Refurbishment of the CIPP’s Foundation Degrees

01 July 2021

Stuart Laverick, principal, chief executive and a governor, at Heart of Worcestershire College, provides further insight to the refurbishing process

The higher-level qualifications in payroll and pensions the CIPP and the Heart of Worcestershire College (‘the College’) have co-created with employers and other ‘informed sector insiders’ over many years are flexible, well-respected and established foundation degrees (FDs).

Every five years our university validating partner, the University of Worcester, requires the CIPP and the College to re-visit the FDs to decide if they need either a major overhaul (e.g. change in title, learning outcomes and assessment strategy/mix) or a refurbishment (such as broad framework unchanged but content, support and learning materials reshaped and refreshed).

The FDs have been designed over various validation cycles to be future-proofed and flexible, so the panel review quickly came to the conclusion that refurbishment of the content and learning resources that ‘wrap around’ the existing curriculum and assessment framework was what was needed.

The refurbishment allows input from specialist development teams made up of CIPP, the College, employers, and ‘informed insider’ stakeholders who draw from the wider payroll and pensions networks they inhabit. This allows the ongoing modifications that have been accommodated in modules as a result of external changes (e.g. legal and technological) to be ’threaded’ throughout the programme so that it more effectively drives learning.

The refurbishment enables a comprehensive and co-ordinated enhancement of the supporting learning materials and provides an opportunity to co-create improvements in the development and support available to colleagues in both their academic and pastoral roles.

The direct input for the refurbishment comes from CIPP and College staff who teach and provide pastoral and welfare support to FD students, but is also heavily informed by student feedback and observation. This is augmented by industry input from key employers and practitioners, many of whom also bring the experience of studying on the programmes. During the refurbishment process, the University of Worcester has been proactive contributing to pedagogical and tutorial development discussions.

Roll out

The refurbishment will be approved for the 2021 autumn intake, starting with the year-two modules. The modules for years one and three will be rolled out in 2022.

Significant enhancements to on-line materials will continue over the three years of the roll-out. 


Featured in the July/August 2021 issue of Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward. Correct at time of publication.