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Shelley Edmans - Level 3 Foundation Certificate in HR

What was your role before starting your course? What did it involve?

When I started my CIPD Level 3 I was working as a HR Adviser for a company called Cantium Business Solutions. I was working for the Recruitment and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) team supervising their helpdesk. The helpdesk team was very small, there were only four of us in total and we provided support to managers and candidates with the recruitment and DBS system and processes. In my role I made sure calls and enquiries were answered within the agreed SLA with our customers as well as ensuring a high level of customer care was delivered. I was responsible for training staff and producing statistics for managers as well as getting involved with ad hoc projects. Shortly after starting my CIPD some changes were made at my workplace to merge all the helpdesk teams into one big team which meant learning other areas of the business such as payroll, and ensuring the team received the training and support they needed to also learn these other areas, and become multiskilled to support a bigger team. I still remained as a HR Adviser but my role changed with taking on more responsibility where I became multiskilled and I supervised more staff. 

What did you learn on the course?

The CIPD Level 3 taught me a lot about HR. It gave me an understanding of the different areas of HR such as recruitment, organisational design and learning and development and how HR support in these different areas. I also learnt about employee engagement, performance management, disciplinary and grievance procedures. The course gave me a really good understanding of HR which really helped for continuing onto the CIPD level 5. 

How did the course help you with your role/career?

The course gave me a better understanding of HR and where HR fits into my organisation. I also researched my organisation's HR policies and procedures as part of the course so I was able to learn more about these. 

Why did you choose to return to education? How did it fit in with your home and work commitments?  

I have always had an interest in HR, especially employee relations and am keen to progress my career in that direction. I wanted to do my CIPD qualifications to help with this which was what made me decide to return to education so I could achieve these qualifications. I worked full-time so found the evening course was perfect for fitting in around my job as I was able to attend after work. I worked in Kings Hill and lived in Maidstone so I would attend College straight from work. I worked on assignments in my spare time at home, normally at weekends. 

What was your tutor like?

My tutor, Carl, was brilliant. He was incredibly knowledgeable and knew how to engage the class. He encouraged us to think about things for ourselves and gave us the confidence to answer questions. He always greeted you to class with a smile and a handshake (pre-covid) which made me feel very welcome. Carl always made me laugh with his great sense of humour and his love for the word 'Smash'!

Why did you choose MidKent College specifically?

I chose MidKent College as they offered an evening course which fit around my work commitments. I also wanted to return to an educational environment with other people as I find this more motivating and enjoy meeting new people. 

Can you tell us a little bit about your company? And how your role fits into this?

My company, Cantium Business Solutions, are a local authority trading company who offer HR, Finance and IT services to the public and private sector. I work in the HR department as a HR Adviser for their helpdesk. The helpdesk answer a variety of queries including payroll, recruitment and DBS queries by telephone and written queries via the customer relationship manager system. My role is to supervise the helpdesk jointly with 2 other advisers to ensure all enquiries are answered within the agreed SLA with our customers and a high level of customer care is delivered. 

Find out more about starting or progressing your career in HR wth a Level 3 or Level 5 CIPD programme