It has been an interesting week so far! Spent helping People Professionals, as I prefer to call them, sort out their concerns.

A past candidate had achieved the CIPD Professional Assessment of Competence (PAC). PAC was never a qualification, but it was a really good valid way of demonstrating competence against the Professional Development Scheme (PDS). PDS was introduced by CIPD in 2002 and all academic providers offered this programme. The important bit to note is that PAC, unlike the Experience Assessment Route in place today, required candidates to be assessed against all the standards in the PDS. So it was a competence based assessment.

In 2010 the new Advanced Diploma in Human Resources Management (HRM) and Human Resources Development (HRD) was launched and PAC ceased to be offered. So People Professionals who wanted to have their competence assessed could either go for the Experienced Assessment Route or go for the new qualifications.


So enter my slightly troubled candidate… Her route to achieving PAC with two other providers had not been smooth. Cullen Scholefield helped her gain PAC and she became a Chartered Member of CIPD. All should therefore be smooth sailing? Perhaps not…. Enter the opportunity for a new role in her organisation – exciting! However… the person specification required an Advanced Diploma in HRM. Taking this literally means that anyone who qualified before 2010 is not eligible. It also means that being a Chartered Member is not good enough either. An interesting situation…

My candidate contacted CIPD and was correctly told that PAC was not a qualification just a route to membership. She is now quite concerned about the validity of her status as a CIPD Member, but she can convert her PAC to the Advanced Diploma if she does one module Skills for Business Leadership.

She has decided to convert her PAC and the good news is that we will be delighted to support her. However I do have this thought in my mind about People Professionals not understanding the CIPD qualifications and wonder if others have found this to be an issue?

Are you in this situation with PAC or another certification? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and get in touch if you’re interested in upgrading your older certifications: