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If you wish to be able to administer payrolls confidently and independently, whilst gaining an industry-recognised qualification, this is for you.

Designed for those new to payroll, or those who wish to improve their working knowledge of payroll processes, this qualification covers the core skills required to administer the payroll function. From calculating gross pay and deciphering the differences between taxable and NICable pay, the course covers in-depth the methodologies for the manual calculation of PAYE income tax, NICs and student loan deductions.

Together with a broad overview of other payroll obligations such as court orders, real time information, automatic enrolment, end of year reporting and statutory payments, you will gain a balanced education on the fundamentals of this profession.

Each module consists of comprehensive learning materials; links to a range of external material; and knowledge tests associated with these topics. Some subject matter is further enhanced with digital media applications and interactive lessons.

Who is this certificate aimed at?

Payroll administrators, payroll coordinators and payroll officers who work in a payroll bureau, accountancy firm or in-house payroll team will all benefit from completing this industry-recognised qualification.

This course is also suitable for HR and finance professions who have assumed responsibility for the payroll department but need a hands-on comprehension of how payroll figures and forms are produced.

Why should you invest in this certificate?

Having fully trained payroll administrators is vital for organisations to ensure they remain compliant with the increasing amount of regulations and legislation which impacts on the day to day running of the payroll department.

On completion of this course, you will have the knowledge required to enable you to efficiently and accurately handle the variety of issues encountered when processing payrolls.


  • Ascertaining gross pay
    • Classifying taxable and NICable pay elements
    • Calculating pay apportionments correctly
  • Processing deductions
    • Ascertaining what makes a deduction from pay lawful
    • Classifying the three types of deductions
    • Distinguishing deductions which affect taxable and NICable pay
    • The administrative considerations for voluntary deductions
  • Calculating National Insurance Contributions
    • Recognising the names and current amounts of NIC thresholds
    • Listing the current rates of NICs for each category letter
    • Identifying the correct NI category letter for employees
    • Calculating NICs using the exact percentage method
    • Calculating NICs using the Table method
  • Identifying different tax codes
    • Identifying circumstances which warrant 'emergency tax codes'
    • Categorising different tax codes
    • Distinguishing Scottish tax codes
  • Calculating income tax
    • Identifying the different allowances available
    • Navigating through pay adjustment table A
    • Calculating income tax using the table method
    • Calculating income tax using the manual method
    • Awareness of circumstances where tax refunds may be processed
  • Administering starters and leavers correctly
    • Listing information required for processing starters & leavers
    • Completing forms P45 and New Starter Checklist correctly
  • Pensions and automatic enrolment
    • Overview of different types of pension schemes
    • Identify the different tax relief mechanisms for pension contributions
    • Overview of the automatic enrolment process
    • Classifying the different categories of workers for automatic enrolment
    • Implementing opt-outs, pension contributions refunds and re-enrolment
  • Student loan deductions
    • Identify employees liable to student loan deductions
    • Distinguish the different student loan repayment plans
    • Calculate Student loan deductions
  • Court orders
    • Define attachable earnings
    • Identify the different array of court orders
    • Distinguishing court orders from arrestment orders
  • HMRC remittances
    • Administer remittances due to HMRC accurately
    • Recognise the statutory payment offset amounts
    • Summarising the key features of apprentice levy
    • Explaining the purpose and employer eligibility for the employment allowance
  • Statutory payment compliance
    • Overview of HMRC’s compliance role with statutory payments
    • Outlining the arbitration route with statutory payment decisions
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
    • Determining employees eligible for SSP
    • Interpreting periods of incapacity to work, qualifying days and waiting days
    • Calculating SSP payments
    • Outlining record keeping requirements for SSP
  • Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)
    • Determining employees eligible for SMP
    • Interpreting week baby due, qualifying weeks and employment start dates
    • Calculating SMP payments
    • Identifying contractual considerations for employees on maternity leave
    • Outlining record keeping requirements for SMP
  • Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP)
    • Determining employees eligible for SAP
    • Calculating SAP payments
  • Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP)
    • Determining employees eligible for SPP
    • Calculating SPP payments
  • Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)
    • Overview of the principles of ShPP


This qualification is available either entirely online or a combination of face to face classroom-based workshops and online delivery.

Online delivery

The online qualification is delivered through our online learning platform permitting students a more flexible study pattern. Students will work through a series of interactive activities and quizzes supported by detailed study material. They may track their understanding through undertaking knowledge-check assessments before progressing to the next section. The qualification concludes with a two-part assessment comprising of a timed question based test, followed by a set of scenario based exercises which require the student to prove competence with manual payroll calculations. 

Face to face delivery

The face to face option of this qualification begins with six classroom-based learning and revision sessions with a qualified and experienced CIPP payroll trainer. Each will require a full day attendance at one of the locations on offer across the UK. Students will then utilise our online learning platform to further cement their knowledge by undertaking a series of knowledge-check assessments. The qualification concludes with a two-part assessment comprising of a timed question based test, followed by a set of scenario based exercises which require the student to prove competence with manual payroll calculations.

Successful completion of this qualification demonstrates a competency and understanding of payroll administration and is also representative of the work students undertake in real-life payroll administration.

How much does it cost?

Payroll Technician Certificate - ONLINE DELIVERY

Member and non-member rate: £1,595 + VAT

Price includes:

  • Online provision through the CIPPs student website
  • Allocation of a tutor to support you through your studies

Payroll Technician Certificate - FACE TO FACE DELIVERY

Member price: £2,850 + VAT

Non-member price: £3,200 + VAT

Price includes:

  • Three face to face classroom learning days, covering three core modules
  • Three face to face revision days ahead of your assessment
  • Access to materials online through the CIPPs student website
  • Allocation of a tutor to support you through your studies


Once successfully completed you may choose to progress to year one of the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management or year two via the Foundation Degree Access Course.