achievements. We'll be playing our part in ensuring employers know what the new grade means, and appreciate the value and contribution they can expect from those who hold it."